Rangers can feel harshly done by after exiting the FA vase at Baffins Milton Rovers having had to play all of the second half with ten men and the last 20 minutes with just nine although the referee did try to level things up for the last ten minutes when the home side had a defender sent off for hand ball. A sign of things to come happened in the first ten minutes when Simon was surprisingly given a yellow card for what looked to us, who were no more than 10 yards away, like a fair tackle. This was to prove to be a crucial decision as when Simon committed the foul for the equailising penalty the referee, after a lengthy delay, also felt that that was also worthy of a yellow card and Simon was dismissed leaving us down to nine men. That was to prove too much of a disadvantage although it took a wicked deflection off Steve Orchards knee and the crossbar to put the home side in front before we were exposed right at the end when we were chasing the equaliser and they got their third.
Rangers took the lead on 20 minutes when Marcus Fanson was brought down on the edge of the box and up stepped Greeno with a trade mark free kick into the bottom corner. Nathan had to be at his best as Baffins surged forward and he brought of two superb saves to keep us in front but the right on the stroke of half time the controversial sending off of Beds happened. It was apparently for the use of an elbow although Beds is adamant that was not the case, it was just a clumsy shove but the referee obviously saw it differently as he was surrounded by the home team players demanding a red card, and he duly obliged. Hopefully Beds will learn not to get involved like that in the future especially as the referee had spoken to both players only seconds earlier.
Rangers came out for the second half determined to try catch the home team on the counter attack using Marcus Fanson’s pace and on the hour we should have extended our lead when Marcus broke down the right and crossed for Ashley who was only an inch away from slotting home at the back post. The penalty incident occurred just after that and the rest is history as they say.
Baffins were a very good side and their pitch held up superbly. We thank them for their hospitality and wish them all the very best in the next round as we get back to the bread and butter of League football.
Team: Whatley, Orchard, Reed, Hill, Beech, Langabeer(Matthew Fanson 82mins), Baily(Donahue 60 mins), Beddow, Marcus Fanson, Newman, Greening(Riggs80 mins).