Rangers and Broadfields share the spoils
Spartan South Midlands Division One
Due to Dave Newton’s suspension and Billy Harrison still side-lined by injury, Rangers manager Jamie Rayner gave a debut start to young Development team centre back Tom Swindlehurst. Broadfields came to ‘Windsors’ in good form with some impressive ‘scalps’ to their credit thus far. Only three points behind Rangers with a game in hand they made their intentions clear with a lively start, flashing a low cross across the face of the home goal in the opening minutes. Rangers quickly replied when Dan Rawson’s cross was just missed by the stretching Kev Mealor with the goal gaping. This was soon followed by a Marcus Wylie shot that was comfortably held by the visiting keeper. Broadfields countered and a ball over the top found the winger Alex Yearwood who lobbed the home keeper Jack Brooker who was caught in no-man’s-land to give United the lead after 15 minutes. Rangers pressed for five minutes before a lull as both teams mid-fields traded passes. There then followed a 20 minute spell of Rangers dominance. Firstly, Mealor challenged the Broadfields keepr to a high ball and his header bounced agonisingly wide. Then a good move by Rangers ended with Wiley’s shot being well saved. Broadfields were now playing with all but one behind the ball as Rangers continued to probe. Rangers’ Asher Yearwood came close when his header was brilliantly cleared off the line. Two shots in quick succession from Wiley and Mealor were also desperately cleared off the line following a Risborough corner. Minutes later the visiting keeper made a point blank save off Yearwood to keep Broadfields ahead. Just when it looked as though Rangers were never going to score, Martin Griggs fed Mealor who drove into the box and finished with a fierce strike to bring the scores level. It was all the home side deserved. There was just enough time however for the visitors to bring out a stunning save from Brooker when he tipped over a dipping free kick heading for the top corner.
With the driving rain making conditions worse Rangers came out quickly for the re-start with a good move ending with a marginal off-side. Broadfields replied with a cross that somehow missed everyone. Soon after, a United forward shot just wide as the home defence failed to clear their lines. Rangers hit back and Dan Rawson’s excellent cross just evaded Griggs and Mealors outstretched feet. The Broadfield keeper saved his blushes minutes later when he dropped the ball at the feet of James Shrimpton then quickly fell on the ball to recover before Shrimpton could react. Shrimpton then put Griggs through but the striker un-characteristically couldn’t control his shot. The game was end to end as Rangers scrambled the ball clear following a Broadfields corner and shortly afterward United shot into the side netting. At the other end Rawson again crossed and Mealor again beat the visiting keeper but headed just wide. Broadfields countered when a good chance went just wide as the game entered its final ten minutes. Griggs then sent in a fizzing corner that passed through a mob of both sets of players with miraculously no one getting a touch. Griggs then bought a smart save from the United keeper who immediately launched a long ball up-field and it was Brookers turn to save well, with his feet. In injury time Swindlehurst rewarded his manager’s faith when he brilliantly blocked a shot following a clever free kick. Rangers looked to mount one last attack when substitute Sam Ward, returning after a long injury was through but chose to pass when the shot looked on and the chance was snuffled out. In the end a draw was a fair result as both teams worked hard in the mud!
Rangers Man of the Match: Martin Griggs. Worked his socks off for ninety minutes and was constantly looking to keep Rangers on the front foot. Always a threat in front of goal.
Rangers are at home this coming Saturday when they take on league leaders Southall at ‘Windsors’ Kick off 3pm. The following Tuesday 28th November they are again at home in the Challenge Trophy Third Round versus Brimsdown. Kick off 7.45