Sydney Rangers Football Club have gone down to Strathfield B in a preliminary final of Sydney’s winter weekend league.
Conditions were extremely difficult at Roselands on Saturday with the strong cross field wind preventing the fluid passing game Rangers had come to expect.
Both sides struggled to find a cutting edge in the final third of the field but the Rangers were first to settle to the conditions and created a number of good chances.
As expected, the match was a physical encounter and the referee booked players from both teams with yellow cards.
The deadlock was broken after 35 minutes when Nick Nuerlan received the ball down the right channel and blasted a superb shot past the hapless Strathfield keeper.
Rangers would go on to finish the half in the ascendancy having dominated a tired and sluggish looking Strathfield team.
After 15 minutes in the second half, a cross from the right-hand side across the Rangers defence had players scrambling to throw themselves in the way but the Strathfield forward found the space and time to score.
The referee booked towering midfielder Dominic Gili for a second yellow card and Rangers coach Joseph Roppolo was also sent from the field for questioning the decision.
With five minutes remaining, a shot from a Strathfield striker took an unfortunate deflection off a Ranger defender and under helpless keeper Ben Bagshaw.
“Today wasn’t meant to be our day especially with the referee going against us for what appeared to be a clean challenge and needless sending off,” Roppolo said.
“We may have lost but I am still so proud of my boys for giving everything they had left in the tank.
“Even though we aren’t in the grand final I think it has been a successful season and we will come back stronger and hungrier next year.”
Rangers A will be hosting a summer competition on Wednesday nights during September and October.
INFO: Contact Gavin Mears at [email protected]