Rangers’ better performance in front of goal handed SCC their first defeat of the season. SCC started brightly but the tempo of the game soon dropped. A few mistakes whilst in possession in midfield provided Rangers with opportunities to attack from good areas. We didn’t defend well and Rangers made the most of their opportunities, scoring 2 goals in the first 20 minutes. Frankly, we were lucky it wasn’t more. SCC improved midway through the first half, a change of formation and better commitment all round leading to control of possession and the creation of a number of good chances. Matt Hulen neatly finished the best of the them after a lovely interchange with Kimi on the edge of the box. Some other chances went begging and the Rangers’ ‘keeper made a couple of good saves to prevent parity on the scoreboard. SCC came in 1-2 down at half-time. We continued to control possession and created a number of good chances in the second half. None found the net and the Rangers’ ‘keeper made some good saves when called upon. After 60 minutes Hutch turned neatly in the box to win a pen which was well saved by the Rangers’ ‘keeper. We continued to press but didn’t make the most of our chances as Rangers held firm. Rangers scored a good goal from a corner near the end of the game to seal their win 3-1. We congratulate Rangers on their victory and thank them for the game. SCC MOTM - Ben King SCC TOTD - Matt Hulen for addressing the referee as ‘Sir’ Rangers MOTM - Mike Sharples (the goalkeeper also deserves credit) At the midway point in the season, this result leaves Rangers top of the table and SCC in second place. We know we’ll need to be at our best in the second half of the season if we are to mount a challenge for the title.
SCC at Dempsey, easily the most anticipated game of our season. For that, and where I should start, what a game. The energy that finds it's way on to the park is immense. The fun and drive to get one over the league champions is always enough to get you ready. As Paddy put it before the game, "If you can't get up for SCC, then you need to be having words with yourself". Rangers took to the field, lead by Fraser whom was absolutely outstanding at centre half along with Berdnt in the first half. They competed for everything, kept us in it and we had Adam to thank for being the safe set of hands we craved while being absent of Luca. The game started at a frantic pace, end to end and it was clear there were going to be goals in this game. Each team looking to lay down a marker with challenges being slightly mistimed - albeit little intent from both sides - as the game found its tempo. Stevie was a good 10 seconds late on the young Ben King which brought out Rob's first yellow of the day. Fair and correct. From there, SCC did control possession as they do often, however, rarely were they getting clean cut moments. Rangers on the counter forever looked dangerous through Sharples and Aaron. Fortunately for us, first blood was to Rangers. Sharples found himself through with the keeper coming at him, he kept his head, rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net from a difficult angle. 1-0 Rangers. Rangers kept on it after this, pushing on and closing SCC down. There is no question the energy levels were being sapped, but fortunately again we found Sharples, this time on the outskirts of the box where he turned provider. He floated in a beautiful ball, which found Aaron unmarked in the 6 yard box where he made no mistake. 2-0 Rangers. The focus from here was to keep it tight, look to get that third, but unfortunately for us, SCC had other ideas. With the water-break been and gone, SCC were starting to come into it. Matt pulling the strings with Ben were forever proving difficult to close down. Their ability in moving the ball and keeping the opposition moving is credit to them. Young Ben is ahead of his years and great to see him alongside a stalwart in Matt. That said, it's an absolutely nightmare playing against them, but always great fun. The goal was the work of Matt, playing a one two and picking his spot from outside the box. Adam got a hand to it, but it was not quite enough and it brought it to 2-1. Half time came, a much needed break for both sides as they regrouped to go again. Rangers made a single change to bring Dan on for Berdnt and we went to it again. The second half tempo slowed a bit, there was no question SCC came out the blocks a little sharper than Rangers. This resulted in Hutch rolling Dan extremely well in the box leaving him no option to go for the last chance saloon to try get a touch on the ball. Sadly, it did not work out and fair play to Hutch, he used his body well to get the peno that again was the correct call by Rob. Hutch himself stepped up, placing the penalty to his right and keepers left. Adam guessed correctly, making a solid connection with the ball and kept the score at 2-1. Lucky escape for Rangers. With both central mids for Rangers on yellows, we changed it up again. This time, Ryland came on for Stevie, pushing Paddy in central alongside Nathan. It was a change at the right time for Rangers, with Ryland's pace and Paddy being able to add more competitive edge to the middle of the park. The game was swinging end to end. SCC hit the bar and Hutch did have the chance 6 yards out with a free header. Adam made several outstanding saves and no question, we rode our luck. That is reality against SCC, you do need some of that to go your way. Considering 8 of the 11 were north of 30, plus we don't train in the week together, Rangers held it together well. Experience kept us in the game and we knew with Sharples up top, we had a goal in us. The moment arrived.. getting into the last 10 mins, the ball broke at the edge of the SCC box. Sharples picked it up, went past one and scooped a beautiful shot into the top forner. (It's on Facebook - go take a look). The celebrations spoke a thousand words. We came, we gave everything and we now got what we came for. 3-1 and game over. From there, the game settled out. A few heated exchanges on the touchline which were mild moments of handbags. For sure we are a mouthy bunch, no question, but after the game, we will shake hands. SCC captain had other ideas - so that is on him, but certainly not leading by example with several young guys coming into that squad. Leave it on the park, it was a great game and for sure, not the result you wanted, but don't let yourself down. I want to take a moment here to take the focus away from the teams and give some credit to Rob. The guy gave up his afternoon to allow us to go toe to toe and I feel he got the big decisions right. The peno to SCC was a given, the yellow cards to Stevie and Nate were equally fair and he let Matt go with a few shaky ones on consistent fouling. Aspects of people not shaking his hand, it is obviously personal choice. I think any neutral watching would say he made the big calls right. Personally, I would never want to be the man in the middle of these games, but equally, I respect those who do it as it is not pleasant, there is little glory and yet without them, we wouldn't get to enjoy the game we do. Thanks to SCC, we loved Dempsey and this time the luck rolled our way. Looking forward to the return fixture in 2019. Cheers, Steve