Ten Man Rangers Earn A Point
Risborough battle for goaless draw at Codicote
Rangers had to settle for a draw at struggling Codicote after Ollie Lynch was sent off just before half time, playing the second half with a man down. In truth Rangers could and maybe should have snatched it, having the better of the chances, had it not have been for some superb goalkeeping from the Codicote keeper who was undoubtedly the home sides man of the match. It was not a classic as the sticky pitch and high winds put paid to that and it wasn't until the eighth minute before the first chance came, when Rangers' Alex Woodfine was put through. As he prepared to shoot he was pulled back by his shirt with the match officials ignoring appeals for a penalty. Two minutes later Codicote blazed a shot over from distance. At the other end Alfie Touceda did likewise followed by Marcus Wyllie soon after. Captain Joel Read made a great saving tackle on 30 minutes as Codicote threatened on the break. Moments later Rangers' Woodfine cleverly turned and volleyed, bringing a brilliant save from the Cod's keeper. A minute later Touceda's superb effort from just inside the box was equally, superbly tipped onto the crossbar as Rangers turned the screw. At the other end Rangers' keeper Jack Brooker had a couple of weak headers to deal with from floated free kicks before, just before half time the visitors' Ollie Lynch was sent off for a high tackle, followed by some unseemly baying for blood by the home supporters and players.
Surprisingly, the sending off had no real adverse effect as Rangers enjoyed the better of the chances in the second half and indeed, finished the stronger. Manager Mark Eaton urged his side to continue to attack and Wyllie had an early chance, flicking his header into the side netting. The game threatened to turn nasty with a couple of flying tackles but then settled into a stalemate for twenty minutes before Codicotes first decent chance came after Brooker mishit his clearance. The ball fell to Codicote's striker who sent the ball goal-wards toward an empty net. Brooker recovered however, saving a goal and his blushes on the line. With 15 minutes to go Rangers lost their composed centre-back Josh Urquart to injury but he was ably replaced by the experienced Steve Nott-Macaire who slotted in comfortably. Eaton also bought on Ian Pykett for the final 15 and his probing runs and pace ensured that Rangers enjoyed a good spell in which they could have won the game. Woodfines flick found Wyllie and his shot flashed across the face of goal. A rare attack from Codicote bought a good save from Brooker low to his left before the ten men of Rangers finished very strongly. Wyllie's brilliant dribble ended with his curling shot inches wide with the keeper rooted. Wyllie again, as his free kick was well saved by the young Cod's custodian. Pykett followed up the rebound and the keeper again brilliantly saved to deny the visitors. Read's free kick flashed just past the post into the side netting in the closing seconds and there was just time for Wyllie to set up Jason Castello for a shot, which was well wide, before the final whistle. On reflection, a well earned point in difficult conditions and Eaton should feel satisfied that his side showed character after the sending off and a second clean sheet in succession in the league; although in truth Codicote did little to threaten Brookers goal.
Rangers Man of the Match: Justin Gordon. Showed all his experience against some pacey forwards and marshalled the defence. Distribution excellent throughout.
Rangers now look forward to Tuesday's (11th December) Wycombe Senior Cup Quarter-Final tie at home to Penn & Tylers Green FC. Kick off at 'Windsors' 7.45pm.