The Sydney Rangers Football Club’s first team showed fighting spirit over two double headers this weekend, claiming another vital four points as the race for semi-finals football enters its final month. On Saturday’s game against Belmore Hercules, the Rangers took an early lead after a colossal throw into the box by Bobby Chasse was met by a towering header from Bruce Nagle straight into the back of the net.
Belmore found a lifeline just after half time when a lucky deflection gave their player a clear run on the goal. With the clock ticking down and knowing only a win would be good enough, Rangers turned the screws and piled forward in search of the match winner. With fifteen minutes remaining and from 40 yards out, only man of the match Paul Flynn will truly know if his looping speculative effort was a shot or a cross which he hit high into the winter sun.
The Belmore keeper could only flap and watch as the ball hit the back of the net before he was able to scoop it out of the goal. The referee and linesman agreed the ball had crossed the line and Rangers took an unassailable lead which landed them a convincing 2-1 win.
With tired legs and weary heads, Sunday saw Rangers face their in-form arch nemesis Burwood, who had firmly established themselves in the second position on the ladder.
The game started well for Rangers with some good wing play resulting in a couple of one on one efforts, but the Burwood keeper was equal to the task.
Burwood’s quickly breaking midfield showed a ruthlessness lacking from Rangers game and Burwood ended the first half in the lead. Early in the second half they quickly doubled this advantage after a superb shot went in from outside the box.
With twenty minutes left, Dom Gili was moved into the central midfield to add his superb aerial ability with a steely physical presence and allow Captain Koji Niikura to move up front. The switch seemed to change the momentum of the game, with Rangers playing an attacking formation. After good play from Akio Matsui, Koji sent a superb high ball over the Burwood keeper and into the goal with ten minutes left on the clock.
Rangers piled forward in search of an unlikely equaliser and it was Paul Flynn who showed unbelievable pace and technique to beat the Burwood defender before sending a low, left-footed screamer off the post and into the goal. Paul’s equalising goal sent the team and sideline into a state of delirium earning him another well-deserved man of the match honour, finishing the game with an even 2-2 draw.
“I am so proud of my boys, who showed me how much they care about this club and each other. This match will be remembered long after it was played and is another amazing chapter in our rivalry with Burwood,” said Coach Joseph Roppolo.
“Credit must go to all of the players for never giving up and fighting until the final whistle. The job is only half done with our next game against Strathfield A absolutely pivotal to our objective of semi-finals football. Well done boys and to all of our great supporters who cheered all game.”
Rangers A’s next game is against Strathfield A at 1:15pm on Saturday July 7 at Strathfield Park #1, Strathfield. They also play Balmain B from 3pm on Sunday July 8 at Callan Park, Rozelle.