St Albans Rangers sink league leaders Muswell Hill

First published in Regional

St Albans Rangers Under-11 Reds defeated top of the table Muswell Hill 2-1 in their best performance of the season.

The game started brightly with very confident passing showing the visiting team were ready for the match. Jack Kerr was dangerous up front and played a part along with Louis Shaw in the opening goal. Shaw won the ball on the left side, beat his man and crossed accurately for Oli Taits to head home at the far post for 1-0.

The midfield of David Brinkley, Amjad Choudhary and Oli Taits kept winning the ball. Oliver Ward was outstanding at left-back and William Manchester led the defence really well winning the ball regularly and clearing the danger.

Charlie Brook had a great game at right back, and goalkeeper Sam Hardie's handling was excellent.

The game was evenly balanced but the visitors had their chances and failed to capitalise on them.

The second goal came after a great move from David Brinkley and Taits on the right. Taits' cross caused havoc in the area and Shaw laid the ball on to Choudhary who thumped the ball home for 2-0.

In the second half, Sam Brooks came on down the right, Tom Scott in the centre and Rhys Frost came into the midfield. Frost showed his desire to win the ball and soon got into the action. Brooks won several free-kicks with his skill while Kerr and Shaw both had chances to extend the lead. Rangers' defence was outstanding winning most of the tackles and keeping the visitors penned in their own half.

In the last few minutes Muswell Hill broke away and pulled one back. But Rangers took control again and saw the match out with Kerr nearly scoring a third as he fired over the bar.

Ward was the stand out player for his battling performance in midfield. The victory puts them third in the table and only behind the second placed side on goals scored.

Rangers Under-9s Red faced Bushey and Oxhey for the second time this season in the Challenge Cup Second Round. Having lost 6-0 they knew it was a big ask to overcome the current third placed team in the top Under-9 division. Both teams started brightly with the mild weather helping the players and Bushey were finally rewarded with a good breakaway goal.

Taylor Rosen had to retire from the game through illness and he was replaced by Robert Chaplin who deputised well for him with some fine saves from the Bushey keeper.

Great defending from Tom Every was eventually overcome and Bushey extended their lead. Rangers tired for the last quarter and conceded a number of soft goals before the visitors matched the previous scoreline. Rangers Under-10s Blue produced a battling performance to lose by a single goal to Croxley Guild Tigers.

The game started well for the visitors, who had most of the play at the start of the first half, with Rangers looking out of sorts on a heavy pitch. The defence performed well and broke up many Croxley attacks with Rangers coming more into the game as the first half wore on, particularly through the bright Seb Pound and Jack Geldard. Rangers’ solid defence was breached however just before half-time to go in 1-0 down at the break.

St Albans emerged for the second half a different team attacking with purpose and defending well as a team marshalled by the excellent Oscar Drury. Despite numerous shots on goal, Croxley's defence stood up to the Rangers attacks and the one time they were breached, the woodwork ensured they held their slender lead.

This highly entertaining game finally ended 1-0 but Rangers were unlucky not to come away with at least a point. Star man for Rangers was Daniel Martin who broke from midfield well but also deputised for the defence when required.

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