On a day when a swirling wind was always going to make good football difficult Ellesmere Rangers hosted Highgate United. Looking to build on a positive result midweek the Rangers looked to have more confidence than of late. Joint Manager Lee Mills
was unavailable because of illness so Matt Burton was left to keep the ball rolling.
Trying to pass the ball on the ground rather than risk the uncertainty of the wind Rangers started well. After fifteen minutes they were awarded a free kick, just inside the highgate half. Andy Ford
took a quick freekick to Jamie Williams
on the left, who drove the ball inside to the awaiting Dale Williams
who made no mistake to put the Rangers one up. Rangers hopes were quickly undone when a hopeful Highgate clearance high and into the wind deceived the rangers defenders and found Elroy Bennett who turned and struck a well placed shot past the rangers keeper Sam Jones
to level the score. The match swung end to end for the remainder of the first half with neither side able to craft a decent goal scoring chance, although Rangers had the first of two penalty claims waved away when Andy Ford
was brought down in the area just before half time.
The second half saw Rangers playing with their backs to the wind and Kevin Renshaw
and Dale Williams
were able to create problems for highgate. A Renshaw flick-on found Williams who shot over the bar from close range and Renshaw was well placed but saw his shot go into the Highgate keepers arms. A change of personnel and formation followed with the introduction of the pacey Anwar Alubon and Tom Ward
to bolster the strike force. Further opportunities came to Alugbon and to Renshaw but neither was able to trouble the keeper. The second of the penalty claims came in the dying minutes when Alugbon's striking leg was hooked by a Highgate defender as he tried to shoot from close range but it was not to be and the referee waved away the please of the Rangers.
Tuesday night sees the Rangers have the local derby against Shropshire rivals Bridgnorth Town. Rangers will be looking to avenge the game early in the season when Bridgnorth put them out of the FA cup. Following this sees yet another away cup game in the Shropshire Challenge cup at Broseley on Saturday.