Youth Alliance Cup
Team: Bulmer, Harriman, Waters, Perring, Parmenter, Olley, Bewick, Doughty, Nanetti, Molloy, Graham.
They had twice come back to earn a 2-2 draw at Luton the previous Saturday with goals from Sam Bewick and Antonio German. Frankie Sutherland had scored for the Irish U17’s against Russia, Max Ehmer was in Germany with the SW Regional squad, Elliott Cox was nursing an injury and Daniel Bailey was also not available for selection. The other teams in Group 5 of the Youth Alliance Cup are Aldershot Town, Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers and our first opponents, Millwall.
Andrew Perring captained the side and after quite a lively start it was Millwall who took the lead after 8 minutes. Hesitation in defence allowed the visitors to break through and despite Luke Olley blocking the first attempt, there was no mistake with the follow-up from close range. Niki-Lee Bulmer kept the ball out with his leg after the visitors had counter-attacked. The resulting corner was headed just over the bar. Rangers equalised after 35 minutes through a wonderful strike from Christian Nanetti from 20 yards out after cutting in from the right. Aaron Waters was the first to be booked and although it looked harsh it was to be the first of many. The 1st half finished all square.
Steve Gallen made two immediate changes, Antonio German came on for Javonne Molloy and Tony Sanderson replaced ‘Bags’ Graham. We continued with one up-front and a bad tackle on ‘Reggie’ Perring resulted in the first Millwall booking and it wasn’t long before another followed suit after an R’s player was pulled down. The visitors missed a sitter when a Millwall player in acres of space in the box, could only knock the ball over the bar. Many of the Rangers crosses were being swallowed up by the keeper, however at the other end, a long cross into the box resulted in Bulmer having to make two great saves in quick succession from close range.
Millwall looked the more dangerous and a cross from the left somehow drifted into the corner after 27 minutes much to everyone’s surprise. The visitors should of increased their lead when another effort went just wide from close range. The referee booked a third Millwall player. Rangers were also creating chances and Nanetti unfortunately scuffed one of them wide. The R’s then went down to ten men when the referee sent off ‘Reggie’ Perring for what he perceived to be a two footed foul. Millwall had another good opportunity to increase their lead when a cross into the box was headed wide from close range.
Steve Gallen made his final change with the introduction of Danny Fernandez at the expense of Christian Nanetti. A good run by Michael Doughty saw him cut in past the corner flag, and through two defenders, one of whom clipped him but he persevered when he could of quite easily of gone down. I’m not certain who the next player to be booked was ? As Danny Fernandez was running back, the referee held up a yellow card and spoke to the Millwall keeper. Doughty sent over a good corner which put their keeper under pressure but he managed to punch the ball away. There was still time for the referee to book another Millwall player !
Rangers were not at their best today and the visitors certainly had the better chances. The Saturday Morning Mob was also made up of Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Roger Stokes and Clive Kingham. Good luck to Steve Gallen and the boys for next Saturday’s match at Aldershot Town.