Scoreline: Hall Road Rangers 2-1 Winterton Rangers
Hall Road Scorers: Joe Cooper (8 mins, 29 mins)
Winterton Scorers: Paul Grimes (3 mins)
Hall Road come from behind against Winterton to make it 10 games unbeaten
Hall Road Rangers came from behind to claim an 8th consecutive home win beating Winterton Rangers 2-1 at Haworth Park on Tuesday evening.
A rare mistake from goalkeeper Phil Dobson gifted the visitors an early lead, but a first-half brace from midfielder Joe Cooper gave Hall Road a lead going into the break.
And that’s the way the score would remain as Hall Road held out in the second-half despite an onslaught of pressure from the Winterton side.
Dave Ricardo’s side went into the game on unbeaten in 2017 and aimed to capitalise on the victory in their last game against Penistone which strengthened their position towards the summit of the NCEL Division One, with Saturday’s match at Teversal postponed.
The game began at pace for Winterton though with Jamie Richardson’s bending shot rattling the bar in just the second minute. The Rangers were let off for being caught sleeping in their early moments, but freak moment for goalkeeper Phil Dobson moments later saw his foot miss the ball, allowing Paul Grimes to walk the ball into the empty net and give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
But, Hall Road would respond; just 5 minutes later Joe Cooper headed off a shot off the bar from close range to bring the score level.
Danny Chambers then had the ball in the net for Hall Road, but the referee deemed it had come in off the striker’s hand deliberately, and was granted a yellow card.
The rest of the half wasn’t short of drama either; February player of the month Josh Batty beat the goalkeeper in the box but under pressure from the Winterton defence, shot well wide.
Ash Dexter went down in the box claiming a penalty, but the referee waved away the claims.
But Joe Cooper bagged his brace just before the half hour mark, getting on the end of a long throw-in to head the ball home at the far post.
Rangers took a lead into the break, and came back out to what would be a largely uneventful second-half.
Neither side had any real cleat cut opportunities; Winterton looked somewhat dangerous on the counter-attack, but on what was a somewhat frustrating spell, Hall Road couldn’t seem to find that final punch.
Winterton’s best chance to equalise came in 74th minute; the visitors broke downfield at pace, but after a smart ball into the box, the striker blasted way over the bar. Rangers held out for their 10th game unbeaten in all competitions.
The win sees Hall Road remain in 3rd place, but move 4 points clear of Penistone who sit in 4th. The Rangers are now just 2 points behind 2nd place Emley, but have 2 games in hand on the West Yorkshire side.
Hall Road XI: Phil Dobson, Sam Belcher, James Wihittingham, Connor Harman, Ash Dexter, James Piercy, Tom Bennett, Joe Cooper, Danny Chambers, Danny Norton, Josh Batty.
Subs: Chris Spinks (For Belcher, 35 mins), Jacob Vernon, Gareth Owens (For Cooper, 67 mins), Jack Binns, (For Josh Batty, 76 mins), Thiabault Granger.
Next up: Grimsby Borough (Saturday 11th March, Haworth Park, 3pm K.O)