FC Hollybush vs. Carterton Rangers
Lacklustre Rangers Miss Out
Rangers were going into the game in great goal scoring form having scored 4 or more in the previous 7 league games, but with slow starts in the last 2, there was a need for a quick start and a better team attitude. In the previous 4 attempts in the league, Rangers have only managed a point against Hollybush and with the top 4 so tightly matched 3 points were a must.
After completing the long walk from the changing room to the playing field, it already seemed evident that the player’s heads weren’t on the game. The warm up was slack and the start was worse as Hollybush dominated early stages, playing some very neat football on a horrible pitch.
However, the first real chance fell to Rangers as Curtis chased down the centre back who made a habit of giving the ball away in his own half and the Rangers winger won the ball 20 yards out. With the composure lacking, his shot hardly made it to the keeper who still managed to fumble the ball.
Hollybush were able to regain control in the middle and with their left winger constantly finding space against a rather hungover Izzard, they were able to create a few half chances which Bishop was able to deal with. With 25 mins on the clock Hollybush were awarded a free kick just outside the box, the ball was powered around the wall and seemingly heading towards the far corner when Bishop again, was able to get a good hand to the ball and tip it wide.
The warning signs were there but Rangers still ignored them and just like in previous weeks, their opponents were first to put the ball in the back of the net. A long ball from the right headed back across goal for a tap in, only this time the linesman’s flag was straight for the initial ball into the box. This didn’t stop Hollybush from taking a first half lead as 5 minutes from the half, Rangers didn’t put the defender under any pressure and allowed him to carry the ball into midfield before putting an inch perfect ball in behind the slowing Izzard for the winger to collect and coolly finish.
There was still just enough time for Rangers to half their best chance of the half, as a long ball into the corner was chased by Hall and after turning 2 defenders he saw his effort well saved by the keeper.
Half time 1-0 Bush
Again Rangers started slow, letting the Hollybush players have plenty of time on the ball as we dropped deeper and offered little going forward. With Hollybush unable to find a second, Rangers started to play themselves into the game and soon drew level wit there first real effort of the second half. With some good play down the right, the ball was played inside. After some good footwork, Pearce received the ball dummied passed one, shifted it onto his favoured left foot and blasted a fierce shot which the keeper could only palm into the corner. 1-1.
With Rangers now finding their feet, the game had opened up with the away team now looking more dangerous. Once again the overconfident Hollybush centre back lost the ball deep in his own half, this allowed Pearce to stride through one on one with only the keeper to beat. The keeper this time equal to the Pearce strike as he tips the ball onto the bar with the resulting clearance falling to Macdonogh on the edge, a roll of the ball and a whip from his right peg saw the ball bend towards the far post, only for the keeper to once again deny Rangers.
You would have thought the centre back would half leant by now as he is this time caught in the penalty box trying to play out, the ball dropping at the feet of Macdonogh from the resulting tackle again saw his effort saved by the Hollybush keeper. The shot coming from only 6 yards out, but the keeper’s quick reactions were enough to keep the score at 1-1.
With both teams now feeling that the next goal could win the game, it was again Hollybush who took the lead. Again Rangers failed to pressure the striker who was able to turn before hitting the ball into the near top corner from just outside the box on the angle.
The ball did find its way into the net one more time, after a long free kick by Rangers was bundled in. unfortunately the ref was well placed to see the keeper had the ball in both hands before being fouled. The last action of the game again saw the pacey left winger find an acre of space as he drifted passed the defence, only to see his effort come of both posts and roll along the line before being cleared.
Full time 2-1 Bush
With the Hollybush jibbers striking again, Rangers will have to wait for their first league win over them.