Ripley Rangers Under 13s 4
Barlborough JFC Under 13s 0
Ripley kicked off in very warm conditions and seemed to take control of the early stages although they couldn’t seem to find a decent final ball.
At the back, George O’Neill and Josh Lomas looked solid and dealt with any attempts by Barlborough in the final third.
Rangers put Barlborough under immense pressure for long periods and they finally and deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes when a good cross by Luke Jaques caused chaos in the penalty area and Max Didcock was on hand to put the ball in the net.
It gave Rangers a lift and they soon went 2-0 up from a setpiece after half-an-hour. Some quick thinking between Kyle Gregory and Archie Paskin at a short corner gave Paskin the chance to knock a great cross over to the back post, where the ball was drilled home by Danny Bain.
It was very nearly 3-0 when another Gregory corner was superbly flicked on by Sam Clifton at the near post but unfortunately his effort hit the bar and the ball was cleared. Half-time came along with Rangers in full control and looking confident.
The second half kicked off with Barlborough looking more determined and the next goal would be crucial.
Rangers were under the cosh for a good ten minutes and at times it was only due to some good defending by Ben Rose and Josh Lomas and some good goalkeeping by Sam Linford that the scored stayed at 2-0.
A great opportunity was given to Rangers to cement their lead when some good play between Chester Norman and Keilan Harrison sent Harrison into the penalty area, where he was then brought down from behind by a late tackle and a penalty was awarded. Luke Gee confidently stepped up to take the spot kick but the Barlborough keeper made a great diving save to his left to push the ball behind for a corner.
The third goal of the game was just around the corner with some good work from Sam Clifton on the right wing.
He played a good one-two with Archie Paskin and then found space to send over a great cross which the Barlborough defence couldn’t cope with. The ball fell to Gee, who took one touch and smacked the ball home from 12 yards out.
It was an important goal as it gave Rangers the 3-0 lead and also gave Gee the chance to make up for his penalty miss.
The final goal of the game came with five minutes to go when some hard work from Joe Martin in closing down the Barlborough defenders meant the ball broke to Harrison just inside the box, who made sure with a neat finish into the bottom right hand corner to make it 4-0. The game finished soon after and 4-0 was a fair score line, meaning a great start to the season for the lads.
Man of the match: Sam Clifton, a great all round performance
Sponsors: Stringfellows Trade Outlet, Nottingham Road, Ripley.