U23 Professional Development League 2
Team: Little, Jude-Boyd, Hamalainen, Owens, Mahorn, Pitblado, Ajose, Bettache, Kelman, Duke-McKenna, Mema
Subs: Halwax, Williams-Lowe, Aoraha, Kargbo
Prior to kick-off the Club announced that 19-year-old goalkeeper, Harry Halwax from Dublin, had been signed until the end of the season.
The match was switched at late notice from Harlington to the Heston training ground and Halwax was named as one of the four Rangers subs.
The first effort on a cold, damp afternoon was provided by Charlie Kelman after he had cut in from the right, but his shot was aimed directly into Harvey Wiles-Richards’ gloves.
It was City who took the lead after 8 minutes following Sam Pearson’s deep cross from the right-wing. Robbie Cundy was well-placed to head the ball into the back of the net.
Then at the other end, good work by Charlie Kelman set-up Joseph Ajose in the box, but his shot cleared the crossbar.
Charlie Owens was the first player to be shown a yellow card and soon after that he was on the end of a challenge and Mr Richardson booked the culprit. The visitors were guilty of non-stop shirt-tugging throughout the match and generally they managed to get away with it!
City increased their lead after 34 minutes. Sam Pearson’s low, angled strike found its way inside the near-post.
A good cross from Niko Hamalainen found Ajose in space but his header came off of a defender before being cleared to safety. Half-time: 0-2.
Andy Impey introduced Hamzad Kargbo for the second-halfand within a couple of minutes the Robins added a third goal following a lunging tackle in the box. Louis Brittain stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
The home side then began to grow into the game. Arkel Jude-Boyd’s shot was well-saved by Wiles-Richards and you could sense that a goal was coming.
Joseph Ajose crossed low into the box and Hamzad Kargbomanaged to twist and turn into position, but his shot was directed straight at the keeper.
The R’s sub was guilty of hacking down James Taylor on the edge of the box and not surprisingly he was shown a yellow card.
Stephen Duke-McKenna’s corner was met by Kargbo and despite having his shirt tugged, his firm header was comfortably saved by the keeper. Then, Ajose’s powerful strike was headed off the line.
Robbie Cundy was the next player to be booked.
Despite this spirited revival it was the visitors who scored next after 66 minutes. An error at the back resulted in Tommy Backwell firing past Max Little.
However, just a minute or so later, the R’s pulled a goal back when Kargbo got on the end of a cross from the right-flank.
Alex Aoraha was brought on at the expense of Stephen Duke-McKenna.
Hamzad Kargbo did really well to get a shot on targetfollowing a great through-ball. Under pressure, he managed to connect but his shot just evaded the upright.
On 82 minutes, Joseph Ajose slotted the ball into the net after Charlie Kelman had squared it to him from the bye-line.
A dramatic third for the R’s followed minutes later courtesy of Omar Taylor-Clarke’s own-goal.
Rangers ran out of time for an equaliser and it was the visitors who held on to secure the points.
Thanks to Sammy for the lift back to Park Royal.