Rangers get that sinking feeling

Longhoughton Rangers U15...3 North Shields JAFC Lions U15...4

Pin Point Recruitment U15 League Four

LYING fourth in the league with only three games of the season remaining, Longhoughton Rangers went into their last home match knowing that nine points from the run-in would see them have an excellent chance of finishing second in the division.

But they were left with a sinking feeling after a last-minute smash and grab by the visitors.

Rangers’ started with keeper, Phillip Brown, making an early save.

A series of corners for the home side on four minutes saw North Shields scramble the ball clear and William Young heading just wide.

The visitors were unlucky not to take the lead when a 10th-minute cross skimmed the top of the Rangers’ bar but a cooly taken 11th-minute shot by Young into the bottom right corner of the North Shields goal gave Rangers a well deserved 1-0 lead.

Both sides looked set to score throughout the first half but neither managed to get past the keeper and at half-time it was still 1-0 to Rangers.

The second half started where the first finished with Rangers pressing for a second goal. With the visitors in the ascendancy a scrappy Rangers’ clearance on 50 minutes saw North Shields score an equaliser when their shot just beat Brown’s fingertips, (1-1).

From the re-start Rangers’ reply was instant with Young scoring his and Rangers’ second on 52 minutes, (2-1), Young completed an excellent hat-trick on 54 minutes with a thumping shot in to the North Shields net from an Oliver cross (3-1).

Rangers were forced into their second substitution with 59 minutes gone when Cameron Barriskell went off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Jonathan Smeaton who went straight into the action with a robust challenge. With Rangers looking to be cruising, North Shields scored a second goal on the hour mark to make the score 3-2.

Further Rangers substitutions saw Connor Scott replace James Byrne on 62 minutes and Ryan Kelly go off for the returning Michael Kirkup on 68 minutes.

An injury to a North Shields player on 75 minutes saw play suspended for five minutes.

The break seemed to reinvigorate the visitors who came out all guns blazing.

With North Shields smelling an equaliser it came from a good 84th-minute shot which just beat Brown (3-3).

Worse came barely a minute later when the visitors stole a fourth with virtually the last kick of the game to make the final score, 3-4 to North Shields.

A very good team performance by Rangers who were unfortunate to allow North Shields to mount a smash and grab raid in the last five minutes.

Rangers: Sheldon Ayre, Phillip Brown, James Byrne, Cameron Barriskell, Jordon Beattie, Ryan Kelly, Michael Kirkup, Jack Lane, Tristan Oliver, Connor Scott, Jonathan Smeaton, Dale Thompson, Liam Tiffin and William Young.

Rangers man-of-the-match: William Young.