Hall Road Rangers continued their pre season fixtures on Saturday afternoon in a thrilling 2-5 encounter at Haworth Park with a match against Midland League opposition Long Eaton United.
In what proved to be a warm summers day, Rangers started the game brightly and on 13 minutes Jake Veron latched on to a ball headed back across the area to put the home side in front. Celebrating their first goal in pre season friendlies Rangers lead nearly disappeared as quickly as it came with Long Eaton’s response bringing out a fine double save from Rangers keeper Jody Barford to maintain the home sides lead. With chances at both ends Rangers absorbed the pressure and a combination of good defending and saves by the keeper kept the lead in tact. On 40 minutes however a breakthrough for the visitors. A free kick from the left hand side found its way through a crowded penalty area and Long Eaton were able to snatch the equaliser that put the sides level at half time.
The second half saw Long Eaton come out of the blocks quicker and with three minutes gone another fine save by the Rangers keeper thwarted the United striker who had found his way through the defence. But this early period proved critical with 2 goals in two minutes conceded by the home side. A disputed but well taken free kick found Rangers falling behind after 50 minutes and two minutes later United’s number 10 slotted past the keeper to make it 3-1 to Long Eaton.
The home side though continued to battle and got their rewards with a well taken goal by Jamie Reeson on 55 minutes, beating the keeper from the left hand side of the area and firing the ball into the top corner. But as the second half progressed Rangers stuttered and the passing game that was so well delivered against Bridlington Town only a couple of games earlier had deserted them. In what brought some scrappy exchanges United capitalised again after 62 minutes with another break which saw the ball coolly slotted past the home keeper. Rangers who were not able to get into their stride could however count themselves unlucky to concede from a disputed penalty after 85 minutes as Long Eaton eased out to 5-2.
Rangers will now spend the week preparing for their final pre season fixture, which is at Haworth Park, 3pm on Saturday 30 July against Bottesford Town.