The good sized crowd at Edenvale Park certainly had their moneys worth on Saturday when welcomed Newton Abbot Spurs who eventually ran out 5-3 winners.
Rangers were missing Connor Bryant through and Josh Baxter, Aiden Horne, Lloyd Beech and Ben Scott who were unavailable. Jack Lewis came back into the starting line up along with new signing Ian Bellinger .
The game started with Spurs the better side and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 10 minutes when a low shot from the edge of the box beat Aaron in goal. Rangers then got back into the game and equalised after 25 minutes when Jack Lewis was on hand to drill a low shot into the net from close range.
Rangers were then on top but were denied a great chance when Joe Wilkinson was through on goal with only the keeper to beat when he was flagged offside despite the ball being headed into his path by a Spurs defender. The first half finished on a worrying note when the game was stopped following an accidental clash of heads between Cullys Sam Rawlings and Spurs Lewis Breslan. An ambulance was called which resulted in a 45 minute delay before both players were taken to hospital .
Fortunately both players were ok and we wish them both a speedy recovery . Sam Rawlings was replaced by Jack Bryant at half time. Onto the second half which mirrored the first with Spurs again starting the better side and going 2-1 up after 55 minutes when a shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection in the Rangers net . With Sam Jones playing on with a foot injury and Jack being forced into action when not fully fit it looked like we could be in for a long afternoon but we gradually gained the upper hand and drew level when Wilko latched onto a through ball by the impressive Bellinger to slot the ball under the advancing keeper after 65 minutes. 10 minutes later it was 3-2 to Rangers when Bellinger pinched the ball off ta Spurs defender and his pinpoint cross was volleyed home by Jack Lewis for his second of the match . It looked like we may go 4-2 up when Wilko outpaced the home defence before being cleaned out by a Spurs defender on the edge of the box with the Referee deeming a yellow card to be sufficient punishment . Then 5 minutes from time came the turning point . Spurs launched a long ball forward over the Rangers defence . The linesman flagged , then put his flag down as the Referee overruled his decision and the Spurs striker ran through to make it 3-3. Frustrations boiled over with Joe Wilkinson sin binned for questioning the refs decision which was followed by a red card for Jack Lewis for dissent towards the linesman . Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse captain Sam Bryant received two yellow cards and we were down to 8 men for the remainder of the game . With 5 mins to go plus injury time could Rangers hang on for a point ? The answer was no as in the 90th minute a Spurs cross was headed in with the lads outnumbered in defence . There was still time for Spurs to make it 5-3 when a superb long range chip from 40 yards beat Aaron .
Clive commented after the game “ It was so disappointing for the game to end as it did as the lads worked so hard against the odds to produce one of our best performances of the season . However, as frustrated as the lads were with some decisions its unacceptable to react the way we did and go down to 8 men even though we may think the sin binning of Joe was not justified. Good luck to Spurs for the rest of the season and we wish their injured player a speedy recovery”.
Next up we are away to Ivybridge Town this Saturday.