Rangers Fail to Overcome the Hill
A second 3-2 defeat in a row at London Road for the 1st team and once again mistakes and missed chances have cost them. The day couldn't have started any better with Dave Groom heading in a Sam Tyack free kick after a few minutes. With Rangers 1-0 up the game became very scrappy with both teams attempting to play the percentages, keeping the other team from scoring. Moreton did give the visitors alot of respect and allowed them to play the ball around the back four in an attempt to suck them out and hit them on the break. A tactic that worked fairly well in the first half. Chances for Will Beach, Sean Stanley and Lee Brooks were created from quick break aways. Had Tyack been sharper on one occasion, we may have seen another chance for Beach. Harrow Hill never looked to threaten a solid and compact Rangers back line with Mark Boydell and Dave Groom marshalling the opponents forward line well. A brief spell of pressure from the visitors led to a clever chip and volley from the Harrow Hill striker which looped over John McAteer and into the goal from the edge of the box. 1-1.
A sucker punch to the home side that could have seen a collapse like many before. The game plan was stuck too and shortly after being drawn level another counter attack put Rangers back in front. Lee Brooks who didn't stop running all day was the catalyst, winning the ball back in the oppositions half and quickly attacking the box. A second attempt at a cross found its way across a crowded 6 yard box to Tyack at the back post who was there to finish the swift break. Rangers, deservedly, went into half time ahead.
The 2nd half was again a scrappy affair with the visitors playing the majority of the football. With Moreton allowing them the ball they were pinned deeper and deeper into their own half. Unable to make any impact going forward the ball was constantly coming back to a tiring defence. The pressure eventually told when a 2nd corner in succession was swung straight into the home sides goal and the game, again, was level. The match was then quickly turned on it's head with a neat move from the away side resulting in a cross and headed finish to make it 3-2 to Harrow Hill.
Moreton never really recovered after this and the introduction of Martin Tombs, Zak Ellis and Dave Toon couldn't spark them into life. Once again they have been left ruing 1st half chances that could have seen them in at half time 3 or 4-1 up.
Next week sees both sides take a breather from league duties and start the county cup campaign. 1sts are away at Churchdown Panthers whilst the 2nds take on Leckhampton at London Road. Let's hope both teams can progress.