Rangers spot on to grab a point

Longhoughton Rangers v Killingworth YPC U15s,  action from Sundays clash at Westfield Park. Steve Miller
Longhoughton Rangers v Killingworth YPC U15s, action from Sundays clash at Westfield Park. Steve Miller

Longhoughton Rangers U15...1 Killingworth KYPC Milan U15...1


LONGHOUGHTON Rangers grabbed a well-deserved home draw against second-in-the-table Killingworth – but the hosts could have snatched all three points after a good display.

Rangers got off to the poorest of starts, though, when they conceeded a first-minute goal after losing the ball in midfield (0-1).

With their noses in front, Killingworth continued to pressurise and a third-minute shot drifted over the Rangers bar. On five minutes, Rangers’ Michael Kirkup was played through but shot just wide.

The home side were pushing for an equaliser and nearly grabbed it on 25 minutes when James Byrne shot wide after a persistent run.

Four minutes later, Connor Scott’s lofting, speculative shot, direct from a throw-in, was held by the visiting keeper.

Rangers were beginning to dominate but the half ended with Killingworth 1-0 ahead.

The second half started with Rangers on the offensive.

Tristan Oliver and Byrne both tried, but failed, to get an equaliser.

With the Rangers coaching team shuffling their pack, William Young came on to give Kirkup a well-earned rest.

Sheldon Ayre’s excellent 55th minute free-kick for Rangers saw both Oliver and Young just fail to net the leveller.

Rangers were camped in the Killingworth half, but the visitors did create an effort after 66 minutes, however home stopper Phil Brown comfortably saved the long-range effort.

Further Rangers substitutions saw Kirkup come back on for Scott, Josh Potts replace Byrne and Jack Lane enter the fray for Ryan Kelly.

And Kirkup’s return to the action proved crucial.

Rangers were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes and Kirkup stepped up to the mark to score with an excellently-placed shot into the bottom left of the Killingworth goal to give the hosts an overdue equaliser (1-1).

Rangers nearly grabbed the winner when a Jordon Beattie cross was met by Kirkup, who saw his attempt parried by the Killingworth keeper.

Performing heroics, the visiting stopper then saved from Potts.

It was an excellent second-half performance by Rangers, who deserved more than a point and there is plenty to build on going into the remaining games of the season.

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