Report: G&C Hartshead 4 v 2 Rangers

  • Rangers take an early lead before Hartshead equalises.

  • Bhandal re-establishes our lead with a header.

  • Hartshead score three more times during the second half.

A disjointed performance left Rangers the wrong end of a 4-2 defeat despite having led twice during the game.

A bright enough start saw Rob Holliday's through pass release Roman Neal who shot past the advancing keeper after just three minutes.

A quick break after a failed Hartshead corner allowed Charlie Yates to shoot, but his drive cannoned back off the inside of the post. Picking up on the loose ball, Neal had a shot which was blocked before Josh Bhandal teed up Holliday, who was tackled before he could shoot.

Mounting a response, Hartshead headed straight at Jonty Smith from a corner, and minutes later they had the custodian (who had injured himself in the warm-up) scrambling as a shot from just inside the area was dragged wide.

Harvey Ribbons takes on Hartshead's defender.

The hosts were giving Rangers plenty of warnings, and another shot on the turn went just wide of Smith's post.

Surviving another wave of pressure, Rangers countered and won a succession of corners following a smart save from Yates. As the final one came in, Mason Sheridan-Hawley played in Joe Wilks, but the referee stopped play deeming the captain to be offside.

A short back pass saw Hartshead's keeper miskick straight to Holliday just outside the area. Setting up Neal, who looked to shoot, a defender applied pressure, and the ball sailed over the crossbar.

A loose ball in midfield led to the equaliser on 31 minutes. A quick pass through the centre of Deighton's backline saw the red-shirted player round Smith and score.

Rangers were incensed in the 41st minute as Neal's second goal by was ruled out for offside. Protesting that he had run from behind the defender to win the ball, both player and Deighton's bench were fuming that the goal didn't stand.

Half-Time: G&C Hartshead 1 v 1 Kirk Deighton Rangers

Looking to re-establish their dominance on the game, Hartshead attacked down the left, and Smith had to dive at the feet of the striker to smoother the ball.

Rangers were temporarily down to ten men as Josh Buckley had to receive attention to a cut under his eye after another brave intervention. Thankfully after a couple of minutes, he returned to the action.

Deighton were indebted to Smith again as he produced a fine diving save as the hosts poured forward.

With defending forgotten, Rangers came forward, and Neal headed straight at the keeper following a corner.

It was a different outcome in the 58th minute when Bhandal got his head to Craig Hall's long throw and beat the keeper to make it 2-1.

Luke Dubery heads towards Hartshead's goal.

Trying to keep the impetus going, Rangers attacked through the industrious Harvey Ribbons and Hall, but Sheridan-Hawley's shot spun wide of the goal.

Shaking the pack up, Jake Little and George Widdows replaced Yates and Neal in the 61st minute, and they were both in the thick of the action in the Hartshead area, but despite shots and blocks, the ball stayed out of the net!

Hartshead were level on 68 minutes when Rangers couldn't clear from a corner, and the ball was bundled over the line from close range.

A scything tackle from behind left Widdows flat on the pitch. Fearing the worse, the guilty Hartshead player was relieved to see the referee brandishing a yellow card. From the resultant free-kick, the home side survived a penalty appeal as Josh Barden's cross bounced up and appeared to strike a raised Hartshead hand.

Hartshead's physical approach and tall players paid dividends in the 75th minute as a free-kick was headed back across the area, and turned in at the far post. In the process of trying to keep the ball out, Smith injured himself further and was unable to continue. As the keeper left the pitch, he was replaced by Conor Buckley with his brother taking up Smith's position.

The final goal of the game arrived in the 86th minute, and despite Deighton claiming offside, a through ball saw their striker round Buckley and score.

Tempers frayed in added time when a tackle by the Hartshead keeper which took both the ball and Hall off the pitch wasn't well-received by any of the Deighton contingents, and as words were exchanged, the referee blew the final whistle.

Full-Time: G&C Hartshead 4 v 2 Kirk Deighton Rangers

In Review: Definitely a game to forget for us as we never really got out of second gear. In the end, Hartshead's physical approach and game plan proved to be the difference, and we couldn't cope with the height that they had. There were glimpses of the superb build-up play that we do, but we need to fashion chances again at the end of it that are on target, or at least work the keeper.

Match Report by KDRAFC Media.

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