Punnetts Town 1-9 Eastbourne Rangers
4th August 2013
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Rangers took a squad of 16 to Punnetts Town with the hope of giving every outfield player 60 minutes each in the quest to build up match fitness. Upon arrival, the home side had several players pull out at very  late notice meaning that the rangers subs helped out the home side and pulled on a blue jersey to further enhance their own individual match fitness, and to ensure the game went ahead as scheduled.

Rangers actually went a goal down after 2 minutes with rangers striker Connor Sullivan (wearing home side blue) bursting through the middle to slam past keeper Martin Bell to give Punnetts Town an early lead. 
Rangers slow start soon turned into some flowing football on a quite sumptuous pitch. Glen Noble equalised for rangers after 10 minutes then Noble found himself on the end of a delightful rangers move to double his tally for the day -  a sweeping move across the pitch allowed Jules Waters time to pick out an immense overlapping run from Mark Hymans at left back. Waters piercing ball allowed Hymans to pull the ball back to Noble waiting 6 yards out to give rangers a deserved 2-1 lead. 
With rangers heads now up and the surface like a bowling green, rangers ultimately begin to dictate play and enjoy the conditions to the max. Another decent rangers passing move on the right found Steve Reeves on the edge of the box whose sublime first time side-foot finish from 20 yards out was something Zinadine Zidane would have been proud of. :-) 3-1 rangers.
On the half hour, all change with rangers making several substitutions and further rangers players supplementing the home team. Five minutes after the change around, a delicate Lee Chapman cross found the unlikely head of Rob Anderson in the box whose looping header from 12 yards bamboozled the home keeper. 4-1. More excellent rangers football then potentially saw tempers boil over as a player from each team were asked by the referee to be substituted. This did not deter the red and blacks and Noble rounded off a first half hatrick to make the score 5-1 at the interval.
No changes at half time and rangers mounted an early attack from kick off with Punnetts Town not getting a touch of the ball until rangers squandered a well worked chance from within the area. Connor Sullivan then increased rangers lead to 6-1 while a Noble corner was headed powerfully into the back of the net by Lee Chapman-his first goal for his new club. With the score now 7-1 to rangers, more changes were made after 60 minutes which saw more shirt swapping resembling the end of the game. :-)
Sullivan's pace and the hold up play of Luke Davies was causing all sorts of problems for the men in blue and it was no surprise that Sullivan netted his second of the day tucking home a rebound with 78 minutes on the clock. 8-1 rangers. With just seconds to go, Sullivan was brought down in the area. Sullivan picked himself up, dusted himself off and blasted the penalty past the despairing keeper (who actually got a hand to it) to secure his second half hatrick. Final score, 9-1 rangers.
A pleasing result in far from ideal circumstances bearing in mind rangers players also had to put a shift in for the home side. That being said, it will all help match fitness. The football rangers were playing at times was exceptional with sterling performances from the entire squad. Our only wish is to play on a pitch that good every week.
Rangers next friendly is in 7 days time when Langney Wanderers reserves are sure to be tough opposition at Shinewater Lane in a 2pm kick off. 
See you all there.
About the Author

Eastbourne Rangers FC

Member since: 25th July 2013

Eastbourne Rangers were formed in May 2009 and after a seasons worth of consolidation, we haven't looked back since. Four league consecutive titles in five years (which have seen the club promoted SIX...

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