Hall Road Rangers return to league action in the NCEL Premier Division on Saturday. Penistone Church are the visitors to Haworth Park, making the 150 mile round trip. Penistone arrive in East Yorkshire unbeaten in their last 6 league games. They will provide a very stern opposition for Rangers.
Bill Gill is very much looking forward to the match against Penistone. Both Hall Road and the visitors were promoted from the NCEL Division One last season along with Pontefract Collieries. He said:
Penistone like Pontefract has always been a tasty game as we all competed with each other last season and got promoted.
Penistone sit in 8th position in the league table. They are going about their stuff pretty well so far this season under the steady management of Ian Richards. Their away form has been the only sticking point though. They have lost 7 of their 13 games away from home, drawn 4 and only managed to win the other two. However, it won’t be a given that Hall Road will get the 3 points so they must be fully focused on getting the job done on Saturday. It is important that they must also not think they are guaranteed the win given Penistone’s dreadful away form.
Gill is also very complementary towards his opposition and pointed out how well they have done so far this season. He said:
What Penistone have done is they recruited very well in pre season and added further quality to their squad which has been shown recently as they are in great form.
I have a lot of respect for Ian Richards as he is very knowledgeable, always polite and respectful. It will be a good encounter.
The visitors won their last league game 4-2 at home to Parkgate last weekend. Andrew Ring grabbed a brace whilst Nathan Keightley and Kieran Ryan scored the other two goals. Those three players have scored quite a lot of goals for Penistone this season. Ryan has scored 15 league goals, Keightley has scored 12 league goals, and Ring has contributed 10 league goals of his own.
Ryan and Ring were on target for Penistone in the reverse fixture. Back in October, when the teams last met, they won 4-3. Hall Road were 2-0 up in that match as Chris Spinks got a brace. Sadly goals from Jordan Barnett and Brett Lovell as well as Kieran Ryan and Andrew Ring completed a remarkable turnaround. Fraser Hansen got a late goal for Rangers to get them back into the game but it wasn’t enough in the end.
“A Painful Drive Home” last time
Hall Road boss Bill Gill remembers that game very well. He is determined to not let his players forget the manner in which they lost at Penistone and wants them to get some revenge on their opponents on Saturday.
Last time out against Penistone we scored twice just after half time to go 2-0 up at their place only to lose out disappointingly through a lack of game management and desire. I will be reminding the lads about this on Saturday as it was a painful drive home on that occasion.
Batty Finally Returns
Rangers have a very welcome boost in the run up to this game. Josh Batty finally returns from his suspension.
Batty was forced to be out for many weeks due to the postponements of previous fixtures. Thankfully he can come back into contention for this Saturday’s game. This will add to the already buoyant mood that Hall Road are in after they got that long awaited league win at Harrogate Railway last Saturday. They also put in a valiant display in their 3-1 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday evening in their East Riding Senior Cup Quarter Final.
Gill is happy with the recent performances his players have shown in their last couple of games and wants that to continue in this weekend’s game.
The lads have raised their game in the last two outings and if we can replicate those performances and show a little more composure and quality we should do well and hopefully get some more points on the board.
Match Preview by Oliver Harsley