Tue 04
First Team
Aston Clinton
K Faulkner (26'), J Fox (73'), J Urquhart (81')
Rangers Through To Final

Rangers Through To Final

By Rob Cairney
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Holders beaten 3-0 as Risborough book their place.

Bob Rayner reports

Aston Clinton arrived at the BEP Stadium as holders of the High Wycombe Senior Cup for this semi-final of the same competition. Rangers were beaten by the holders on penalties at this stage last season and Mark Eaton's men were determined to make amends. In a sometimes feisty and hard fought game on a difficult pitch it was Rangers who were the victors this time, running out three nil winners. Rangers started brightly, creating several half chances, but it was the visitors that had the first shot on target in the 16th minute, which was an easy one for Jack Brooker in the Rangers goal. A minute later and Rangers' Sam Pekun was in on goal with Smith saving with his feet. Shortly after Ben Hammond fired over from a free kick before for Aston Clinton, Greco's run and shot was too high. Rangers enjoyed a good spell with Kyle Faulkner's cross flicked goal-ward by Brian Haule and gathered by Smith. Boro' eventually took the lead in the 26th minute . Pekun did well to feed Brian Haule who turned expertly to cross for Faulkner to score with a diving header. Soon after Hammond set Pekun away again, with the lively winger beating his marker before seeing his cross/shot deflected for a corner. Aston came back with a volleyed shot across the face of the goal from Mason-Williams before their best chance of the game; following some good work down their left the ball was crossed to Mealor at the far post and his point blank header was brilliantly saved by Brooker diving across his goal. The visitors claimed it had crossed the line but to no avail and Rangers sighed a sigh of relief. The home side quickly broke from the resultant corner and Pekun was again through with the keeper to beat, Smith denying him with another good save. The keeper was then sin binned for 10 minutes for complaining to the referee, which was no great surprise! On the stroke of half time Rangers break with Hammond again the orchestrator, this time Pekun's shot parried away by the stand-in goalie.

The second period began with a long shot straight into Brookers hands. Josh Fox then blazed into the trees at the other end after a rushed free kick. After quarter of an hour Rangers force a corner that was cleared of the line as Aston scramble the ball away. The visitors pressed for an equaliser with the home defence standing firm as the game turned a little niggly, with some needless 'handbags' and complaining to the overworked match officials. Eventually football took over precedings again as Haule's turn and shot was turned away for a corner. Then Fox ran through, shooting straight into the grateful arms of the now reinstated Smith. At the other end Brooker dealt easily with a weak shot from Collins before, in the 72nd minute Rangers put the game beyond doubt with a second. Fox raced onto a misdirected header and slammed the ball past the stranded Smith to make it two nil. Aston Clinton's last chance came with 15 minutes remaining with a free kick on the edge of the Rangers 'D' that sailed well over Brooker's crossbar. Boro' got a third four minutes later with a great move, ending with Bertie Squire-Adams and Fox combining well in the Aston area before a far post cross was headed powerfully home by Josh Urquhart. The final minutes saw Rangers enjoy themselves, controlling the game and wasting several chances. It hardly mattered though as they look forward to at least one cup final.

Not the best Risborough performance but yet another clean sheet, this time against a decent Aston Clinton side who pushed them hard for much of the game. Saturday they are at home to Woodley United looking for another all important three points. A word for the referee Gifford Manyange, who had a good night in the face of much intimidation. He kept his cool and more importantly got most of the big decisions right.

Rangers Man of the Match: Ben Hammond. Drove the team on with his energy and some superb defence splitting passes for the forwards to feed off of. Hammo is an integral part of this Rangers side.

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Match details

Match date

Tue 04, Feb 2020