Hello Everyone, Skol - the viking clap. Rangers indeed celebrated this with a victory against a very strong Vikings side. Credit to them as definitely the strongest side we have come up against this season so far. Rangers have made a stuttering start to the new seaons, through no lack of desire, but it just has either been we lacked the ability of a clean sheet or not taking our chances on the other end. On Saturday, Sharples called on the Vets to shore up the backline. Stevo came in alongside Frando, a match made in hell. Catholic and Protestant, but despite their differences, they made a heaven out of hell while establishing a backbone that supported the spine of the Rangers team. We had Rob on right - playing with injury and was outstanding - along with Hiro who was out of his sick bed to make it for us - massive thanks to both. There was a calmness throughout the side, keeping shape and not wasting needless energy. Neil and Nathan complimented one another very well. No question Neil is coming into his own, sitting and dictating play when given the opportunity. Game by game he improves and the team does with him when you add the stable heads around. The actual game in the first off was not much of clean cut chances, both teams were not so cutting edge in the last third, but Vikings ball retention was certainly better than Rangers. Too often the ball was coming back on Rangers as they struggled to get a proper grasp of the game. That said, as the game progressed, this improved. The first half went to half time at 0-0 and both teams would agree that was a fair result. Rangers had a very strong bench on Saturday. Both Jordy and Richie were nursing injuries. Siva, Ousby and young Pat were there to make real impacts from the bench in the second half. The second half started not dis-similar to the first. Few chances, but Vikings did get the first real chance of the game being one on one with Adam only for the later to provide an outstanding stop to prevent Vikings taking the lead. This sparked Rangers into life, realising we had to get some form of foothold, with better ball retention and getting service to Sharples and Aaron to drive at there defence. The man himself, Michael "Ronnie" Sharples, picked the ball up on the left. Now, you know how this is going to end, but I am taking you through it second by second. So, he picks it up and btw, did you know Vikings had signed both Phil & Grant Mitchell at central defence? I keep getting distracted, but we all know both ain't shy of common assault. Back to "Ronnie" Sharples, btw, Ronnie refers to Ronaldo - he recently covered 94m in like 10 seconds in the Napoli vs Juve game - our own Sharpy was absolute lightning on Sat for this effort. Ok, so back to Ronnie - actually, I will just call him Sharples, that way everyone knows. So Sharples gets the ball, cuts in from the left and Phil Mitchell went to grab his shirt and take him out. The momentum of Sharples pace was just alarming, nobody was keeping anywhere near him. He shrugged it off, continued down the line before cutting in to get on that lethal right foot. He beat another man, before finding himself close to edge of box before sliding it to the GK's right and making it 1-0 Rangers. Step fwd Michael "Ronnie" Sharples and take a bow, that was sensational. After the goal, Rangers with their subs all on, were still strong with Richie adding legs to the middle of the park and Jordy bringing composure to the right side. Jordy claimed his stats were poor on Sat, but his presence and calmness at the key moments were always pivotal. Considering he has been played in 3 positions in 3 games, not easy for anyone, he has stepped up with an injury to help the team out - similar to Richie - so credit lads for doing so, massive respect from the lads to you both for making it happen. Ousby on at centre half and Pat out left mid also made a difference. Ousby just being an absolute wall and Pat being ahead of his years as he settles into the team - great to have him and looking fwd to seeing more of him in Rangers colours. The game was on the edge for a while and Rangers did get pinned back. Vikings were launching balls into the box, where their number 10 was forever a menace. Always making his presence felt and causing trouble for the Rangers backline. Rangers weather the storm well before breaking to release our man Sharples again. He tucked away number 2, made it 2-0 Rangers and let us breath a sigh of relief as 3 points now looked on it's way. Credit to Vikings, what a game and what a team. Good bunch of lads and a game we very much enjoyed being part of. Good luck for the season ahead and thanks for the game on Saturday. To get over defeat, feel free to head down Sarnies and Pickleville for brekkie / lunch, quote "TGA Rangers" for 10% off. Enjoy boys. Cheers, Dean
Well, to say that we were undone by two moments of wizardry from last years golden boot winner just about sums up this game. Both teams were competitive throughout the encounter and we were somewhat frustrated not to have taken something from the game. Vikings had a number of chances to take the lead but unfortunately did not do so because of either wayward finishing or good defensive work. With the scores level at the break it felt like only a matter of time before we would carve open something and get the goal that some of our play deserved. Rangers had other ideas as they changed their formation around and this allowed them to take more possession in the middle of the park. Sharples was pushed higher and wider up in the hope that his pace would trouble a tiring back-line. Meli continued to pose all sorts of problems for the Rangers defence as he aimed to get on the end of some of Domino's pinpoint passes. The second water break came around with both teams still locked at 0-0. Within a few minutes of the restart the ball arrived at the feet of Sharples deep on the left and..........read Rangers report for conclusion. Vikings tried hard to get and an equaliser and pressed forward in numbers. Just before Rangers got their match winning second, Magnus headed painfully wide when inside the six yard box. Rangers were 2-0 to the good and with only minutes to see out did so with relative ease. Vikings had played their part in a game which was a good advert for the Cosmo League but that is scant reward for the effort the team had displayed. Congratulations and best wishes for the season to Rangers and we look forward to having another go at you later in the campaign. Next week sees us take on Casuals and we will need to work extremely hard to get our season back on track. Question: Been wondering why the distance an opposing player needs to stand from the defending wall when a free-kick is given is measured in metres when all other measurements on the pitch are in yards (1 metre = 1.09361 yards)? Answers please!