Rangers put up a brave fight at Bemerton Heath on Tuesday night but were made to pay for poor defending in the first ten minutes when the home team took a two goal lead, both from set pieces. After only five minutes, after Rangers had started brightly, a free kick from wide on the right avoided evryone apart from the Bemerton Heath full back who had the simplest of tasks to slide the ball home at the far post. Worse was to follow shortly after when we failed to clear a corner which, after a goalmouth scramble, found it’s way into the back of the net. Our lads thought that it was helped home by a hand and Langers and Simon found their way into the referees notebook for protesting. I trust that he used small writing because he had to find room for another seven or eight names which was amazing for a game that yielded no bad tackles whatsoever.
After the interval we changed our system and went with three up top and suddenly the game changed with Rangers gaining the upper hand, hand being the operative word as a Bemerton Heath defender pushed away a Marcus Fanson with both hands above his head, ironically this did not warrant a yellow card. Tom Beddow calmy slotted home the resultant spot kick. Rangers were now totally dominant and Isaac Reed should have brought the scores level after great work by Marcus but the keeper somehow got down to block his effort and then shortly after disaster for Rangers. Another free kick was launched into the box, it fell loose and Dom Aplin hesitated as he was not sure if the referee would have deemed Simon’s touch as a back pass so opted to kick the ball clear but it struck a Bemerton forward and looped back into the net. It looked all over then with only ten minutes remaining but great set up work by Tom allowed Marcus to shoot home from ten yards to make the score 3-2. Unfortunately there was no fairy tale ending and we now wish Bemerton all the best in the next round.
Hedley commented after the game “I have just told the lads that you cannot win games at this level if you give teams a two goal start. We were physically bigger than them at set pieces but we have not dealt with the delivery on two occasions and it has cost us the game. At 2-1 we had them on the ropes and then for them to get a freak third was sickening but we showed great spirit to get back in the game and if their keeper had not brought off two incredible saves from Frazer and Isaac earlier in the game it could have been a different story. We now face two challenges in the league with games against two of the pace setters Bodmin and Saltash.”