U21 Professional Development League 2
Team: Salamon, Jude-Boyd, Larkeche, Harrack, Hawkins, Drewe, Richards, Aoraha, Lloyd, Dixon-Bonner, Kolli
The team sheet revealed the welcome inclusion of Taylor Richards in the Rangers line-up.
And it was he, in the early stages, who, after winning the ball, shot low at goal and the follow-up ended up just wide of the target.
The Swans broke away after 12 minutes, which resulted in Kristian Fletcher’s drive being well-saved by Matteo Salamonand a second effort going behind for a corner.
Rangers took the lead in the 26th minute after a good build-up had forced a corner. A nice touch from Rayan Kolli set-up Kayden Harrack and the R’s No.4 drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Elijah Dixon-Bonner’s burst of speed down the right-flank produced a wonderful low-cross into the box, but Taylor Richards stumbled in his attempt to take possession, and the ball went wide of the goal. Half-time: 1-0.
The away side started the second-half the stronger. However, it was the R’s who almost doubled their lead, when Alfie Lloyd turned, and his effort hit the upright.
That second goal did come on 54 minutes from Elijah Dixon-Bonner. His strike appeared to get a slight deflection before entering the net.
The Swans upped their game and, four minutes or so later, following a booking, they pulled a goal back courtesy of Filip Lissah.
At the other end, Rayan Kolli blasted the ball over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Paul Furlong made two changes on the 66-minute mark, which saw the introduction of Rafferty Pedder and Steven Bala at the expense of Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Taylor Richards respectively.
Alfie Lloyd wrapped it up with the goal of the game. Running through with an opponent in close proximity, he persevered and, whilst slightly off-balance, he smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Good play by Alex Aoraha from around 25-yards out, saw him turn, beat his marker and his shot just cleared the bar.
Rangers successfully saw out the final stages and deserved their fifth league win of the season.
Matteo Salamon was solid again, came off his line when required and all in all it was a good all-round team performance.
Deon Woodman told me that he was still nursing an ankle injury and he expected to be side-lined for another three weeks or so.