In a match that neither side would be wise to label as a classic, Roman Neal’s 83rd minute strike separated the two teams at the final whistle.
It was a weary looking Rangers that kicked off against their York Premier Division counterparts, and it wasn’t long before the visitors had a shot that sailed high over the bar, before landing in the allotments behind the ground.
Trying to frame a response, Rangers found themselves frustrated by the referee’s whistle several times, as players were repeatedly judged offside.
Magnets were forcing the early pace and it needed a superb diving save by Jonty Smith to parry a fierce shot from just inside the area. Minutes later, the central defensive duo of Michael McCartney and Josh Buckley were called into action as they needed to block several attempts to breach the backline.
Trying to get some sort of grip on the game, Rangers found the Magnets defence in bullish mood and a floated pass by Luke Dubery was just cut out just as it threatened to reach Joe Wilks.
Magnets wasted two golden chances to take the lead when the striker slipped the ball past Smith but was unable to keep up with it as it bounced out of play, then minutes later a smart turn and lay-off saw a shot rise high into the distance.
A foul on Dubery allowed Rangers the chance to mount an attack, but the free-kick was plucked out of the air by the Magnets shot-stopper. Dubery, was also involved in the next move, when he outpaced his marker but only succeeded in hooking the ball out of play.
An early change in system and personnel saw Rangers show a bit more spirit and Roman Neal had a shot well turned aside by the keeper. From the resultant corner, James Woodward headed straight at the custodian.
Another corner several minutes later saw the woodwork rattled for the first time as a towering header at the back post by Buckley clipped the crossbar and bounced over.
Rangers nearly contributed to Magnets scoring when a cross area pass was intercepted and the striker sought to shoot. Fortunately, the defence closed the striker down quickly and in the end the chance was snuffed out as the shot was weak and easily collected by Smith.
With the half starting to wind down, Neal forced a superb diving save from the Magnets keeper as he flung himself to his left to palm the striker’s header onto the crossbar following a pinpoint cross by Jonny Hadley.
Following the half time break, Rangers came out in much more determined mood and a surging run by Andy Maxtead picked out Wilks, but he screwed his shot wide at the near post.
Straight away Rangers were back on the attack and a clever pass released Turley, who tried to take the ball round the onrushing keeper, however a well-timed tackle saw the Magnets custodian come away with the ball much to the vexation of Turley who let out a frustrated bellow.
With the wind in their sails, Rangers were pressing hard and following another chance that was put over by Turley, Dubery was picked out in the area by Neal and slotting the ball home, his joy soon turned to irritation as the referee had ruled him offside, a call that was debatable but stood nether-the-less.
The chances were beginning to rack up and a deep cross by Maxted nearly deceived the keeper but fell onto the roof of the net. Soon after, Wilks manged to lob the ball towards goal, but his effort was headed clear by the final defender.
Magnets reminded Rangers that they were still in the game when a lightning break saw former Wetherby Athletic midfielder Josh Wilson pick out his strike partner, but like with Rangers, the finishing was lacking, and Smith was able to divert the ball wide.
A lung busting run by the impressive Joe Straker saw him deliver the ball to Neal, but, again, the keeper plucked his shot out of the air.
With the game entering the final fifteen minutes, Magnets were thankful to their No 1 again as he pulled off another diving save to deny Turley.
Many people watching were beginning to wonder if the ball was destined not to go into the goal as Conor Buckley flashed a header just wide of the post and then a clearance from a Tadcaster defender cleared the crossbar by inches.
With the game looking like ending as a stalemate, the deadlock was broken in the 83rd minute when Conor Buckley released Josh Barden down the left wing. Waiting until the perfect moment, his pass across the area picked out Neal who side footed home from close range.
Not content with one goal, Deighton came forward and Hadley saw his header from a corner saved, before Straker volleyed wide at the far post.
Magnets launched the last attacks of the game, and they came awfully close to providing an equaliser, when the first dinked shot beat Smith, but also the far post and then the Rangers’ goalkeeper had to get down smartly to prevent a shot at his near post from creeping under him.
We would like to wish all at Tadcaster Magnets a great season and hope that they do well in the York Minster Premier League.
Report by Pete Arnett
Squad (all players used) – Smith, O’Brien, Buckley J, McCartney, Abbott, Maxted, Dubery, Wilks, Turley, Hadley, Barden, Straker, Buckley C, Neal, Woodward, McKay.
"It was probably our poorest performance this pre-season, especially in the first half. Maybe it was a culmination of many factors, chiefly being the amount of effort put in on Saturday against Carlton Athletic and maybe we picked the wrong system for the first half an hour, but credit to Tadcaster, they controlled the first half and created chances and were the more dominant force.
We had a much better attitude during the second half and on balance of chances created maybe we should have shaded it more, but it is certainly a game I won’t be singing about or looking to remember for a long time.”
Dan Marshall (First Team Manager)
Roman Neal's Goal against Tadcaster Magnets.
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