HALL Road Rangers moved to within a point of the top two of the NCEL First Division with a five-star display at a rugged Glasshoughton Welfare.
After Chris Spinks rolled home his 22nd goal of the season from the penalty spot the first hour was largely even, until second half goals from Joe Cooper and Jake Vernon made certain of the points before James Piercy and Gareth Owen scored in added time.
With Rangers boss Dave Ricardo setting a target of eleven maximum point hauls from their remaining seventeen fixtures for automatic promotion Rangers set about their task in a professional, and workmanlike fashion.
The only effort of real note saw Rangers stopper Phil Dobson have to save smartly from close range, before Hall Road were denied a penalty on 17 when Tom Bennett was bundled over when through on goal. It was four minutes later when Bennett was again hauled down in the penalty area. Following a lengthy delay due to medical treatment been required to Glasshoughton’s goal-keeper, Spinks maintained his concentration to power home from the penalty spot, sending his opposite number the wrong way. The game was an even contest, and the all-important next goal would prove decisive. Glasshoughton started the second half the better of the sides, but when Joe Cooper nodded home with 23 minutes remaining Hall Road began to motor through the gears on a heavy pitch. With the hosts frustrated they began to lose their discipline as a late challenge of James Whittingham angered the Rangers dugout.
It was on 77 minutes when the game was laid to rest with a vintage counter-attack. After the ball was worked out to Danny Norton on the right flank the in-form winger found Jake Vernon who with only the keeper to beat made no mistake with a rocket finish into the bottom left corner. Norton was again instrumental in Hall Road’s fourth when a mazy run saw him play in James Piercy who prodded home in added time. There was still time after the restart for second half substitute Gareth Owen to record a fifth goal to further boost growing hopes that Hall Road can muscle in amongst the top two in the division.
The win sees Dave Ricardo’s men move to within a point of Penistone Church in second, who lost at leaders AFC Emley
01 – Tom Bennet rises highest
02 – Chris Spinks has a shot
03 – Jacob Vernon on the ball
04 – Captain Ash Dexter has a shot
05 – Danny Norton on the ball.