Rangers end the year undefeated in league

Longhoughton Rangers U11 4 Blackfyne Juniors U11 2

Pin Point Junior Football League, U11 La Liga 1

The number 13 may be unlucky to some, but not Longhoughton Rangers.

A hard-earned victory over Blackfyne in their last league game of 2013 has seen Rangers achieve the monumental milestone – going a whole year undefeated in the league.

But they were made to work for it by a dogged Blackfyne side. Playing with the wind at their back, Blackfyne pressed with a long ball over the top creating the first chance of the game.

Their lightning-quick striker latched onto the ball, before lashing a shot into the safe hands of Zac Stephenson in the Rangers goal.

On 10 minutes, Rangers broke the deadlock when Ben Lawton took off on a mazy run at the Juniors defence, stepping past tackles before smashing a shot which the keeper parried to his right.

Lewis Fairbairn, following in, saw his effort hit the keeper and rebound straight back to the grateful Lawton who made no mistake crashing his shot into the roof of the net (1-0).

Rangers came roaring out of the blocks in the second half and scored two inside three minutes.

Joseph Cormack picked up the ball in his own half and surged forward, shrugging off the last defender before unleashing a left-foot shot that the keeper did well to save. Sam Dover pounced on the loose ball to find Patterson. His attempted shot was blocked and trickled to the edge of the box where Gareth Rickerby stepped up and smacked it straight into the top corner (2-0).

With their tails well and truly up 2-0 became 3-0 moments later. Some tidy passing in midfield from Lawton and Cormack set Alex Threlfall away at pace through the centre of the Blackfyne defence, drawing the keeper out and nonchalantly flicking the ball past his despairing dive (3-0).

Rangers obviously thinking the job was done got an instant reminder of how good this Blackfyne side were when they pulled it back to 3-2.

This stung Rangers back to life when a cross found Fairbairn in the box but his shot hit the side-netting from a difficult angle.

With a minute left on the clock and Rangers all over Blackfyne, a sliced clearance was met by Gareth Rickerby for the goal of the game. As the ball popped up off his chest 25 yards out, he cracked a volley that had him turning away to celebrate long before the ball hit the back of the net (4-2).

This was a cracking game of football to watch.