On a muggy evening, Rangers produced a polished performance in their first pre-season fixture to see off a very resilient Harrogate Old Boys side who, on this showing, will be a strong team in the Harrogate & District league this coming season.
With both sides agreeing to play in three thirty-minute timeframes, due to the heat and other factors, it took a few minutes to pass before the lads hit their stride and both teams produced some good football.
The visitors struck first through Andy Hullah, but it wasn’t long before parity was restored through Josh Barden, when he rounded the Old Boy’s custodian and slotted home from close range.
Rangers looked to increase their lead and several half chances presented themselves but couldn’t be converted until Sam Straker produced a moment of magic to beat the Old Boys left back and centre back before placing the ball into the bottom right hand corner from twenty yards out.
With Manager Dan Marshall making several changes during the final third of the game, there was a fear that the rhythm of the game may be disrupted, but this was allayed when a superb one-two between Barden and Jonny Hadley allowed the latter to run clear of the defence and place the ball past the advancing keeper into the net.
They always say save the best for last, and Joe Straker made sure that was the case when he trapped the ball outside the area and let fly with a 25-yard shot that arrowed past the keeper and into the top corner!
With the minutes ticking down, Harrogate pulled a goal back through Ben Jones, but it was too late for any fight back and Rangers celebrated a good start to their pre-season campaign.
We would like to say good luck to Harrogate Old Boys who, we are certain, will have a very good season.
Squad (all players used) - Smith, O'Brien, Buckley, Flynn, Trower, Maxted, Cheetham, Abbott, Large, McCartney, Straker.S, Straker.J, Woodward, Dubery, Gibson, Holiday, Barden, Hadley
Post Match Comment -
“I’m really pleased with the effort of everybody. We looked at different players and formations that we are interested in using and all the players did well and expressed themselves well."
Dan Marshall - First Team Manager