Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Doughty, O’Donnell, Olley, Bewick, Sutherland, Sharif, Francis, Andrade.
Subs: White, McDonnell, Walker, Graham, Henry-Francis.
The buses were re-routed at Fairy Corner just past Hayes & Harlington Station and then took a very wide detour before eventually pulling up at Harlington Corner much to the consternation of the passengers. A section of the street by the Red Lion pub was sealed off and had become a crime scene following a serious disturbance the night before. There were a number of squad players training and it was noticeable that Fitz Hall was the last to return to the dressing room. The R’s starting line-up was the same as the previous week. The Saturday Morning Crew also featured; Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Roger, Sean plus (eventually), Pat and Tom Harrison.
Michael Doughty made a good interception, before looking up and chipping the keeper, but the ball went just over the bar. Bruno Andrade was very lively down the left flank and pumped a number of crosses into the box. Mo Sharif scored the first goal after his shot slipped through the keeper’s hands and spun into the net. Rangers were playing quite deep with Adam Francis as the target man. Around the half-hour mark, the Barnet player noticed that our keeper was off his line and tried his luck from 30 yards which Gareth Deane could only palm the ball into the net. Michael Doughty was in the thick of everything and a lovely through ball resulted in the keeper having to clear with his legs.
Michael Harriman cut in from the right, his ball into the box found Mo Sharif and his spectacular overhead kick was cleared away. A great ball by Frankie Sutherland out to Bruno Andrade who then took the ball to the bye-line but his cross along the six-yard line was just behind the two advancing Rangers players. At the other end, the visitors should of taken the lead but Tony Sanderson was on hand to kick the ball off the line. But it was the R’s who got the next important goal when a loose ball was knocked on By Adam Francis and Frankie Sutherland ran through and slotted the ball in the corner to make it 2-1.There was a wonderful moment when Michael Doughty had the ball by the corner flag and then eased past two defenders in a confined space, but his shot hit the side netting.
The threatened downpour was still holding off and Rangers attacked the goal with the wind behind them. Sharif was clipped by the last defender 25 yards or so out and the resulting free kick was bent round the wall which forced their stopper down to his right and palm the ball away to safety. Then Gareth Deane had to stretch, low down, to hold on to the ball. Steve Gallen brought on Marcel Henry-Francis for Adam Francis who had worked very hard. Henry-Francis was soon in action and latching on to a through ball, his shot was well saved with the aid of the keeper’s legs.
At the other end, Deane made an outstanding save from close range. There was some superb play by Mo Sharif when he persevered after a ‘lost’ cause and then proceeded to beat a defender by the corner flag, crossed into the box and Marcel Henry-Francis’s shot took a slight deflection before finding the net. ‘Bags’ Graham was the next change when he replaced Mo Sharif. There was some wonderful one-touch football between Doughty and Sutherland down the left flank, Graham received the ball and his cross was knocked out for a corner. Later, he was brought down in the box, appealed for a penalty, got up again, turned, and slotted the ball into the corner to make it 4-1. Danny McDonnell came on for Frankie Sutherland in the latter stages. Thanks to Roger Stokes for the lift back to the Bush.