- Result: 4 -4
- Scorers: Mamady (2), Seby, Shakeel
- Squad: Max McInnes, Raphael Majumdar, Luca Wallace, Zac Shield, Bora Sezer, Xavi Majumdar, Akeem Squire, Freddie Bannister, Seby Longridge (1 goal), Shakeel Niles (1 goal), Mamady Sesay (2 goals)
Match Report “Clapham Comeback”
Wow, what a nerve-racking game that was!
Returning home to face Pioneer FC, Rangers were without the stalwart Ollie, super-fast Monty and hard-core Max (despite making a last minute appearance) due to school commitments. The squad had proven resilient enough in the past to take on the challenge without two key players however, this opposition did not compare with Brixistane. Pioneer were well organised at the back and dangerous on the counter attack proving a challenge for Rangers in defence.
Starting up front was Mamady, Akeem on the right and Shakeel on the left with Seby captaining the team for the first time in CM. In defense Zac on the left and Luca on the right with Raphael in goal. The opening 5 minutes saw Rangers really struggle when defending against the long ball, which allowed Pioneer to attack in numbers on a greasy cut-up pitch.
Pioneer GOAL 1:0 (6mins)
Not clearing the line Pioneer expose Raphael by slotting in the first.
Pioneer GOAL 2:0 (7mins)
It was not long before a second screamed past Raphael again due to a lack of decisiveness with Luca struggling clear the line.
Somewhat shocked by the first two goals Rangers did try to counter but our defense were caught in possession again.
Pioneer GOAL 3:0 (8mins)
This one gave Raphael no chance. Three goals down in 8 mins what a shocker!
Rangers could have easily dropped their heads but the talent up front surely had to shine at some point. Rangers started to take control with Zac making some stronger clearances and Seby distributing well in midfield. Mamaday finally receives the ball and accelerating into the box finds himself one on one the goalie.
Rangers GOAL 3:1 (11mins) Mamady
Mamady shoots to the goalie’s left and scores.
This was a real lift for Rangers with Seby keen to push the team forward yet again to reduce the deficit before half time. Akeem and Shakeel making some stronger runs down the wings gave Rangers some width allowing Mamady the space that he was accustomed to on normal sized pitches. Mamady swings a ball in towards a melee of Pioneer players in the box. The ball rebounds off the goalie giving Seby the chance to pounce on it.
Rangers GOAL 3:2 (16mins) Seby
Seby facing an open goal slots it in calmly giving Rangers just what they needed before half time. The second half saw Rangers continue their domination in the midfield and down the wings. Bora on for Shakeel made some strong runs down the left and Freddie on for Luca stood his ground well in defense. With 5mins to go Rangers pushed hard with some tireless runs and a number of crosses. Both Seby and Shakeel came close just missing either side of the post. The equaliser had to come. Strong play again in midfield gave quick ball to Mamady. Facing the opposition head on you could see Pioneer’s defense fear the inevitable.
Rangers GOAL 3:3 (35mins) Mamady
Mamady intimidating the opposition dribbles past three players and easily beats the goalie. Rangers jump for joy after working so hard to get themselves back in the game with a chance to win. With all to play for Akeem mistakenly throws the ball back towards defense only for it not to be cleared in time, giving Pioneer the opportunity to attack.
Pioneer GOAL 4:3 (39mins)
Oh no, Pioneer get one back with only one minute left to play!
Game on as they say. Rangers were not going to let this game go especially given their dominance in the second half. Rangers attack from the kick-off with Seby releasing Mamady only for their defence to block a last ditch effort. 20 seconds to go Shakeel receives the ball from a rebound outside of the box, he sizes it up, recoils his boot and fires a Shakeel special towards goal.
Rangers GOAL 4:4 (39mins) Shakeel
The roar from the kids even deafens the parents cry for joy. Shakeel saves the day.
Standing next to the opposing coach, I see him drop to his knees in despair. Head in hands he roles on to his back and stairs up into the sky in disbelief! Sorry mate, better luck next time I say in a smug voice.
Well done Rangers. What a comeback. Got to work on defence though.
Ollie we need you back mate.