Congleton FC 2 – 3 – Hall Road Rangers
Sheer grit, determination, passion and a Chris Spinks hattrick saw Hall Road Rangers progress through to the second round proper in the FA Vase on Saturday. Surely fancied as the underdogs heading into the game Rangers knew they would be at a disadvantage after the 128-mile journey to the other side of the Peak District National Park.
As the game got underway and Congleton showed their hand in coming quick and fast at Rangers from the off their noisy supporters were delighted to see Declan Fletcher pounce on 16 minutes to put the home side in front.
Not to be deterred though and with Congleton having perhaps sat back thinking it was job done already Chris Spinks jinked through and slotted neatly past the home side keeper on 21 minutes .
With the scores level it fell to Spinks to once again race away, beat the off side trap and force the ball past the keeper to put the travellers in the lead on just 25 minutes.
With the home side crowd silenced and Rangers asserting their dominance a surprise free kick for Congleton just outside the box lead to a free head on goal for Brian Mathews. With the scores level at half time at 2-2 there was everything to play for in the second period.
With the home side crowd still silent and the travelling band of Rangers fans making all the noise end to end stuff was the tale of the second half. In goal for Rangers French keeper Thibault Granger performed well and kept a second half clean sheet. He was aided by some determined defending by Captain Danny Norton who stood tall and lead from the back.
The cherry on the top of the cake and what proved to be the winner rounded off Spinks hattrick. A free kick outside of the area resulted in a thunderbolt of a strike that beat the keeper at the near post and propelled the away side into the next round.
“I’m absolutely delighted with today” said Manager David Ricardo “we have travelled a long distance and come up against a decent Congleton side”
Rangers will now have to turn their attention back to the league when the invite Worsbrough Bridge Athletic to Haworth Park on Tuesday evening. Kick-off will be 7:45 with entry being just £5 for adults and £2.50 for children and concessions.