Hall Road Rangers rounded off their season in style on Monday night as they extracted revenge over their neighbours Westella VIP. With all 11 players on the pitch for this full fixture Rangers competed with Westella in every department. Callum Harrison powered through on goal on 24 minutes to give Rangers a deserved lead. Andy Harrison made the first of two off the line clearances shortly afterwards to keep Ranger’s lead in tact and Callum Harrison doubled Ranger’s first half lead on 39 minutes with a towering header from a corner.
Renewed and invigorated after their half time team talk by Manager Leon Sewell Westella came at Rangers from the off. Adjudged to have handled in the box, Mike Thompson gave Westella the first of two penalties on 61 minutes. Alex Wood scored from the spot to make it 2-1 and again six minutes later when the referee adjudged Adam Foster to have fouled in the box.
At 2-2 Rangers didn’t give in or lament their harsh treatment at the hands of the referee. When Chris Short was shown his second yellow card for a rash tackle on Danny Walker Westella saw themselves reduced to 10 men. Making the man advantage count it was for Tom Bennett to cue the goal celebrations as his short from range wriggled and bobbled over the hands of Westella keeper Nathan Otley and into the net.
After the game Manager Martin Thacker was delighted with his side’s final performance of the 2015/2016 season. “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped the first team this year it’s been a real struggle at times with lots of up and downs.”
“We as a team couldn’t find any consistency and with a tough start playing all midweeks away the results just didn’t come.”
“Players been unavailable has really hurt us, tell me if I’m wrong but I’m not sure if we fielded the same 11 back to back all season?”
“We struggled to get points at our new ground Haworth Park, hopefully that will improve while maintaining our away form I can only see Hall Road Rangers going from strength to strength.”
“A massive thank you to Alan Chaplin and Lee Myers for all their help in the changing room on match days, the committee who help all year round with the ground, fundraising etc.
“Thank you to the chairman Darren Sunley who has been instrumental in the move from Dene Park. Thank the lads parents and family’s and the fans that have started following us this season without you coming through the gate it would be impossible to exist as a club.”
“Biggest thanks goes to all the players who have stuck with me all season, your attitude ( when available ) has been brilliant, yes losing 9-2 away from home isn’t acceptable but nobody chucked it in and we somehow stayed together and come out the other end fighting and that shows great character in a man and a player, it would have been easier to leave the club but most players stayed around rolled their sleeves up and did the club proud.”
“Last night’s game, I thought we were the better team. First half we took the couple of chances we created. We defended well enough to limit Westella to a few half chances so 2-0 at half time I couldn’t have been happier. 2nd half came and some horrendous referring decisions gave Westella 2 penalties which they scored and turned the game on its head.”
“credit to Westella they are a threat but for us to keep them out in open play says a lot about how far we have come. And obviously Tom popped up at the end and gets us the winning goal which on the night we might of deserved but the save from Jordan and a couple off the line didn’t go unnoticed.”
“Great season by Westella so congratulations to them for that.”
My thanks also go out to my assistants. Thank you to Paul Wilson for all the coaching he has done this year it’s been brilliant from session 1 in pre-season. His experience at this level has been invaluable to me.”
“Thank you to Karl Atkin who has been by my side all season. It took a lot for him to leave his own club at AFC Rovers but I’m sure it was the right thing for him to do. He will keep learning at this level and be an even greater asset next season.” “Thanks also to Andrew Watts our Reserve Manager, we didn’t get off on the right foot but he’s been a massive help to both me and the football club, he helps anywhere possible even as a player for 30 seconds to waste time”.
Rangers will now be looking to improve their home Ground at Haworth Park and as always are looking for partners and sponsors willing to give their time and financial backing to a club with a bright future.