Unfortunately Gareth Deane didn’t feature for the Northern Ireland U17’s in their first two UEFA qualifying Round matches. Hopefully he will be involved in their next game against Portugal on Wednesday. The U14’s had a magnificent 4-2 victory over Arsenal at Harlington on Sunday. The day before, the U18’s won again, when they recorded a 1-0 victory at Luton Town. Bruno Andrade was the scorer. The previous Saturday, they also beat Wycombe Wanderers at Harlington by the same score and lined up as follows:
Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Doughty, O’Donnell, Olley, Bewick, Gibbons, Graham, Andrade, Sharif.
The game kicked off two minutes late and Rangers first real chance came after Mo Sharif forced a corner. Michael Doughty then knocked the ball over to Sam Bewick who was hovering just outside the box and his volley went just wide. It was good to see the ball being played from the back and onto the midfield but I have to say that initially it was then belted too often out to the flanks ! Having said that, a good ball to Bruno Andrade who then accelerated past their defender and he hit the ball full-on which the keeper did well to save.
The R’s went even closer when a wonderful dipping shot bounced off the crossbar. At the other end, Wycombe were awarded a free kick outside the box which was blocked in front of Gareth Deane and the ball cleared. There was a well timed tackle by Michael Harriman but the ball went only just past our post. Half-time: 0-0.
A good run by Bruno Andrade took him through two Wycombe defenders and winning a corner. ‘Bags’ Graham was replaced by Marcel Henry-Francis. A Wycombe player received a booking after Bruno Andrade was fouled out on the left wing. A shot driven from the edge of the box was saved when the keeper went down sharply to his left. The R’s then deservedly took the lead from the resulting corner which was taken by Michael Doughty. Luke Olley was on hand to flick the ball into the net from close range.
Michael Doughty tried a lob from a wideish left position which went just over the bar. Another great run by Bruno Andrade resulted in a good save by the keeper who was forced down low to his right. Mo Sharif belted a shot from close to the bye-line and again their keeper had to go down low to make the save. I had to leave befor the end, but there were no more goals and Rangers certainly deserved the win. Well done to Steve Gallen and the team on this magnificent succession of victories.
The Saturday Morning Crew also included, Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Clive Kingham, Roger Stokes, Sean and eventually Pat and Tom Harrison. Good luck to the U18’s who travel to Gillingham on Saturday for the 2nd Round of the Southern Section of the Youth Alliance Cup.