Two Crucial Games for Eastbourne Rangers
10th February 2016
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Our MSFL team take part in their first semi final of the season this week against AFC Haywards II in a 1.30pm kick off at the sports park. AFC currently top MSFL division 5 with a league record similar to rangers having amalgamated 26 points from a possible 33 which has seen them secure 8 wins, 2 draws and just a solitary defeat to a Portslade Athletic II side who “strengthened” on the day.

Their route to the semi final has been relatively straight forward. After receiving a bye in the first round, Lindfield III (of MSFL division 7) were the opposition and AFC dispatched of them with a comfortably with a 5-1 win – the division 7 outfit yet to win a single game this season. AFC had a much closer game in the quarter finals and beat higher ranked opposition in the form of Peacehaven United II (3-2), opponents that rangers are very familiar with in MSFL division four this campaign.

They have two danger men that rangers need to be wary of; the first is Jimmy Jones who has netted 9 times in 12 games, while Terry Wallis has scored 13 goals in 10 games having also played half a dozen games for the AFC first team.

Their league record reads: P11 W8 D2 L1 F33 A10 Pts26 with AFC accumulating 4 clean sheets in 4 of those wins. That said, they have not kept a clean sheet since the end of October. Rangers, on the other hand, have kept 4 consecutive clean sheets including the 3-0 quarter final victory at Rotherfield !!. Rangers have kept 6 clean sheets from 17 games in total and will look to go 15 games unbeaten in this week’s game, a truly amazing run.

Our ESFL team have an equally important game against third placed Old Hastonians. Hastonians came out on top in the only meeting of the two sides this season so far when rangers put in their worst 45 minutes of the season back in October, which saw “The Stones” take a 3 goal lead at the break. Some harsh words at half time rallied the rangers troops but the red an blacks only managed to claw 2 goals back despite making a whole array of chances in the second half.

Hastonians have only dropped 4 league points all season compared to rangers 6, so the enormity of this game for both sides, rangers in particular, is very apparent. Rangers will be buoyed after dismantling league leaders Sidley United last week 5-1, a result which has blown division one wide open with four teams still in with a realistic chance of becoming champions.

The Stones league record reads: P7 W5 D1 L1 F26 A13 Pts16 which sees them sit 5 points behind rangers with two games in hand. In their last 3 league games they have secured 2 wins against Ticehurst (6-1) and JC Tackleway (2-0) while Hastonians came back for 3-0 down to rescue a 3-3 draw against Crowhurst.

Top scorer Dave Pugh (14) has recently flown the Hastonian nest to join Saltdean United, so their current top scorer is Will Cullen who has five league goals. This weeks opposition are also still in two cup competitions, the Birchwood Challenge (league) Cup and the HastingsJunior Cup where they are at the semi final and quarter final stage respectively.

Two really tough and important games for very different reasons this week, good luck to both rangers sides.

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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