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WAREHAM RANGERS U13s vs MELCOMBE REGIS: 1-6 (League Cup, 27 September 2015)

posted 30 Sep 2015, 02:01 by Simon McCabe

Dashed Hopes 

On a very bright but breezy afternoon, Wareham Rangers U13s kicked off their League Cup campaign at Wareham Middle School against Division 1 outfit Melcombe Regis.  Ten seconds later, they were back at the centre circle, having conceded a goal following infeasibly optimistic back passing.  The team immediately got a grip, and fought their way back into the game, equalising through an own goal set up by Christian.  For ten minutes or so, Rangers continued to look the equal of Melcombe; Christian continued to cause Melcombe problems, surging past three defenders on one run before his shot hit the side netting.  Managers' and supporters' hopes were high of an upset.

However, it was not to be and the Melcombe defence started doubling up on Christian, leaving him an increasingly isolated and frustrated figure up front.  Wareham's midfield was being overrun and the defence's normal calmness under pressure disappeared.  James made a series of dramatic stops, one in particular from a point blank header.  Melcombe began to play some attractive football, spending long periods in Rangers' half.  A well-worked goal by Melcombe was followed by Rangers failing to clear a goal mouth scramble resulting in a further goal.  A Melcombe penalty, which James got a hand to, made the half-time score 4-1 to the visitors. 

A 'friendly managerial chat' at half time had some effect as Rangers returned to the second half with more vigour and limited the Melcombe attack to only two more goals, both of which were at least well-worked.  Indeed, for the last ten minutes, a switch appeared to have been thrown through the Wareham team who suddenly started to contest the ball again and mount the swift counter-attacks down the left flank that had characterised their purple patch in the first half.  Despite Rangers' improvement, Melcombe still continued to threaten, forcing another great save by James in which he tipped a fierce drive against the bar.  The game ended with a 6-1 defeat. 

Manager Darren Mears commented “After recent success and flying high in the league, today's cup match against Div 1 side Melcombe Regis saw us return to Earth with a bang. Too many individual mistakes and a lackluster display meant that Melcombe didn't have to try too hard to make the journey from Weymouth worthwhile.  The important aspect is to learn from this defeat and ensure that the complacency shown today is a one off as the lads have had a great start to the season”. 

Jol Mitchell