U18 Professional Development League 2
Team: Haigh, Matthews, Williams (Springer-Downes), Anastasiou (Barzey), Arthur (Folkes), Fox, Alfa, Donnellan, Adams, Crichlow, Bowler
With the shortage of goalkeepers, including R’s fan Lewis Todd’s recent departure to Watford, trialist Chris Haigh made his debut between the posts.
The Rangers debutant soon made a good take under pressure and within eight minutes, the R’s took the lead after Brandon Adams took advantage of a defensive error. He took a touch wide of the keeper and went on to slot the ball into an empty net.
Five minutes later, some good ball control from Ody Alfa took him from the right flank and into the box where he was taken down. The referee, without hesitation, awarded a penalty. Unfortunately Brandon Adams’s spot-kick flashed wide of the left-hand post.
The Tractor Boys really should have equalised when they missed a sitter with the ball taking a deflection. Whilst at the other end, the R’s went close when Brandon Adams’s header hit the post.
However, Adams did secure his second goal after 39 minutes when he cut in from the right, dropped his shoulder and lined up his shot. Rangers were well on top and Gianni Crichlow’s shot forced an excellent save from the Ipswich keeper.
Then Brandon Adams went on a good run which resulted in the keeper going down to tip the ball past the post. Half-time: 2-0.
Rangers were immediately on the attack after the break and almost scored. The ball went out for a corner and Leo Donnellan knocked it short to Gianni Crichlow who proceeded to run along close to the bye-line and his superb effort bounced agonisingly off the inside of the post.
Crichlow made no mistake minutes later, when, in space, he looked up and fired the ball into the top corner from around 20 yards.
It was nice to see Jack Williams and Michael Anastasiou clap their team mates as they were replaced by Brandon Barzey and Rhys Springer-Downes respectively.
Chris Haigh made a great save after the ball was belted straight at his face and following a good clearance from the QPR keeper Josh Bowler’s powerful shot was saved one-handed by the Ipswich custodian. Leo Donnellan’s resulting corner was headed just over the bar. Must also mention the wonderful drifted ball from one side of the pitch to the other.
There was a bit of a flare up after an R’s player was fouled. It looked mainly like pushing and shoving but it did result in an Ipswich player being sent off and Brandon Barzey and Gianni Crichlow receiving yellow cards.
The last piece of action of note came from the visitors when a deflected shot was well saved by Chris Haigh. It finished 3-0 to the R’s.
It was a very good team performance and particularly refreshing after what the first team had served up at Brentford the previous night!
On the adjacent pitch the U15’s won the four-team tournament, which had involved three local sides.
Blue skies and blazing sunshine, the Saturday Morning Crew also included Alan Barnes, Roger Stokes and Clive Kingham.