Team: Bulmer, Parmenter, Waters, Ehmer, Bailey, Olley, Sutherland, Bewick, Cox, Fernandez, Nanetti.
Subs: Perring, Mirzai, Graham, Abdellah, Molloy.
As I took the 140 bus from South Harrow, I really did wonder whether there was much chance of the game being played. The heavy rain was to continue through to the early stages of the match. It got off to a lively start and after ten minutes, Niki-Lee Bulmer was forced into an excellent save, palming the ball out for a corner. It was the R’s who took the lead around eighteen minutes into the game. Aaron Waters took a throw-in and Christian Nanetti then crossed the ball low and into the box where Danny Fernandez converted from close range.
Nanetti was fouled just outside the box, receiving a mouthful of mud in the process ! Frankie Sutherland stepped up and his free kick dipped just over the bar. Luke Olley had a shot cleared off the line and although Rangers were much the better side, Bulmer made another great save to deny the visitors an equaliser. Half-time: 1-0
Elliott Cox scored the R’s second following a great cross from Nanetti on the left wing. His side-footed half volley gave their keeper no chance. A good ball from Sutherland was well controlled by Fernandez who then shot just wide. One of their players was red carded for a challenge on Nanetti. We weren’t sure if it was a straight red or not but the referee had no hesitation sending the culprit off. More good work from Nanetti followed when he held on to the ball well before heading off down the bye-line and crossed low for Fernandez to hammer the ball at the keeper who could only put it out for a corner.
An Orient player was yellow carded for a heavy challenge on Sam Bewick and ‘Reggie’ Perring then replaced him. There was one more change when Steve Gallen brought on Hicham Abdellah for the very impressive Christian Nanetti. Abdellah is from Shepherds Bush who only a few months ago was playing park football for North Kensington and was then catapulted on to our television screens when he featured in that recent Sky One TV show. With Rangers seemingly fairly comfortable, the referee awarded the visitors a penalty which was presumably for hand-ball ? It has to be said that it was a poor effort and Bulmer easily made the save.
It was a well deserved win and all in all a very good game in the circumstances. As we trudged off through the mud avoiding the puddles, Alan and Robbie must of been well on their way to Middlesbrough. The depleted Saturday Morning Mob also included Clive Kingham plus Pat and Tom Harrison.