Professional Development League 2
Team: Dickinson, Ribeiro, Woollard-Innocent, Bettache, Carlyle, Genovesi, Kendall, Mesias, Platt, Remy, Grant
Clive Kingham had phoned me to say that with the improvement in the weather (and the steady improvement in his health), he was attending his first match in a year.
Mickel Platt was the lone R’s striker, with Charley Kendall taking up a right-wing position.
It was Charley Kendall who fashioned a shot at goal in the opening minutes that passed wide of the post.
The visitors took the lead within 10 minutes, following a cross into the box from the left, which entered the net at the far post courtesy of Christ Mayuba’s knee.
Charley Kendall was doing really well with a succession of excellent runs and dangerous crosses.
The R’s captain, Caden Genovesi, was beaten for pace, but he managed to recover really well to put the ball out for a corner.
Birmingham could well have increased their lead, but for Tyla Dickinson making two excellent stops with his legs in a matter of ten seconds.
The R’s went in search of an equaliser with Faysal Bettache firing wide of the far post and it eventually came after 22 minutes. Charley Kendall bombed down the wing, cut into the box and Mickel Platt finished from close range.
Rangers got their noses in front on 40 minutes following a great run by Aiden Mesias. A ball over from the right superbly pinpointed Dejarhn Grant, who let fly on the half-volley. Half-time: 2-1.
Charley Kendall started the second-half upfront as Paul Furlong introduced Kaaig Noel-McLeod, Jardel Francis-Adeyinka and Nathaniel Orafu, at the expense of Caden Genovesi, Aiden Mesias and Mickel Platt respectively.
A long ball over to Francis-Adeyinka on the right resulted in Lewis Landers tipping his low effort behind for a corner.
Nathan Carlyle was booked for shirt pulling, but just prior to that Mr Eruero had decided not to award an obvious foul! Then the R’s No.5 made a great interception just as the Blues player was about to pull the trigger.
Diving to his right, Tyla Dickinson made a fantastic reflex save to deny the visitors, and later substitute Adan George took advantage of a defensive error to level the scores.
On 70 minutes, Tyla Dickinson was red carded in ridiculous circumstances! The R’s keeper had made some contact with the advancing Blues player after attempting to clear the ball just outside the corner of the box.
Mr Eruero went over to consult the linesman and eventually to everyone’s astonishment he sent off the Rangers custodian!
Paul Furlong was unable to bring on Murphy Cooper as he had already used up his quota of substitutions, so Nathan Carlyle went in goal.
He carefully watched the resulting free kick make its way along the ground and past the far post. Later, he punched a cross/shot powerfully away from his area.
Rangers were defending really well and managed to take the lead after 76 minutes. Charley Kendall flicked the ball through to Faysal Bettache after he had held the ball up well despite being under pressure.
Bettache then took the ball to an acute angle (deciding not to square it to an unmarked Dejarhn Grant), rounded the keeper and superbly slotted the ball in the net.
Mr Eruero took it upon himself to decide which of the loose balls Nathan Carlyle should collect to take his goal kicks!
Dejarhn Grant was booked, correctly for kicking the ball away, but this was after Mr Eruero had given the foul clearly the wrong way to the visitors!
Two minutes into added time Mr Eruero amazingly pointed to the spot and Jordan Clarke stepped up and placed the ball in the corner of the net.
Just before the final whistle, Leandro Ribeiro had his shirt tugged, which provoked a bit of a flare up after he retaliated. He was booked as was the Birmingham culprit.
For the free kick, Mr Eruero even moved the ball back ten yards or so to place it precisely on behalf of the visitors!
Mr Eruero was an absolute disgrace throughout and I hope that I never see him officiate again!
The U16’s went down 1-2 on the adjacent pitch.
Welcome back Clive, see you again soon mate,