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U18s show true grit in scrappy game

U18s show true grit in scrappy game

Jonathan Taylor11 Jan - 14:41
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Rangers U18s found a tenacious and obstinate opponent at Northfield in a scrappy 2-2 draw.

Hoping to close the gap on leaders Sylvans, our U18s found their North rivals an obstinate opponent at a cold night under the lights at Northfield on Wednesday.

The red and blacks, without arguably two of their best talents, Harry Tester and Tom Solway out with long term injuries, started brightly and were soon causing North problems with concerted running from Zac Batiste and George Goubert demonstrating Priaulx experience stands out at this level. Batiste was soon on the score sheet as Rangers dominated play in the first twenty.

A goal down seemed to shake North back into action and although Rangers were still on top, and in particular Ranger's midfield anchorr Zac Patterson had been in full control, North's attacker Ben Wilson some how broke free and skipped through our defense to calmly slide his finish past Max Wall in goal.

The game remained scrappy for much of the second period of the first half with Rangers frustrated by two penalty shouts and resolute North defending. Batiste, Goubert and young Pearce Le Poidevin were full of energy and North had to be on their metal to keep them at bay. Meanwhile, Ranger's back line of Callum Simmons and Josh Fallaize had been solid throughout bar the goal and both full backs had supported the flanks well. In particular Joe Tempest is looking considerably stronger at this level and Monty Wyatt's right foot can be a wand at times delivering some exceptional crosses throughout the game.

The second half continued to be scrappy despite the efforts of Charlie Le Lacheur and Leon Solano to lend some much needed quality to the game. North doubled up on our creators and stifled space but the two continued to excerpt their footballing talent on proceedings. Le Lacheur in particular, was running the show at times and is maturing into some talent.

Against the run of play North took the lead as our defense allowed ex Ranger Charlie Van Katwyk to run through at pace and finish calmly. Rangers assumed their luck had run out but continued to play excellent football as the North side retreated into their half. The North forward Ben Wilson was an ominous threat and when George Goubert had to be withdrawn through injury, Callum Simmons was moved to the attack and Rangers lost some of their momentum.

Rangers continued to maintain pressure and with Le Lacheur pulling strings in midfield, the goal seemed to be inevitable but it came from an unlikely source with North's excellent stopper Olly Miller uncharacteristically spooling an effort.

At 2-2 Rangers were reduced further with Simmons hobbling off and the game fizzled out to an inevitable draw. Credit to North for their organisation, resolute defending and threat up front but Rangers will be disappointed they didn't leave with all three points.

Team: Max Wall, Joe Tempest, Monty Wyatt, Josh Fallaize, Callum Simmons, Zac Petterson, Leon Solano, Charlie Le Lacheur, Pearce Le Poidevin, Zac Batisite, George Goubert.
Subs: Freddie Webb, Luke Shaw, Alex Mourant, Josh Lawlor.

Picture: Midfield creator Leon Solano.
Picture by Andy Dovey Photography

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