Team: Deane, McDonnell, Downes, Champion, Browne, Sendles-White, Sutherland, Webb, Gibbons, Henry-Francis, Fitzpatrick
Subs: Koeris, Comley, Monthe, Daly, Hubble
No tea or bacon sandwiches were available as the 1st team squad were still training, but the weather at Harlington was glorious. We eventually ascertained that 17-year-old Freddy Champion was in the starting line-up following his recent move from Tottenham.
A great ball immediately from the kick-off found Jordan Gibbons who then belted down the right flank and forced a corner. Frankie Sutherland’s out-swinging corner resulted in a couple of R’s players attempting to force the ball in the net. After some good play on the opposite flank, Marcel Henry-Francis was set up, but his shot was put out by the keeper for a corner. Later, he accelerated past his marker and the keeper had to come out to make the save. Henry-Francis was soon involved again when he burst through the middle, but screwed his shot well wide from a good position.
Marcel Henry-Francis was again in the thick of the action when a great interception put him through and his low drive was well saved by the keeper. Seven minutes from the interval, he got the goal he deserved. Jordan Gibbons received the ball well in his own half and his powerful long ball through the middle found Marcel Henry-Francis. His shot went in off the post to put the R’s 1-0 up. At the other end, Gareth Deane was hardly troubled and the only thing he had to contend with were an unusual number of back passes. Half-time: 1-0.
The visitors had a couple of dangerous players running at our defence, but they were kept at bay. However, the R’s doubled their lead following Frankie Sutherland’s corner. Jordan Gibbons did well to squeeze in a brave header at the far post. Rangers moved up a gear and after a great move, Sutherland made space for himself, but his shot was still rising as it flew over the bar.
Frankie Sutherland was nicely set up in a good position, but he screwed the ball wide. It was pretty much all Rangers as they looked to increase their lead. Jake Downes was fouled after a good run and Frankie Sutherland’s free kick was met full on by Jamie Sendles-White to make it 3-0. Steve Gallen took off Marcel Henry-Francis and replaced him with James Daly. Within a minute of coming on, Daly bombed down the left-wing, evaded a challenge, but managed to stay on his feet, cut in, and proceeded to hit the back of the net with a wonderful, precise finish.
Steve Gallen introduced Conor Hubble at the expense of Callum Webb which was later followed by Justin Koeris replacing Frankie Sutherland. With 8 minutes or so remaining, following a good run, Justin Koeris forced a corner. The ball was headed into the back of the net, but was ruled offside. David Fitzpatrick received an arm in the face, but the referee ignored our shouts for a free kick and the ball went out for a corner. Conor Hubble took the corner which ended up going behind for another one. David Fitzpatrick was involved in our final goal when he was brought down in the box after a good run. Freddy Champion stepped up to score the Rangers fifth goal with a well taken penalty.
Well done to Steve Gallen and all the players on such an emphatic victory. Congratulations and good luck to Frankie Sutherland and Gareth Deane on their selection to their respective international U19 squads for next month’s UEFA First Phase qualifiers. The Republic of Ireland travel to Bulgaria and Northern Ireland are set to face Germany, Belarus and Montenegro.
The Saturday Morning Crew also included Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham plus Pat and Tom Harrison