Winter White-out as Rangers take first win of the new year.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

FINALLY the Whites returned to action after the Christmas and new year break and came back to league action.

Lisburn Rangers...1
Rathfriland Rangers...3

The first opposition of 2018 was a tricky Lisburn Rangers side, managed by former Rathfriland coach Stevie Houston.

The Whites managed to claim all three points in this one with a 3-1 victory.

The game started off with both teams struggling to dominate possession on the tight bobbly pitch at Stanley Park.

The Whites started with the same team from the previous outing with only a small reshuffle on the bench.

They had the first real sniff at goal when an inswinging corner from Ross Black was met by Michael McAlinden and he headed over when contested for the ball.

The opening goal of the game came on the 25 minute mark when the Lisburn right back was caught on the ball by Costello, who disposed him and raced clear towards goal, before cutting the ball back for Mark Teggart to sidefoot home from 6 yards into the empty net.

The opening goal seemed to spur Rathfriland to be more comfortable on ball and control more possession, with Johnboy Scannell in particular finding himself in some excellent pockets of space.

On 30 minutes Rathfriland picked up an injury to Evans and he had to be replaced by Clyesdale, who was dominant from the minute he was introduced.

Rathfriland got their second goal of the game when Scannell played a pass into Costello's feet, who feinted to shoot and turned sharply to get away from the defender and drill a low shot into the corner.

Before the half-time whistle sounded Rangers had one more big chance when Stevie Coulter floated a ball in for Teggart, who controlled beautifully on his chest before volleying the ball straight into the goalkeeper's face who was brave in his save.

The referee blew the half time whistle early while the home 'keeper received treatment.

Half time 0-2.

The second half started with Lisburn making an enforced change in goal resulting from the incident before half time.

The Whites may have thought the game was over at 2-0 but they were very much mistaken.

The home side came out the more hungrier from the break and dominated a large spell of the second half.

Rathfriland then lost Ross Black to a head injury on 60 minutes and he was replaced by Shea "Travolta" McConville with a reshuffle occurring in midfield.

The Whites seemed to be soaking up the pressure comfortably when a long ball over the top caught out Clydesdale and after Gracey pulled off a fine save, a corner was given.

From the resulting corner the Lisburn number 9 rose highest to head home inside the crowded penalty area. The home side had two further chances from strikes outside the box, but Gracey was well in control of the efforts.

Lisburn continued to press Rathfriland but with 10 minutes left, up popped Johnboy Scannell to score the all-important third for Rathfriland with a fine finish from outside the box, drilled in low with his left foot.

Rathfriland took the opportunity to bring on 16 year-old Josh Ingram, who has constantly impressed in recent outings with the first team and did so again in this game.

The final whistle came with both sides having half chances to score but 1-3 was the final score.

Most impressive on the day for Rathfriland were Jack Graham and Michael McAlinden.

Team: Gracey, Roy, Evans, McAlinden, Graham, Coulter, Black, Edgar, Teggart, Scannell and Costello.


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