Rangers Draw Again
Game of two halves leaves Rangers frustrated.
Risborough Rangers were left feeling frustrated after failing to hold onto a lead for the third game running. Saturdays draw against Ampthill Town was also the third draw in a row for Rangers, who stretched their unbeaten run to seven games. To use an age old cliche, 'it was a game of two halves', with Rangers dominating much of the first half and Ampthill doing likewise in the second. Town started brightly with their passing style prominent, but it was Rangers with the first real chance as Jason Castello burst through only to shoot wide. Soon after, Alex Woodfine fired across the face of the Ampthill goal with Alfie Touceda just unable to make contact. Jack Brooker, in the Rangers goal, saved at the feet of Town's striker on 18 minutes whilst at the other end Laurence Clark latched onto a poor clearance and lofted the ball over the bar with the goal gaping. A minute later Woodfine's free-kick cleared the wall but was easy enough for the keeper. On the half hour mark Rangers deservedly took the lead following some impressive build up play. Woodfine's clever back heel set up Clark who thundered his shot into the roof of the net. Rangers then enjoyed a spell of complete control as Ampthill became ragged. Woodfine's dipping shot was well saved. Marcus Wyllie had a shot blocked from close range. Wyllie again, this time his shot was well saved low down by the post. Ampthill had a rare shot at the forty minute mark that was easy for Brooker before, a minute to the break Touceda made a good run, shooting low into the arms of the keeper.
Ampthill came out fast for the second half with Rangers looking like they were still in the dressing room. Justin Gordon made a superb tackle to deny Town as Rangers struggled to find the cohesion of the first half. Town's winger volleyed wide after ten minutes before Rangers briefly came back with Touceda nearly lobbing the keeper and then Wyllie going inches wide from a tight angle. Town shot well over the bar following a promising move as they continued to press. With 15 minutes remaining Ampthill somehow survived a scare following a goal-mouth scramble, with Rangers failing to take advantage. Next, Woodfine flicked on a free kick to Joel Read, who poked the ball agonisingly wide of a post. A minute later and Ampthill were level following a neat move and finish as Rangers failed to put in a tackle. In the closing minutes Rangers upped their game as Read went close again when the Town keeper brilliantly saved following a corner. Wyllie dribbled the ball around the Ampthill area several times without getting a shot off and Read was unlucky once more as his header was cleared off the line. It was a strong finish from Rangers but it was also too little too late!
Despite Ampthill's possession in the second half, they rarely troubled Brooker in the Rangers goal, with the home team having the better chances, and it is this inability to finish sides off that manager Mark Eaton must find the most frustrating.
Rangers Man of the Match: Joel Read. Another big performance from the skipper. Defensively sound, good distribution and a real threat at set pieces. Unlucky not to score.