Glenn Charker’s St Francis Rangers side made the short trip to Horsham YMCA on Saturday and returned home with all three points thanks to two late goals inside the last ten minutes.
Both sets of management agreed post match it was the right result on the balance of 90 minutes at Gorings Mead.
Rangers were once again without Walsh & Leppard who were both serving the last of their two match suspensions which had been drawn out following postponed fixtures in early January.
Reserve team full back Matt Godly deservedly retained his starting place whilst Jamie Weston and Tom Saunders returned to the starting line up with Steve Smith having to settle for a place on the Subs Bench after missing games through illness along with Josh Perry & Conor Carolan.
The opening twenty minutes saw both teams creating good chances in what was a very open game and certainly offered much in entertainment value to the neutral. Nathan Millroy was guilty of squandering Rangers clearest chances, the deadlock was finally broken on 27 minutes when the Rangers defence failed to clear Dean Carden’s cross which fell invitingly for Gedling on the edge of the box whose first time half volley gave Rob Gordon no chance in the Rangers goal. Steve Smith replaced injured Tom Saunders on 35 minutes and straight away his power and presence gave Rangers another dimension up front and it was only a late ditch tackle from Matt Crane which prevented Smith from levelling the scores just before halftime.
YM started the better of the teams in the opening exchanges of the second half but were far too wasteful in front of goal with Hibbert, Crane and Sullivan all spurning several goal chances to put the game out of reach which would came back to haunt them later on. Meanwhile Sam Saunders volley at the other end produced a good save from YM keeper Fox, the turning point of the game was when Gordon produced a world class save down low to his left denying Sullivan this save seem to revitalise Westlake, Weston and Saunders who started to control the midfield for the first time in the match.
Rangers began to turn up the heat on YM as they camped themselves in the YM half creating chance after chance and were disappointed not to have been awarded a penalty after a neat inter change between Westlake and Millroy set Westlake clear on goal only for the home sides Alex Gathern to block his shot but Westlake adamant he was deserved of a penalty kick, waved away from the match official.
On 83 minutes Rangers pressure was rewarded when Weston’s deflected shot felled to Milroy who calmly slotted home from six yards out to make amends for his earlier misses, the smash and grab was completed on 87 minutes when Weston’s perfectly delivered free kick was meet by Matt Godly who out jumped the YM defence to power home his header leaving Fox in the YM goal with no chance, Godly’s first senior goal sparked wild celebrations amongst the players and visiting bench, the remaining minutes were played out with little drama with the win moving Rangers up to 6th in the table.
Speaking after the game Assistant Manager Paul Thorpe quoted “We are absolutely delighted with the three points today. Me and Charks (Glenn Charker) have managed to watch YM on several occasions recently and it was obvious from those games that going forward through Sullivan and Hibbert they (Horsham YMCA) were dangerous. But we felt if they had a weakness it was their back four and in both games we watched they conceded several late goals, Pagham showed us last week the heart and desire what is needed to come back from a goal down at halftime to win games and that was very pleasing”
Team; Gordon ©, Akehurst, Godly, Brown, Bryant, Lawrence, Westlake, S Saunders, T Saunders (Smith), Millroy, Weston.
MoM; Andy Brown, broke the game up in midfield to allow Rangers to overcome the strong YM midfield