U23 Professional Development League 2
Team: Barnes, Kakay, Woollard-Innocent, Bettache, Gubbins, Mahorn, Clarke, Amos, Oteh, Frailing, Shodipo
Sub Not Used: Brzozowski
A cold breeze blew across the Harlington Sports Ground, but at least it managed to stay dry.
It was good to see U18’s centre-back Trent Mahorn make his U23’s debut and as Chris Hewitt pointed out, ten from the other fourteen-squad players had also progressed through the ranks. Aramide Oteh captained the side.
Rangers took the lead after five minutes when Olamide Shodipo let fly from around 30-yards and the ball flew into the top corner.
The visitors then went close to an equaliser when Vince Harper’s cross was headed-wide by Ricardo Rees at the far post.
However, the Robins equalised after nine minutes when Freddie Hinds placed his shot into the far corner of the net from just inside the box.
City almost took the lead when the ball bounced off the crossbar after hitting an R’s defender’s foot.
Then, with Dillon Barnes standing just outside his area, a long distance punt at goal saw him closely follow the ball until it evaded the upright.
At the other end, Faysal Bettache shot over the bar, then Harvey Wiles-Richards made a superb save from his close-range effort and the follow-up was then successfully blocked.
Following another one of his runs upfield, Osman Kakay’s superb ball across the six-yard box was in vain. At half-time it remained 1-1.
I must mention that, Trent Mahorn, looking very composed, did very well on his U23’s debut.
Into the second-half, Aramide Oteh picked up on a loose ball and facing Wiles-Richards, the City keeper stopped his shot with his legs. A minute later, the R’s No.9 blasted over the crossbar.
Rangers were well on top and the second goal, not surprisingly, came in the 52nd minute, when Jake Frailingset up the R’s striker. His first effort was stopped, but he made no mistake smashing his follow-up into the top corner.
Another attempt saw Harvey Wiles-Richards Olamide Shodipo’s strike behind for a corner.
Paul Hall made all three changes on 66 minutes, when Luke Amos, Jack Clarke and Olamide Shodipo all made way for, Stephen Duke-McKenna, Aaron Drewe and Charley Kendall respectively. The reshuffle saw Dreweand Kendall take up positions on the flanks.
The visitors forced a corner, which resulted in a free header narrowly passing the crossbar.
After turning on a sixpence, Aramide Oteh pulled the trigger, but a superb diving save from the City keeper denied him a second goal.
Mr O’Donnell showed a yellow card to a City player after he had blatantly tripped Charley Kendall.
Although the visitors were managing to produce a number of accurate crosses, it wasn’t until the 70th minute or so, that I remember Dillon Barnes making a save.
Stephen Duke-McKenna received a straight red after 75-odd minutes following a foul on Callum Pearson.
Aaron Drewe cut in from the right-wing and, presumably thinking that he might be offside, he hesitated shooting at goal, so he crossed into the box, but the ball went behind Oteh.
This resulted in the R’s No.9 getting the clearance full in the face and in need of some attention. He left the field,but returned shortly after.
City equalised on 85 minutes after Hinds’ cross from the right found Tommy Conway, who then cracked the ball into the back of the net.
Aramide Oteh was eventually taken off in the closing stages and Rangers were then reduced to nine men.
The Robins almost snatched a winner at the death when Ryley Towler’s cross from the right, was met by Freddie Hinds, whose header then bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Amongst those looking on were; Ebere Eze, Gary Waddock and Mick Harford.