Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Doughty, O’Donnell, Olley, Bewick, Sutherland, Sharif, Adam Francis, Andrade.
Subs: McDonnell, White, Graham, Brown, Henry-Francis.
There was an Official from the FAI in attendance and earlier in the week, Frankie Sutherland had been named in the Republic of Ireland’s U18 squad for the forthcoming International Tournament in the Czech Republic later this month. Incidentally, R’s fan Garry Coady, is also travelling there with the squad as the Kit Man. I saw 17-year-old Mo Sharif a few times pre-season whilst he was on trial from Slough and he’s now secured a one-year contract. They won’t receive a fee for him, but apparently Rangers have agreed to play them in a friendly sometime.
The rain eventually receded and the latter stages of the match actually saw the welcome arrival of some sunshine, and……there was not even a strong wind blowing across the Training Ground. With Barnsey heading up the motorway, the Saturday Morning Crew formed up which also included Robbie, Sean, Roger, Clive senior and later, Pat and Tom Harrison.
Our first real effort of note came when Frankie Sutherland cut in from the left and shot low at goal, which then hit a defender and somehow narrowly missed the far post. Michael Doughty’s free-kick brought out an outstanding save from their keeper as he went down to his left. However, he couldn’t stop Doughty’s next effort which he belted from the edge of the box to put the R’s into the lead. It was the first time that I had seen Gareth Deane, our Northern Irish keeper, and he was tested when a powerful shot skidded towards him, but he was equal to it and easily clung on to a very wet ball.
Rob Bennett was soon on his toes to retrieve a ball and sped off in the direction of the clump of trees behind the goal. With the aid of a very long stick, he managed to dislodge it and this was acknowledged with a short round of applause. There was some lovely play by Mo Sharif in midfield and a nice touch to Bruno Andrade saw him fire his shot straight at the keeper. Rangers were the better side and doubled their lead when Harriman threw the ball to Doughty who then shot at goal and Adam Francis was well placed to follow up from close range, a striker’s goal as they say. Half-time 2-0.
A Peterborough player was booked after he had fouled Bruno Andrade. The R’s took a while to get going and it was the visitors who went close when a shot along the ground hit the post and then went out for a corner. Rangers got into their stride once again and Sharif brought out another good save from their keeper who stopped the ball with his legs. Then Andrade broke through from the left, swivelled, pulled the trigger and their stopper made another very good save.
At the other end, a Peterborough player headed the ball into the net, but it was given offside. Luke Olley was booked and the free kick from just outside the area was saved comfortably by Deane. Steve Gallen took off Mo Sharif and on came ‘Bags’ Graham. Soon after, Adam Francis was replaced by Marcel Henry-Francis. Graham thumped a shot at the keeper who managed to palm it away from his face. Final score: 2-0.
I was very impressed with the Peterborough keeper, but their number 2 was giving it throughout the game and at one point he held Mo Sharif round the neck and continued to pull him down. The referee then awarded a throw-in !!! Well done to Steve Gallen, Birch and the boys.