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Wareham Rangers U12s vs Chickerell United Youth 4-2 26/10/14

posted 28 Oct 2014, 03:53 by Simon McCabe


If last week's victory over Puddletown Predators was somewhat one-sided, today's home fixture versus Chickerell United was a more evenly matched contest.  A hard fought 4-2 win for the home side was therefore well deserved and cements their lofty position in the table.


Pressing tactics and high energy tackling from both teams meant they cancelled each other out in the first quarter, though Chickerell won two corners and Rangers went close with shots from Joe and Dannon skimming the crossbar.  A good effort from Christian, who looked dangerous around the Chickerell box, hit the side-netting. It took two pieces of brilliance from the home side to break the stalemate in the 15th minute: a perfect lob from Joe took the entire Chickerell back line out of the equation, and after one bounce of the ball, Harry hit a net-rippling volley of which Gareth Bale would have been proud.  Both teams looked dangerous on the counter, and chances followed at both ends, a curling free kick from Dannon coming closest.  In the 24th minute, Chickerell equalised after Rangers failed to clear their lines, but Wareham restored their advantage on the stroke of half-time, a sweet left foot shot from Dannon emulating his success in scoring from a similar position last weekend.


Callum's introduction in place of Christian in the second half gave Rangers a different outlet, and his pace caused several alarm bells to ring in the Chickerell defence.  The opening skirmishes after the change of ends, and the skill of Chickerell's forwards, suggested that Rangers' one goal lead was unlikely to be enough, so there was relief on the touchline when Harry broke down the left and cut open the Chickerell defence with a dangerous cross which Samuel deftly converted from close range.  His mother even broke off her knitting to applaud. James's alertness came to Rangers' rescue several times as he came out to smother several dangerous opposition attacks.


Chickerell mounted plenty more in the second half but Rangers defence stayed solid.  Gabe swept up danger with the calm efficiency which has been key to Rangers' success this season, and Alfie did likewise from right back as well as later when moved to central defence.  Luke's re-introduction at right back (after a solid first half in midfield) shored up Rangers' under pressure back-line late in the game.  Ethan had an outstanding match making countless interceptions and passing out of defence to set Harry off on the marauding runs down the left which have terrorised several opposing defenders this season.  George, on at half time for Alfie, tackled well and made a crucial clearance off the line with 10 minutes to go to preserve Rangers' two goal advantage.  The importance of this intervention became clear three minutes later when Chickerell converted a penalty to make it 3-2.


A tense period followed, but Rangers kept their cool under sustained pressure and with five minutes remaining, Samuel's neat pass found Callum inside the box.  His pin-point cross enabled Harry to slot in his second of the game - a great team goal.  James was called upon to save a good shot on target in added time but, to the delight of the home fans, this was to prove Chickerell's last chance to close the deficit.


This was the sort of game, against skillful and determined opposition, which Rangers might have lost two seasons ago, such is the improvement in the team, which should take great confidence from the win.


Manager Darren Mears commented: 'It was a game of great quality from both sides with football of the highest standard that I have seen so far this season.  The defence have to take a great deal of credit for allowing our forward line and midfield the opportunity push forward and score some quite breath taking goals.  A true team performance of which the lads can be proud’.

P.S. An apology for an error in last week's match report which credited Christian with Rangers' third goal which was actually scored by Harry.  With that many goals it was difficult to keep track!

Pete Moore