It will be Kirk Deighton Rangers who go into the next round, but we produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance and had to ride out a tough opening spell that belonged to Ripon before the goals finally flowed!
Rangers started slowly and found themselves being penned back by the visitors as they looked to secure an early advantage. Working the ball down the right flank, Ripon found their way blocked by several blue shirts and had to come back. Straight away the pressure was back on and Jack Abbott headed a dangerous looking cross clear.
Managing to mount an attack of their own, Charlie Yates won a throw in and received the ball back. Beating his marker, he slipped his pass to Dan Slater and went for the one-two, but the return pass was cut out.
A diagonal pass out to the left wing allowed Rob Holliday to go on a run before releasing Josh Barden. Squaring the ball to Roman Neal, it looked like space had opened for the shot, but a good tackle robbed him of the chance.
Pushing Rangers back, Ripon produced a shot from the edge of the area, but Abbott was able to get a block in and Jon Richards completed the clearance.
Patience was being the name of the game for Deighton and try as they might, they were unable to keep the ball for long periods, mainly due to Ripon’s pressing game. On the rare occasions that they did manage to get near Ripon’s area, it was the quality of the final ball that proved to be their downfall.
A well-placed cross pitch ball picked out the Ripon right back and he struck it on the half volley, fortunately for us, it was straight at Jonty Smith, who produced a solid save down to this right. Soon after it was a sigh of relief from the Rangers contingent as a pass rolled across the six-yard box untouched!
Ripon were pilling on the pressure and it took three bites of the cherry for Rangers to clear, with a header from Abbott and blocks from Slater and Joe Straker needed.
Slowly the game changed, and Rangers managed to get forward. Neal pressured the Ripon keeper from a free-kick which needed a defender to intervene and head clear. Soon after Holliday got to the byline, only to see a defender get a foot in as he closed in on goal.
It took a superb full-length diving save by Smith to keep the scores level. Breaking free down the right, a powerful shot from just inside of the area was tipped away by the flying custodian.
A good cross by Joe Straker picked out the unmarked Neal who headed straight down the throat of the Ripon keeper. Down the other end, a lunging Ripon player contacted with a low cross, but lifted the ball just over the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken in the 38th minute and it could be argued that it was against the run of play. A flick on by Neal picked out Yates and he found his spot perfectly across the keeper to finish in the far corner.
A duplicate manoeuvre down the right a minute later nearly brought a copycat goal for Barden, but his attempted lob wasn’t accurate, and the keeper claimed the ball.
With 40 minutes on the click it was 2-0 as Straker won the ball and surged into the area. Rounding the keeper, he had the simple task of rolling the ball home.
The second half saw Rangers start in a more positive manner and a lovely cross by Neal was too high for Barden but at the back post, Holliday produced an acrobatic effort to force a backwards diving save by the Ripon keeper. The ball was only cleared as far as Carl Heard, whose powerful drive was well handled by the custodian.
The game went into another lull with both midfields vying for dominance again. Straker and Slater were having a right battle with their counterparts and it took several good blocks and tackles from Rangers (especially Richards and McKay) to thwart Ripon.
Yates settled the game from the spot in the 57th minute when he picked himself up after being bundled over as he looked to burst free. Putting his kick right down the middle, the keeper dived to his right and the ball smashed into the back of the net.
With the hour up, Manager Dan Marshall made his first change replacing Neal with Joe Turley on the right wing.
It was nearly a comedy of errors that produced a fourth goal for Rangers, bursting into the area, Straker pulled the ball across the six-yard box, only for it to take a defection off a defender and arrow towards the corner off the goal where it needed a diving intervention from another defender to hook clear with Heard waiting to pounce!
Rangers were pulling the strings now and Holliday forced another good save from the keeper before the defender had to clear over his own crossbar.
The best goal of the afternoon arrived in the 64th minute and it was a superb volley from Turley just inside the area, after a diagonal ball from Yates, that flew past he keeper and into the bottom corner.
Ripon didn’t give up and it needed a Schmeichel-esque save from Smith to block a smart shot as the visitors tried to get something from the game. Soon after Jack Cheetham and Conor Buckley took to the pitch to replace Heard and Holliday.
Smith was in action again as he dived to his right to stop another shot, but he was finally beaten in the 74th minute when a curling shot from just outside the area dipped over his head and into the net.
Not for the first time, the game got bogged down in midfield and for a period, both teams reverted to a long ball game to try and get attacks going again. One such ball found Turley who twisted past the first defender but was stopped by the keeper bravely diving at his feet.
Rangers nearly claimed a fifth goal when Buckley controlled a pass and sprinted towards the goal. Electing to shoot from distance, his effort sailed over the crossbar.
With the game in its last throws, Yates passed to Cheetham who knocked it into Turley’s path. Putting in a curling cross towards the back post, Buckley put the ball back into the six-yard box where Yates headed narrowly over.
The match finished with Turley stinging the palms of the keeper with a fierce drive from outside the area after he picked up a misplaced pass.
Report by Pete Arnett
Team: Smith, Richards, Abbott, McKay, Heard, Straker, Neal, Slater, Holliday, Barden, Yates
Subs: Turley (for Neal 60 mins), Cheetham (for Holliday 72 mins), Buckley (for Heard 72 mins) Woodward
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
KDRFC Man of the Match (as chosen by Manager Dan Marshall) was Joe Straker. The team had to dig in hard, but it was Joe who was pulling the midfield strings when it happened, and he capped it with a superb solo goal.
Post-Match Reaction – Manager Dan Marshall.
“I thought for the first 35 minutes we were second best, Ripon took the game to us and we couldn’t get any rhythm going. We had to be patient and I thought Charlie’s goal sparked us into life and we played better. The second half we played really well and controlled the game. We scored a couple of good goals and Joe Turley, who was disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up, came on with a point to prove and answered that with a fantastic finish.”
Video - Charlie Yates Goal v Ripon City
Video - Joe Straker Goal v Ripon City
Video - Charlie Yates v Ripon City
Video - Joe Turley Goal v Ripon City
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