Heavily depleted St Francis Rangers side depart The Lashmar empty-handed

Sam Saunders was sent off
Sam Saunders was sent off

The Lashmar has not been a very happy hunting ground for St Francis Rangers in recent years and Saturday was no exception for Glenn Charker’s side as his heavily depleted squad departed the champions elect empty handed which has become a familiar feeling for his side in 2015.

It’s been a good few years since Rangers have had a happy travel to Sammy Donnelly’s much changed East Preston side that won the SCFL under the stewardship of Dominic Di Paola who coincidentally departed the club early this season for pastures new on the back of an approach from Hastings United.

We set up wrong from the off which is my error and we changed it at half time with a view to get back in the game

Glenn Charker

Rangers started the brightest and seemed sharp out of the blocks but conceded via Shaun Charles having chased the ball over the top on the break of a Rangers attack only for him to volley home in clinical fashion leaving the visiting keeper Rob Gordon with no chance.

Half time couldn’t come quick enough for Rangers as they clearly changed their setup for the second period with Luke Leppard moving up front to partner Tom Saunders as they chased the game. Brad Curtis made it game over for Charkers men as he finished from close range and the game was dead. Rob Gordon saved his side from some embarrassment when he saved from Curtis’ penalty as Grantham was fouled in the Rangers box.

Sam Saunders was sent for an early bath in the closing five minutes of the clash when he was issued a second caution for what looked like a 50:50 with EP’s Brad Curtis which summed up his sides day.

Charker spoke after ‘I’m disappointed, what else can I say. But with the resources available to me I have no complaints with the boys who played today – we’re going through a real sticky patch at the moment and it could be a tough end to the season.

‘We set up wrong from the off which is my error and we changed it at half time with a view to get back in the game. I don’t want to be seen as having a pop at the ref but I don’t think Sam (Saunders) deserved to be sent off, but what can you do, it was his first game back from injury and up until that point I thought he done ok, he’s key for us and now I lose him again for another couple of games, because of a nothing tackle that was 50:50 at best.’