Report: Rangers 1 v 0 Headingley AFC

  • A goal from penalty spot settles the game.

  • First clean sheet for Rangers

  • The drive shown by the team pleases Head Coach Ben Lawrence.

Rangers maintained their unbeaten record in pre-season games so far. However, it was the work rate, rather than the result, that the blues produced which pleased the management most.

Deighton welcomed back a host of faces into the squad, including Ash Tatler. It was also pleasing to see Jon Richards take part following his injury against Rawdon, and Ali Thompson, who was unable to play under the head injury protocol.

It was the visitors who had the better of the opening exchanges but found Rangers defence in no mood to yield. Except for a shot which was straight at keeper Jonty Smith, Deighton stood firm to Headingley's test.

Winning a corner through Charlie Yates, Roman Neal tried to shoot, but the keeper smothered the ball.

Smith was called into action again as he dived to his right and palmed a long-range shot to safety.

Rangers attack the Headingley goal.

Rangers responded with chances of their own, and it took some good goalkeeping to deny, Neal, Yates and Ashley Tatler from scoring.

Over the past three games, Deighton's transitions have been impressive, and it was evident again when the ball was lost or a mistake made. The speed at which the blue shirts responded came into play, and Josh Bhandal was in the thick of the action, with both Conor Buckley and Jake Little equally impressive in their roles as well.

Deighton thought they had broken the deadlock after Luke Dubery broke free at the back post and headed Josh Barden's corner past the keeper, but the defender cleared off the line.

Rangers who were creating more opportunities, and Tatler, George Widows and Joe Turley all came close, but good goalkeeper and solid defending denied an opening goal.

Half-Time: Kirk Deighton Rangers 0 v 0 Headingley AFC

Headingley broke hard down the right, but Richards headed the cross away under pressure from a striker.

Rangers 'hunt in packs' mentality came into play again and gaining the ball through a Headingley mistake, Barden released Widows who twisted past a defender, and was tripped. The referee pointed to the spot straight away, and Widows made no mistake in powering the ball into the net.

Looking for a second goal, it was Craig Hall's through pass that released Widows. However, in trying to find an angle to shoot, a defender managed to get goalside and block his attempt. Following up, Rob Holliday hit his shot high and over the bar.

George Widows scores from the penalty spot.

Headingley won a free-kick just outside Deighton's area, and a wickedly curling shot beat both Smith and the back post.

The game was certainly a more open affair, and Joe Wilks hit a superb free-kick which needed a save low down from the Headingley keeper. Moments later, Barden nearly picked out Neal at the back post, but the striker couldn't connect.

The visitors nearly found a way through the centre of the pitch, but just as the striker looked to shot, Holliday's outstretched foot poked the ball back to Smith.

Neal's shot was deflected into Yates's path by the keeper, but as the striker scored, the referee deemed him offside, and the goal didn't stand.

With five minutes left, Headingley pushed Rangers back, but the pack closed ranks and the visitors couldn't breakthrough.

Final Score: Kirk Deighton Rangers 1 v 0 Headingley AFC

In review, probably the hardest of the three games that Rangers have played, but what was impressive was the way that the lads now "hunt" the ball. The transitional play has been second to none, and if the team can maintain this through the campaign, it could be interesting times at the club!

Match report KDRAFC Media

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