Not all gloomy despite defeat

Blyth Rangers U14...6 Longhoughton Rangers U14...3

U14 Pin Point Recruitment League Two

LONGHOUGHTON were away at Blyth Rangers Deportivo on Sunday for their first league game in a number of weeks.

Unfortunately, they went down 6-3 but the score did not reflect the many positives that the team can take from the game.

Blyth took an early lead with a low cross into the box that was turned in from close range before Chris Gardner was scythed down as he sprinted into the box.

Ryan Pattinson powered the resulting penalty home (1-1).

Rangers took the lead shortly after when the inspired Josh Briggs worked the ball down the right and hit a cross for Gardner to bundle home (1-2).

Rangers looked strong at this point with Sheldon Dryden and Jordan Moore striking a solid partnership on the left and Moore was unfortunate not to score with a superb 20-yard drive that was palmed away by the keeper.

At the other end, Sam Eggleston, standing in for the injured Andrew Francis, made an excellent finger-tip save to keep Rangers in front.

Blyth equalised with a similar goal to their first when a low cross caused confusion in the box and Brad Asprey was unfortunate to turn the ball into his own net. On half-time, a long ball through the middle set the Blyth centre-forward free to slot home to send the home side in 3-2 up.

In the second half, it was a game of missed chances and some good goalkeeping for Blyth to keep Rangers at bay.

Dan Brooks and Cye Simpson worked the ball up the right and Simpson’s cross just evaded Briggs and Pattinson waiting in the middle.

Briggs was unlucky to see a free-kick drift just wide of the left-hand upright but the resulting corner was bundled in from close range by Chris Gardner.

For the remainder of the half, Rangers continued to create chances but were unable to find the target.

At the other end Blyth scored from a goalmouth scramble as the defence of Asprey, Gibson, Hume and Dryden worked hard to try and clear the ball.

Blyth were awarded a penalty when the referee saw a push in the box at a corner and just before full-time they scored again from close range as the Longhoughton players started to tire.

Overall Blyth were good for the win but the three-goal deficit gives a more one-sided picture than the balance of play suggested. Again there were decent performances from all the new players who will only improve with match fitness and continued exposure to the level of football that is played.

Sam Eggleston put in a solid performance in goal. Man-of-the-match again went to Josh Briggs for another dynamic, energetic and quality-strewn performance in midfield.

Longhoughton: A Francis, B Asprey, J Briggs, S Dryden J Hume, D Brooks, J Moore, R Pattinson, C Gardner, S Eggleston, J Gibson, C Simpson, L Evans.