Slice of Cheese

Rangers Roll Past Reds

Northern Rangers claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over Clarence United at the NTCA ground. In what was a fairly dour game, the hosts took the chances that fell their way and after taking an early lead through Nick Lanau-Atkinson, they didn’t look back.

Clarence kept the Rangers on their toes but they were unable to dominate in possession and control the game as much as they probably would have liked.

Rangers pounced on the travelling side early in the first half scoring via Nick Lanau-Atkinson in the 10th minute. Atkinson recieved a ball on a difficult angle at the far post, utilised a few stepovers and belted one bottom corner which deflected off the defender and beat the diving Dyson near post.

Clarence kept the Rangers on their toes for 20 minutes, with the ball bouncing off the crossbar at one stage, whilst several follow up shots couldn’t beat Whatman, who seemed to be in control of the box. He made one massive save to deny an effort which was going to sneak in bottom right corner and the Reds really should have scored from this period of control but were very unlucky.

Just before half-time the Rangers found another goal, this time coming from Patrick Lanau-Atkinson. Atkinson receiving a through ball from the youngster William Humphery took a touch and calmly placed it into the bottom right corner for a 2-0 lead going into half-time

The second half was a quiet one with it few Rangers dominating possession but not creating much from it. There were a few chances for both teams in the opening 15 minutes of the first half but neither side could not seem to find the back of the net.

In the 76th minute and 81st minute, the Rangers introduced two new debutants to the NPL, 16-year-old Joe Macnevin and 18-year-old Matthew Collins, who have been involved with Northern Championship all year. Their effort in that competition had clearly caught the attention of Lino Sciulli, who had intimated his confidence that they were able to fill a role in the top division. Macnevin and Collins were involved with play instantly and were able to hold the nerve and play consistently for the time they were on the pitch.

In the 83rd minute, Harry Thannauser sealed the deal putting the Reds to bed. Thannauser skipped past a defender, played a through ball to Collins and he played it back to Thannhauser for him to slot it near post, making the score 3-0.

With three remaining games in the season, it will be interesting to see if Sciulli will bring any more youth talent into the first team to give them a taste of NPL football, with little else to play for at this stage and sixth place seemingly cemented. Clarence meanwhile now have just 3 more chances to avoid the indignity of a winless season.