Hall Road Rangers put in a performance full of grit and desire as they picked up a well deserved 4-3 win at Worksop Town on Saturday which also meant they completed the double over The Tigers. The game was full of goalmouth action and Rangers had to come back from 2-0 down midway through the second half which culminated in a frantic end to the game as two penalties were awarded with one going to each side.
The first half was an even contest as both sides tried to get shots off on their opposition’s goal. Hall Road had plenty of opportunities throughout the half but were unable to go in front as they were rather wasteful in front of goal. Worksop worked their way into the game and arguably had one of the better opportunities of the half as James Hitchcock produced a good save in the Hall Road goal to deny The Tigers taking the lead after a through ball had cut open the Rangers defence. Worksop eventually did take the lead in the 38th minute when Lee Hill bundled the ball over the line after an almighty goalmouth scramble from a corner. Rangers fought back after the goal and could have levelled things up as Fraser Hansen fired a shot wide but they were unable to get the goal they deserved as they went in 1-0 down at half time.
Hall Road boss Bill Gill was disappointed with his side’s first half display and admitted that he had a big discussion with his players at half time. He said:
I thought the first half was a very disappointing display from us and we discussed this at the break and how we could change it and effect the game more in the final third.
It was a sloppy start from Rangers to the second half as they conceded a second goal in the first ten minutes of the half when Mitcham Husbands slotted home in the 55th minute to double Worksop’s lead. However, that goal sparked Hall Road to life and they started to put a large amount of pressure on the Worksop defence. Josh Batty nearly got Rangers back in the game when his header was saved by Jason Alexander but Fraser Hansen found space to produce a fine finish which made the score line 2-1 in the 61st minute. Hall Road got themselves on level terms in the 71st minute when Josh Batty got on the end of a corner taken by Chris Spinks and got himself a goal.
Gill was pleased with the way his players fought back to get themselves back into the game after going 2-0 down.
After the break we had a small spell but not the intention we normally show or are capable of. It took a second goal against the run of play to spark something from us and the last 30 minutes was an outstanding performance that demonstrated character, team spirit and quality in the final third. Not to mention defending as a team with desire and a willingness to succeed, it was a proud moment as a manager to see that come together.
The last ten minutes of the game was a frantic affair as three goals were scored during that time. Hall Road completed a fantastic turnaround in the 84th minute and took the lead as Josh Batty got his second goal of the game. That joy was very short lived though as Worksop won a penalty which was converted by Mitcham Husbands in the 86th minute to get his second goal of the game and to level the score line up yet again to 3-3.
The drama wasn’t over as Hall Road got a penalty of their own when Josh Batty was fouled in the Worksop box. Batty picked himself up and converted the penalty in the 90th minute to get himself a well deserved hat trick and also get Rangers what was a very important 3 points in their fight to stay in the NCEL Premier Division.
Three Vital Points
Gill also gave some credit to his opposition and felt Duncan Milligan was a bit harsh on his players after the game:
I thought Worksop’s manager was a little harsh on his team. I thought they competed well in the first half and faded as the game went on.
There will undoubtedly be a mood of elation in the Hall Road camp after that victory but also because of how the players performed after going 2-0 down. The spirit they showed to fight back was exemplary and if this is taken into the upcoming games Rangers have then they will have no problem in securing a second consecutive season in the NCEL Premier Division.
Gill summed up by praising the youngsters in his squad who have made the step up from the reserves into the first team in recent weeks:
We gave Charlie Birley his first start and also brought on 17 year old Reggie Waud which is very pleasing as a manager. A long way to go but definitely a step in the right direction.
Rangers are next in action on Tuesday night when they visit Liversedge in what looks to be a very winnable match but the same amount of effort and resilience must be put in if they are to pick up another crucial 3 points.
Match Report by Oliver Harsley