The JC Tackleway 0-2 Eastbourne Rangers
3rd March 2016
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After 2 weeks without a game due to the inclement weather, rangers finally got to kick a ball against The JC Tackleway in a game that was switched to Bexhill Road. On arrival, it was clear to see how the wind would take an effect on every game in the area; this combined with the appalling condition of the uncut pitch was bound to make for a close game.

Rangers had to make do without Dan Wilkes and Matt Wheeler (who were eating Jelly and ice cream) while Greg Manton was also unavailable due to the safe arrival of his second child. Sean Hardie was also unavailable due to work commitments and this left rangers a tad short in the numbers department. Fortunately for rangers, the MSFL team didn’t have a game so Josh Kyte and Glen Noble were called upon to man the rangers bench. Martin Bell was looking to secure his fifth clean sheet of the season, and tasked with aiding with this was Brad Meredith, Rory Newby, Lee Chapman and Carl Kenward who made up the back four. Steve Green was pushed up to the right wing with Dylan Nanuck on the opposite flank. Midfield enforcer Tony Derese was partnered by skipper Ben Jesson in the middle of the park while Connor Sullivan led the line with Mark Warren up front.

It was Tackelway who created the first opening of the game within just 3 minutes. A seemingly hopeful ball caught the rangers centre half’s on their heals, and with only Bell to beat, the Tackleway striker blazed over the rangers bar from 16 yards out – Bell had done well to close down the angle.

The blustery conditions and the overall poor condition of the uncut pitch saw both teams struggle to maintain long periods of possession throughout the game. Rangers punished the home side for their earlier miss after 11 minutes with quite a sublime goal. Nanuck fed a ball through to Sullivan, who seemingly took an age to compose himself in the box. What came next was very much worth the wait as Sullivan’s Cantona-esk chip sailed over the keeper into the top corner of the net – 1-0 rangers.

The league leaders doubled their lead on 34 minutes. Great endeavour from Green down the rangers right hand side saw his low pull back find Jesson lurking just inside the box. In a flash, Jesson rifled the ball first time into the bottom corner to give rangers a much needed two goal cushion. The rest of the half concluded without much incident and rangers were very pleased with their work when the half time whistle came.

The second half was an even more scrappy affair. Rangers continued to play football, but large tufts of grass all over the pitch was testing the rangers resolve. Goal mouth action was nominal in the second period, but rangers came close when Sullivan’s freekick was headed on to his own bar by a defender while a rasping Meredith volley hit the foot of the post and rebounded to safety which had left the keeper stranded.

There were cameo appearances for Noble and Kyte who came on with 25 minutes to go for Warren and Nanuck with Kyte looking very threatening after his introduction. Tackleway mustered one effort on goal with just 15 minutes to go, but the long range effort was athletically (and comfortably) parried away by Bell.

When the final whistle blew, both sets of players along with both sets of club officials seemed relieved after quite a gruelling afternoons football. The Seaside Café MOM was awarded to Tony Derese who was immense in midfield with special mentions to Ben Jesson and Lee Chapman who were also superb. This win sees rangers go three points clear at the top of the league, but there are still plenty of twists and turns to come with the amount (and importance) of the fixtures remaining.

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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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