Promising start for new-look Rangers



Killingworth KYPC Milan...3

Longhoughton Rangers...1

A NEW-LOOK Longhoughton Rangers, put together from the remnants of last season’s two U14 sides, started the new season with an away fixture to KYPC Milan of Killingworth on Sunday.

Milan enjoyed early possession and saw a corner headed over the Rangers bar.

With barely five minutes gone, Rangers failed to clear a loose ball in their goal area, allowing Milan a free shot on goal which sailed well over the bar.

After some good end-to-end play from both sides, Rangers’ first attempt came on 10 minutes when an excellent Cameron Barriskell through-ball allowed Jordon Beattie to take on the wrong-footed Milan defence only for them to recover and prevent Beattie from making more of the chance.

The opener went to Milan on 12 minutes when the home side managed to turn defence into attack playing a through-ball which beat the Rangers defence and was slotted into the Rangers net past the advancing Phillip Brown.

Only a few minutes later, Milan looked to be through for a second goal but for an excellent tackle by Barriskell and a further Milan attempt comfortably saved by Brown.

With Rangers pressing for an equaliser, a well-constructed move on 20 minutes resulted in Michael Kirkup’s shot being saved by the home keeper.

With 23 minutes gone, Rangers should have been rewarded with a goal after an excellent run and pass by Jamie Stanford found Tristan Oliver whose well-struck shot was equalled by the Milan keeper.

A 26th minute Kirkup free-kick was only parried by the Milan keeper but the Rangers attack were unable to latch onto the loose ball.

Killingworth claims for a 30th minute penalty from an accidental back pass were at best a joke. With the breakdown of play, Rangers made their first substitution, with James Byrne replacing Barraskell who came off for a well-earned rest.

A further Rangers chance fell to Liam Tiffin whose shot beat the home keeper but flashed painfully past the post.

Half-time: 1-0 to Killingworth Milan.

The second half started with Jonathan Smeaton on as a substitute for Kirkup in attack and with Rangers going all out to level the score.

However, the first chances fell to Milan when, on 45 minutes, the Rangers defence failed to clear the ball and the opposition tried to chip the advancing Brown and on 46 minutes when Brown held a long-range shot.

With 50 minutes gone, not for the first time in the match, Rangers should have equalised after some excellent passing resulted in Sheldon Ayre shooting wide of the mark and for anyone who had missed this, Ayre repeated his feat a few minutes later.

A further Rangers substitution on 55 minutes saw William Young being replaced by Barriskell.

A Milan corner from the re-start met a strong punched clearance by Brown and the home side were unlucky not to extend their lead from the resultant corner when they headed onto the Rangers bar.

On the hour mark, following some extended pressure by Rangers in the Milan half, Beattie was unlucky not to level the scores when his shot drifted just over the home side’s bar and Ayre completed his hat-trick of misses on 62 minutes when he shot over the bar.

With Rangers pressurising the Milan goal, a break by Milan found the Rangers defence wrong-footed and, although the home side’s striker appeared to handle the ball, it went out for a corner. This proved to be the turning point of the game as the home side extended their lead on 66 minutes to 2-0 from a well-converted corner.

Following the re-start, a Rangers free-kick midway in the Milan half found Ayre whose shot was this time saved by the home keeper. A further Rangers substitution on 70 minutes saw Kirkup return for Dale Thompson.

On 71 minutes, Brown pulled off the save of the day when, with a diving punch, he pushed the ball clear of the Rangers post for a corner.

But Killingworth extended their lead to 3-0 with a good headed goal from the resulting corner.

Although 3-0 down, Rangers kept playing and were rewarded on 72 minutes when Beattie scored a well-taken goal after some excellent passing. From the re-start, Brown was forced to make two excellent blocking saves when Killingworth looked to be through on goal.

Rangers’ final substitution of the game came on 80 minutes with Young replacing Barriskell and the match ended 3-1 to Killingworth.

It was a tale of missed chances and, although a defeat, there were plenty of positives for Rangers and lots to look forward to in forthcoming matches.

Longhoughton Rangers: Phillip Brown, Dale Thompson, James Byrne, Cameron Barriskell, Jack Lane, William Young, Jordon Beatie, Tristan Oliver, Jonathan Smeaton, Michael Kirkup, Liam Tiffin, Sheldon Ayre and Jamie Stanford. Rangers man-of-the-match: Jordon Beattie.