A promising start to the new season for Shinfield Rangers in a close game where they never gave up.
Both teams started well with action at both ends. A long shot from Aidan straight to keeper. Westwood forcing a good save from Luis.
A nice Casey-Tom-Casey move leading to a promising through ball to Ellis – but he was ruled offside.
Then Westwood through on edge of box but Jack Brown on hand to stifle the danger.
This is how the game continued with attacks and danger both ends. In the first 20 minutes, Max, Casey, Aiden, Tom, Jack and Ellis causing trouble up front and Jack Brown making a strong debut in defence, supported strongly by Lewis, Dan and Ajay.
It took a Casey goal to break the ice, a nice ball from the right from Max with Casey on hand in front of goal to control it and slam it low and hard for a 1-nil lead.
Westwood responded with a long shot hit high over the bar, but then found an equaliser as Shinfield failed to clear from the edge of the box leaving a Westwood attacker to hit a long-range shot which Luis couldnt reach.
Aiden put in a nice corner which fell across an open goal at the far post but Shinfield had nobody on hand to convert it. The half time spoils equally shared in a game which, so far, had been very evenly fought.
The second half was more of the same, although Shinfield starting to looked more tired. Tom comes close with a wide shot after a decent Aiden/Jack/Tom exchange.
With Westwood piling on the pressure, Max then has three similar runs past the defense, the first two coming to nothing, but the third resulting in a lovely solid shot from right of the goal to put Shinfield back in the lead.
Then things became tense as Westwood tried to level the game. Aidan shoots over the bar, and at the other end, our defence works really hard to repel multiple Westwood attacks. A heart-stopping moment as a long shot is parried down by Luis but only as far as a Westwood
attacker who, in front of an open goal hooked it right over the bar.
A lucky escape. Aidan tries to widen the lead but hits a shot wide. With the clock ticking down, Westwood continue to battle. Pete orders
the team to defend hard and things nearly went wrong again when a good drive down the right saw a Westwood defender get past Luis. It looked like a certain equaliser, but Vinay wasn’t having it. Just as the attacker looked like he had a clear shot, Vinay slides in and diverted the ball for a corner – exciting stuff.
Back at the other end, Aidan drives down the right, floats a lovely ball over the defence for Casey to collect and run for goal but he was given offside. Then a Max-Casey move results in a long high ball across the goalmouth which Ellis couldnt quite reach with his head.
Shinfield held things tight to end the game victors. This was an excellent display by every member of the team. They kept their chins up and didnt stop running even when they were in the lead.
Westwood were unlucky to equalise on a couple of occassions, but Shinfield can take alot of praise from this game for sticking with it. A good display, boys, even if it did give the parents a few scares!
Scorers: Casey, Max
Reported by Chris Starke