East Coker Rangers U9 v Bruton U9 – 19th November 2016
The Bruton team arrived aiming to reverse a loss in the game between these two sides in a league match two weeks ago. The Rangers being the only team Bruton have failed to beat so far this season!
A lively crowd of 25 energised by Sharon’s excellent Victoria sponge saw two strong, well matched teams take the field. The first half saw the Rangers kicking down the slope towards the Ashton End. The first action of any note saw Isabel Hiller-Nickels, looking comfortable in her centre forward role, hit the first shot of the game. The opening period turned out to be a tight affair, with both teams fighting strongly for every ball. The highlights of the quarter being a long shot from Rocco Sughayer and a superb goal line clearance from Jake Ashton, which kept the scoreline blank.
The first goal of the game arrived shortly after the quarter break. Some good interplay involving the whole team, created a chance for Rocco Sughayer to stroke a side footed shot low into the bottom right hand corner, giving the visiting goalkeeper no chance.
The game could have swung back into the balance shortly after, but for a fine save from Charlie Hiller-Nickels.
On the 20 minute mark a chipped pass from Oliver Frost released Rocco Sughayer to strike a fine second for him and the Rangers. To the young Bruton side’s credit they once again fought back strongly, and only a determined challenge from Emily Palmer (one of many) avoided the deficit being halved. Value of this defensive play was highlighted immediately after when a strong run and back-heeled cross by Rocco Sughayer was converted with a tidy finish by Rhys Ashton. Bruton were far from beaten though as they bravely fought back with a well-crafted goal of their own. As Rangers continued to press, Joel Trott very nearly made it four with a fine curling shot from distance, the Bruton goalkeeper acrobatically saving.
The second half kicked off with the Rangers leading 3-1 and now kicking up the slope toward the Scout hut end. Jack Marles defused a promising Bruton attack, with a solid clearance out of play. Unusually Rangers were finding themselves on the back foot, but with credit to the defenders the home goal was only threatened once when a solid shot produced a fine reaction save from the dependable Corey Groves. Strong defence from Jack Marles and good interplay between Jake and Rhys released Rocco Sughayer to unleash a curling shot from distance which just squeezed in between the scrambling keeper and the post. This opening goal was swiftly followed by a chance for a second when Rhys Ashton drilled a low pile driver which the Bruton goalkeeper saved with his feet.
The final quarter saw Jack Marles move into midfield and his impressive display continued. However it was Rocco Sughayer who ghosted through the defensive line and came out on top in a one on one with the goalkeeper.
At 5-1 down Bruton never gave up and great credit must go to them for sticking to their game plan. However, a penalty decision towards the end of the half gave Rocco Sughayer the chance to convert a penalty with a solid shot down the middle of the goal.
Two strong shots in quick succession from Corey Groves almost increased the lead and rewarded the Rangers for their first spell of sustained pressure. That said, the home keeper Charlie H-N also had two saves to make late on which he did well to keep the visitors tally to one.
This was arguably the Rangers best performance and credit must go to the players and the coaches for their continual improvement week on week. Final score 6-1 to the Rangers.
Next week sees the visit of Illminster, let’s hope the improvement continues.
Match report: Mike Frost
MOM: Rocco Sughayer