26th Novemeber 2016
The Rangers continued their march into the Cup Semi-finals with another fine team performance on a chilly Morning at East Coker Rec. The Rangers are making a habit of winning in matches where the early exchanges suggest the game could be won by either side. This contest was no exception, as Ilminster showed good intent and probably shaded the early exchanges requiring Emily Palmer to show just how well she can defend. The East Coker team broke forward only twice in the first half with Rhys Ashton narrowly missing with what could well have been the first headed goal of the season and Jake Ashton missing with a well struck shot which just missed to the left of the Ilminster goal. Jack Marles showed again why other teams are finding it difficult to score against this Rangers team, his positional play and reading of the game coupled with excellent tackling technique prove a formidable barrier, meaning other players can commit forward knowing “Jack is back”.
The second quarter was an example of how The Rangers are able to put spells of superb football together, with passing and skills that other teams are finding it very hard to contain. The first goal of the morning came courtesy of Rocco Sughayer who followed in sharply after a corner to bury a right footed shot. The second goal followed swiftly as some good skill down the right wing was followed by an Oliver Frost cross in to the centre, after a couple of ricochets the ball fell to Isabel Hillier-Nickels who made no mistake. Rocco Sughayer increased the lead to three with a nicely taken right footed shot. An incredible bit of skill from Rocco Sughayer involving a back heel, a “Maradona”, a perfectly weighted cross and a volley by Jake Ashton almost sealed the first prize in the goal of season comp, but it wasn’t quite to be. However, the next goal did not take long to come as a sweetly struck right footed free-kick from Rocco Sughayer found its way around the defensive wall and into the net.
The third quarter saw the team try a few different combinations. The changes didn’t seem to unsettle the young Rangers too much, but Jake Ashton was required to show excellent defensive concentration to stop Ilminster from pulling a goal back. Having kept a clean sheet playing in goal for the first half, Corey Groves was keen to affect the score line at the other end during the second half, his first chance came from an Oliver Frost cross which he steered just past the left hand post. Corey had to wait a little bit longer for his turn as the star attraction, as Rocco Sughayer played a perfect pass to Rhys Ashton to fire home to make it 5 – 0. Having taken over goalkeeping duties Emily Palmer showed great agility at her left hand post again stopping Ilminster from registering on the score sheet.
The final quarter saw Jack Marles head further up-field in an attempt to add to the score-line, on another day he could have left the field with a hat-trick but on this occasion the ball just would not cross the line, a combination of blocks, saves and the woodwork stopping the ball from crossing the line. The next moment of note came as a miss-timed tackle in the Rangers’ area gave Ilminster a chance for a consolation goal from the penalty spot. However, Emily Palmer had other ideas and promptly saved a solidly struck penalty. From that point on the game became the “Corey Groves show”. His first goal came when he converted a nice pass with a side foot, first time shot. His second came when he was quickest to react to post-corner scramble and his hat-trick was complete two minutes later as he made the final score 8-0.
The team now progress into a semi-final next week against Bruton. Good luck Rangers!
Match Report: Mike Frost
MOM: Emily Palmer