No Happy New Year For Rangers
Hall Road Rangers went into their first game of the New Year hoping for a better start than the way 2011 had ended. This, unfortunately, didn’t happen.
After a torrid end to 2011, Hall Road Rangers began 2012 in a similar vein, with a 5-2 defeat away to fellow strugglers Pickering Town. Rangers travelled to North Yorkshire after having picked up just one point from six games, and on current form, are in danger of being drawn into a real relegation battle. Manager Darren Wilson selected what was on paper, a squad capable of getting something out of the game, with captain Steve Graham returning to the line-up at right back, with Mike Gawthorpe starting with up top with Danny Moore. Paul Goldie came in at left back for his first appearance of the season and Lee Parker returned in centre midfield.
Pickering started strongly and attacked Hall Road from the off, causing mix-ups in the visitors’ defence. They had two good chances in the first five minutes, only to be thwarted by poor finishing. The home side did eventually go one-up after 20 minutes through Steve Baxter, with Liam Salt making it 2-0 a minute later when Steve Chapman tried to play a ball inside to Russ Webster, only for it to be too short and end up at the feet of the Pickering striker, who had a simple finish. Hall Road hit back to make it 2-1 when Steve Graham travelled with the ball from defence before playing through Mike Gawthorpe, who controlled well and rounded the ‘keeper to finish with his left foot. However, on the stroke of half-time, Chapman gave away a penalty with a needless foul inside the box and Tom Adams despatched the spot kick for the home side to make it 3-1 going into the break.
The second half saw Pickering dominate, with Hall Road looking weak defensively. The home side launched several attacks down their right wing and penetrated the visitors’ defence with each attack. On 63 minutes, Liam Salt scored his second when Paul Goldie played him onside, allowing him to slot home Pickering’s fourth goal. Five minutes later, the Pikes scored again with what was almost an action replay of the fourth, but with Simon Sturdy finishing it one off. Rangers scored a late consolation, with Mike Gawthorpe bagging his second on 75 minutes, but it was too little too late to salvage anything out of the game and Pickering ran out worthy 5-2 victors.
The result leaves Hall Road in 16th place in the NCEL Premier Division. Without a game next weekend, they next face promotion hopefuls Bridlington Town at Dene Park on January 14th.
HALL ROAD: Charlie Holden, Steve Graham, Paul Goldie (Danny Ransom, 83), Dane Mortimer, Russ Webster, Lee Parker, Steve Chapman (Darryl Thompson, 55), Steve Gawthorpe, Danny Moore (Jeffrey Gawthorpe, 83), Mike Gawthorpe, Adam Crane. Subs not used: James Fossdyke.