Rangers fire five to take fourth

Longhoughton Rangers U14 Girls, home v Hexham
Longhoughton Rangers U14 Girls, home v Hexham

Longhoughton Rangers FC...5 Hexham...1

Northumberland Girls U14 League

RANGERS fired five past Hexham to secure their seventh straight victory and secure fourth place in the inaugural season of the Northumberland Girls Football League.

It took a minute for Rangers to open the scoring, the ever-present Keech rampaging down the left wing, combining well with Morrison, before the Rangers captain dug out a top drawer finish to give the home side the lead.

Hexham responded, Steele and Oakenfold testing the Rangers defence with Lewington happy to concede the corner under pressure.

Longhoughton almost extended their lead in the 10th minute, Morrison’s searching cross into the six-yard area met by Lewney, the forward forcing a fantastic save from Green in the Hexham goal, pushing it around her right hand post.

Keech extended Ranger’s lead on the quarter hour mark, her shot taking a wicked deflection off Hexham’s Lewis, leaving goalkeeper Green stranded.

Hexham pulled a goal back in the 19th minute direct from a goal-kick, the ball bouncing in front of the Rangers defence and Hexham’s Oakenfold powering past Lewington and Parry to drive the ball beyond Burn in the Longhoughton goal.

Morrison restored Rangers’ two-goal cushion in the 23rd minute, the Longhoughton captain’s first-time cross cleared by the defence directly back into her path, the forward’s strike with the outside of her boot finding the top far corner to make it 3-1.

The second half began much like the first, Morrison forcing another save from the hard-working Green in the 33rd minute and Hexham hitting Rangers on the counter, Steele denied twice, once by Wood and the second time forcing a diving save from Burn.

Three minutes later, Rangers made it 4-1.

Morrison chased a nothing ball into the far right corner, putting the Hexham defender under pressure and forcing a mistake, then driving towards goal, before cutting it back for Keech. The winger sent a thunderous shot screaming past the Hexham goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Rangers added a fifth in the 56th minute. Smart and Morrison combined well down the Rangers right, before Morrison crossed for Finney, the tenacious forward stabbing the ball home after a fumble by the Hexham goalkeeper.

A great game of attacking football and a great advert for girls’ football, for which both sides deserve much credit. Rangers will no doubt be the happier of the two after securing fourth place and their seventh win in as many games. Next up, League Shield Final v Cramlington Town, 4pm Saturday, at Hirst Welfare, Ashington.

Longhoughton Rangers FC: H Burn, C Wood, B Lewington (E Smart 25 ), E Parry (S Conning 50), J Morrison, C Hutton (H Finney 45), E Lester (E Davison 19), (S Lazenby 45), R Keech, K Lewney (H Parker 30). Player of the match: Smart.