The Sydney Rangers B-division football team survived a scare on the weekend against the bottom of the table team, Belmore.
Rangers B started well but were surprised by Belmore, who attacked with a verve and skill that belied their position on the table.
Belmore created many chances and only poor shooting had the score remain at 0-0 — they had several chances to score points in the first 20 minutes, but the defence applied pressure and forced their shots wide and high.
Then Rangers B struck, with good passing and using the attacking players’ speed. Team member Danny cut through the defence, while Billy also showed great skill to be ready for crosses and through balls.
The mid-field kept the pace up and the wide players got the ball into the middle. While Belmore’s attackers could not find the net, Rangers B cut their defence to shreds and slotted three quick goals thanks to Billy and Danny.
After half-time it started with more of the same, with a right-wing attack resulting in a powerful shot that rebounded off the keeper to Danny’s foot, making it 4-0.
Suddenly, the game changed and Belmore fought back. They scored at the 50-minute mark, with a cross goal shot that snuck in, a penalty in the 55th minute and a solid middle-of-the-field shot in the 70th minute that got them to 4-3.
The Rangers seemed to lift defensively. In the tense final 10 minutes, Belmore attacked relentlessly, and the Rangers chased every ball down and pressured their shot makers.
When the final whistle blew it could not have been more timely. Rangers B had almost squandered their 4-0 lead but survived the scare with a 4-3 victory keeping them in the hunt for the finals.
The Rangers B division invite everyone to watch them fight for the finals at Callan Park, Rozelle this Saturday, July 23, 1.15pm.
Meanwhile, the scene was set for another epic encounter on Saturday as Rangers A looked to avenge the disappointment of being beaten by Burwood in their past two consecutive semi-final appearances.
Rangers A settled into their passing rhythm early and won many of the 50-50 challenges, while Burwood played the long ball to their forwards with great effect. Nick scored an instinctive goal to make it 1-0 and put Rangers into a deserved lead, before the game locked at 1-1 for half time.
On a day that would see Rangers pay dearly for a number of missed opportunities, Burwood duly capitalised on some uncharacteristic defensive errors to stun the home team with two quick goals. Losing 3-1 with 20 minutes to go, Rangers showed all their fighting qualities, hitting the bar twice and creating a number of clear opportunities on goal but the ball just didn’t want to go in.
In the last few minutes, Burwood sealed a comprehensive victory with another goal against the run of play.
“Even though the result is bitterly disappointing, I cannot fault the effort from my team to try and get that elusive second goal. Lady luck clearly wasn’t on our side today but the message is clear, we must all stay focused for the full 90 minutes against quality opposition and have to take our chances when they come our way. Burwood have set the standard and I challenge my team to become better as we head into the finals,” said Rangers A coach Joseph Roppolo.
Rangers A next game is against Belmore at 3pm, Rudd Park #2, Belfield this Saturday.