After two weeks of wet weather and washed out games, Rangers A were happy to get back to playing football on an unseasonably warm winter’s day on Saturday.

With a place in the semi finals up for grabs, the team find themselves five points behind fourth spot with a match in hand.

They started the game against Enfield tentatively and struggled to hold the ball on the wet and chopped up pitch, finding it difficult to make their possession count

Enfield showed their intent after thirty minutes when a corner found an unmarked player on hand to coolly slot his effort straight into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Enfield.

Courageous team captain Koji Niikura sustained a horrible injury to his knee before the first half whistle, which meant his game – and possibly season – was over.

At half time the boys were asked to relax and start to enjoy playing football again.

“Everyone was aware what needed to happen and at no stage did anyone allow panic to set in,” coach Joseph Roppolo said.

“The job at hand was to score two second half goals and concede none.”

Rangers were a different team in the second half and started playing with a fluency and self-assuredness missing from the first half performance.
Dominic Gili and Riki Inamura dominated Enfield in the central midfield the whole half.

Akio Matsui also had a great game on the left with his intricate foot work creating space for the Rangers attack.

With only 10 minutes of the half gone, Rangers struck back with a wonderfully crafted team goal which came from the right wing cut back to and was expertly turned and struck a beautiful finish to level the scores.

Enfield struggled to make inroads against an excellent Rangers defence who were rarely troubled. With 15 minutes to go and Rangers piling on the pressure, the team won a corner. Nick Nuerlan sent a wonderful cross over the Enfield defence and big Dom Gili was on hand to head his trademark goal in style.

The team are now two points behind fourth spot with a game in hand and everything to play for.

Rangers A’s next game is against Marrickville at 1.15pm on Saturday 21 July at Mackey Park 2 Carrington Road, Marrickville.

The Sydney-based Rangers are Australia’s first gay soccer club.

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