U21 Professional Development League Two – South
Team: Lennox, Harriman, Magri, Parmenter, Ehmer, Sutherland, Andrade, Doughty, Hewitt, Balanta, Sharif
After losing their first game in this league 0-1 against Charlton, Rangers bounced back to win their next two against Millwall and Cardiff City respectively. On Saturday, the R’s lined up as above, with no over-age players, and Max Ehmer captained the side. It was a glorious morning at Harlington and the match kicked off at 11.03am.
The R’s got off to a pacey start and proceeded to knock the ball around quickly and crisply. Rangers were having the best of it, but it was the visitors who took the lead when Taylor Parmenter clipped an opposing player in the box. Aaron Lennox managed to get a hand to the ball which then went in off the post. Bruno Andrade switched wings from time to time and although Rangers were enjoying most of the possession and creating a number of good goal scoring opportunities, the Barnet keeper was rarely troubled.
Barnet looked momentarily as if they had doubled their lead when a toe-punt rocketed against the crossbar so hard that the whole frame and even the net seemed to shake vigorously. However, the R’s did eventually equalise following Michael Doughty’s corner. The ball was headed down by Troy Hewitt which the keeper managed to save, but Mo Sharif was backing up to equalise.
Frankie Sutherland sat quite deep and one of his long-range passes set up Mo Sharif who then belted the ball on target. This forced the Barnet keeper into a great save and he turned the ball around the post for a corner.
Angelo Balanta had been struggling for a while and he was eventually taken off and replaced by Tom Hitchcock. Troy Hewitt had two good opportunities before the interval. He got onto the end of a great through ball, but fired wide of the post. This was followed by another excellent chance which he hit straight at the keeper who saved comfortably. Half-time: 1-1.
Bruno Andrade went very close when his shot clipped the corner of the crossbar, but it wasn’t long before Rangers took the lead. A superb ball by Hewitt and Hitchcock was well placed to slot in nicely. We thought that Hitchcock had scored a further goal after an unusual incident took place. There was no doubt that the ball ended up in the back of the net and although the goal was given, the Barnet players were incensed, claiming that initially the ball had rebounded off the wheel behind the post and not the post. The remonstrations continued and the goal was eventually disallowed.
At the other end, Aaron Lennox quickly smothered a dangerous through ball, but the visitors then equalised after some hesitation and the Barnet player made no mistake. There was a further set-back for the R’s when Max Ehmer had to go off and Jamie Sendles-White was introduced.
Rangers took the lead from the penalty spot when a corner from Michael Doughty was handled in the box. Frankie Sutherland stepped up and placed the ball low to the keeper’s right. Marc Bircham brought on Freddy Champion at the expense of Michael Doughty and Frankie Sutherland moved into a more forward midfield position. Eighteen-year-old Sam Magri had arrived from Portsmouth in the summer as a centre-back and I thought that he had a good game at right-back.
Roger Stokes had watched the U18’s win and we’d also heard that the U16’s were victorious. As Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett and myself headed off to catch the bus to Hayes and Harlington Station, Alan reminded us that the game at Loftus Road would unusually be the fourth match of the day, but could it also be the fourth win of the day ?