Rangers made the short journey to Exmouth for their Boxing Day derby against second placed Exmouth having been rocked by two late withdrawls when Bailo and new signing Jordan had to pull out which meant we were down to a squad of 14 with Hilly and Beds on the bench.
For the first twenty minutes it was certainly backs against the wall stuff for Rangers as the home team completely dominated proceedings and were indebted to Seedhouse for three excellent saves. We then lost our skipper Beechy with what looks like a serious knee injury so upped stepped Simon. The loss of Beechy seemed to galvanise the team and we managed to come more into the game with the midfield of Lewis, Greeno and Langers getting some control and half time came without any further scares.
The second half was soon to become a bad tempered affair with the referee struggling to keep a lid on things. Then after 50 minutes Rhys Parsons had to be replaced after picking up a knock after a poor Exmouth tackle which only warranted a yellow card. His replacement Tom Beddow then went into a tackle which in the eyes of the ref warranted a straight red card, which in the light of his previous decision seemed harsh. But to be fair to the lads they accepted the decision but realised that they now had a mountain to climb with 40 minutes of the game still remaining. But they dug in and every one of the lads put a real shift in and to their credit they protected Adam in the Rangers goal to such a degree that the home team were unable to muster a meaningful shot on target for the remainder of the game as Hilly and Ansell kept tabs on the formidable strike force of High and Harris. Then with the seconds running out the tireless Brandon Parsons released Ash Donahue and he beat the keeper with a right footed drive from the edge of the box, yes I did say his “right” foot and Rangers were in front and an upset was most definitely on the cards. It just remained for the lads to see out the last few minutes which they did without any further worries to record a memorable victory against one of the title favourites,
Liam was rightly proud of his players. “We were very slow out of the blocks but they confused us with the way they set up to play against us so after the injury to Beechy we changed thing around and I thought we then had more control of the game. We had a few lads carrying injuries at the end but honestly I could not have been more proud of the players for the effort they put in when down to ten men. I even heard and Exmouth fan say “You would have thought we had the ten men.” That is indeed a testimony to the team but we now have to dust ourselves down and hopefully rest up a bit before we travel to the new team now occupying second place, Tavistock.”
Team: Seedhouse-Evans, Mitchell, Beech(Hill 15mins), Reed, Langabeer, Greening, White, Donohue, Parsons R(Beddow 15 mins), Parsons B, Ansell.