Hall Road Rangers joint boss, Jamie Barnwell, has said his side were too “naive” in their 5-2 defeat against Liversedge at Dene Park. The visitors were 3-0 up by half-time, with goals from Nathan Cartman (2) and David Boardman, and although Rangers improved significantly in the second half, it wasn’t enough to prevent a loss.
“I think it was a fair scoreline in terms of the way [Liversedge] played”, reflected Barnwell. “There was a bit of naivety on our part in terms of how we defended as a team. If we’d have taken our chances, the game takes a different complexion. Naive sums it up. That’s probably the word for the day.”
Rangers made five changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Brighouse on Easter Monday. Out went Ray Ford, Steve Chapman, Dane Mortimer, Jamie Heard and Joe Cooper; in came Barnwell, Darrel Thompson, Mark Griffin, Jamie Atkinson and Adam Crane. With Hall Road slow to really get going, Liversedge opened the scoring after eight minutes. Cartman was played through down the middle, and despite pressure from Atkinson, finished well into the corner of the net. Rangers’ first real chance came on 16 minutes, when a free kick on the half way line was lofted into Barnwell, who delicately chested into the path of Danny Ricketts, but Ricketts’ first time strike from inside the box was wide of the goal.
Straight up the other end, Liversedge doubled their lead, with Cartman again on target. The striker dispossessed Thompson on the edge of the box, and finished past a scrambling James Fossdyke to make it 2-0. On the stroke of half-time, Liversedge broke down the right and after a couple of neat touches, David Boardman received the ball and finished well to make it 3-0 at the break.
Rangers started the second half brightly, and their positivity paid off – albeit fortuitously – on 50 minutes, when Adam Crane’s cross-cum-shot evaded goalkeeper Daniel Knight’s outstretched arms – his first goal since September last year. Liversedge’s three-goal lead was restored on 66 minutes when Alex Hallam slotted past Fossdyke after a neat counter attack to make it 4-1. Rangers did grab another goal back on 87 minutes, though. Crane played through Cooper, who neatly rounded Knight in the Liversedge goal, to finish into an empty net for his third goal of the season. But Liversedge added a fifth in injury time, with Boardman grabbing his second by rounding Fossdyke.
“We didn’t get to grips with their shape”, lamented Barnwell. “Although they were playing exactly the same as us, their shape had more impact on us than ours did on them. We made some changes early second half because we thought there was still something in the game for us. I think it was a game in which they were better in the final third than us.”
Although Rangers aren’t mathematically safe yet, 19th place Lincoln Moorlands Railway have a significantly poorer goal difference, so it’s highly likely that Premier Division football will once again be gracing the Dene Park turf next year. Whilst Barnwell, as well as co-boss Thacker, is content with this fact, he concluded that the Liversedge result was a poor one. “It’s disappointing in terms of the decent standards since me and Martin have come back to the club”, Barnwell said. “We haven’t really hit that standard today, although it’s pleasing to have done what we set out to do which is keep the team in this division.”
Rangers face a trip to Barton Town Old Boys next weekend, before their season comes to a close the week after against Long Eaton United.
HALL ROAD: James Fossdyke, Martin Thacker, Liam Cattermole, Steve Gawthorpe (Paul Wilson, 79), Jamie Atkinson, Lee Parker, Mark Griffin, Darrel Thompson (Jamie Heard, 51), Jamie Barnwell, Danny Ricketts (Joe Cooper, 54), Adam Crane. Subs not used: Dane Mortimer.
As always, big thanks to Alex Blackburne for this report and interview. Alex is the Press Officer at Dene Park. All the relevant links are below.