Report: Rangers 2 v 1 Pocklington Town

  • Pocklington score first early in the second half

  • Rangers equalise through Josh Bhandal

  • George Widdows scores the winner three minutes later

A goal packed ten-minute spell in the second half saw Rangers beat Pocklington Town in their toughest pre-season match so far.

It didn't take long for Rangers to go on the attack, and a foul on Ashley Tatler, just outside the left-hand side of the area, gave both Joe Wilks and Josh Barden chance to cross the ball, but the visitor's defence stood firm.

A quick break through the middle saw Deighton partially head clear the danger. Latching onto the loose ball, Pocklington forced Jonty Smith to dive to his left to push the shot wide of his goal.

The balance of play was mainly with Rangers, and both Barden and Wilks produced several dangerous crosses. It was Tatler that came closest to scoring from one of these crosses, but the keeper produced a smart reflex save to deflect his close-range shot.

Jon Richards heads towards goal against Pocklington Town

As the half progressed, the play became disjointed and bitty, and it seemed that set-pieces would be the only way a breakthrough would be made. Drawing a foul twenty yards from Deighton's box, the visitor's cross was too high for the player waiting at the back post.

Pocklington's keeper was probably shading being the busier of the two custodians, and he made a brave save at feet to deny Tatler and George Widdows following Charlie Yates's cut back.

Minutes later, he was applauded again, when he produced another superb save to his right to deny Barden, who had attempted to curl his shot into the bottom corner.

Half Time: Kirk Deighton Rangers 0 v 0 Pocklington Town

Despite starting the second half reasonable well, it was Rangers who needed to be alert as Pocklington probed down the right-wing. Cutting into the area, the striker began to shoot, but Jon Richards had kept pace with him, and applied pressure at the right moment forcing him to shoot over the bar.

The opening goal arrived in the 49th minute, and it seemed that Rangers hadn't heeded the previous warning. Collecting a misplaced pass in Deighton's defence, Dan Boneham found himself one-on-one with Smith, and he placed his shot wide of the keeper and into the net.

Trying to fashion an instant responsive, Rangers worked the ball down the flanks, and a cross allowed Widdows to try an acrobatic shot, but he couldn't connect at the crucial moment.

Where going high didn't work, going low did and Rangers equalised in the 53rd minute through Josh Bhandal. Showing good control inside the area, especially under pressure, he kept his shot down, and the ball shaved the post as it went in.

Charlie Yates in action against Pocklington Town

Three minutes later, Rangers completed the turnaround and took the lead after Widdows side-footed Hall's cross past the keeper from close range. Dubery‘s tenacity in winning multiple headers to set up Hall also has to be mentioned.

Looking to increase their lead, Rangers pressing game forced several mistakes by Pocklington, but despite shots from Ali Thompson and Bhandal, they couldn't beat the keeper.

With the game getting increasingly physical, the referee was forced to twice show the yellow card to the visitors.

A feature of Deighton this pre-season has been their transitional play and several times Rangers broke up their opponents moves with aggressive pressing. Hall, Thompson and Tatler all benefitted from this and put in some dangerous crosses that Yates, Dubery and Widdows came close to finishing.

With the referee looking at his watch, Dubery picked up a yellow card for a foul outside Deighton's area. Thankfully Pocklington couldn't capitalise on this, and the ball went out of play for a throw-in.

The visitors were seeking an equaliser, and in the closing minutes, another free-kick allowed them to test Rangers defence one final time. Standing tall, however, the blue shirts withstood the pressure to collect the win.

Full-Time: Kirk Deighton Rangers 2 v 1 Pocklington Town

In review, this was definitely Rangers hardest pre-season test so far. It's not hard to see why Pocklington Town are rightly considered one of the best clubs in the Humber league, so this win will have greatly improved an already impressive team spirit. Rangers had to be patient, but their build-up play and movement off the ball were excellent today.

Report by KDRAFC Media

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