Match report

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SMETHWICK RANGERS 1 SHIFNAL TOWN 5
West Midlands (Regional) League, Premier Division

Saturday 19 September 2020
A strong wind and uneven playing surface combined to make things difficult for either side to produce decent football. The first half was all Shifnal, as they pressed for long periods with the wind at their backs, but they were unable to break the deadlock. Jacob Craner put Tom Hill through after 3 minutes, but Hill took the ball too wide as he rounded the keeper, and his angled shot was wide. Shortly afterwards, Jay Holdcroft’s header was too high from Jordan Uppal’s cross. Jake Webb tried his luck from 30 yards on 15 minutes, but his fierce drive was too close to Garel Criacr. 2 minutes later, Hill turned and shot from 25 yards, But Criacr managed to parry the ball away. A fine double save by the keeper denied Webb and Hill on the half hour, as the visitors pushed to open the scoring.

The first real chance for the home side came in the 52nd minute, when Kozi Muanda broke on the left, but Finlay Gaynor was unable to get a good contact to his low cross. The opening goal finally came after 57 minutes. Hill fed Craner on the right, and his low cross was tapped in by HOLDCROFTfrom close range. Angelo Franco was close as he met Webb’s 63rd-minute free-kick at the near post on 63 minutes, before the visitors doubled their lead in the 68th minute. Franco’s cross from the right was spilled by the keeper and HILL drove home from 10 yards. Substitute KYLE MONTAGUE grabbed the third with his first touch on 76 minutes. He picked the ball up in the middle of the Smethwick half, beat three defenders and chipped into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area. MONTAGUE made it 4-0 in the 80thminute, taking a touch from Cunningham’s through ball before driving into the far bottom corner from 15 yards. The fifth goal came from a passing movement on the right between Montague and Franco, DAVE HOWARTH heading home Franco’s cross. 2 minutes later, Rangers’ substitute Rio McFarlane rounded off a good move by firing narrowly wide from 20 yards. A minute into stoppage time, Town failed to clear a free-kick from the right, and McFARLANEdrove low into the corner from 18 yards.

SMETHWICK: Garel Criacr, Jordan Samuels, Barry Healey, Evander Beckford, Jordan Ambris, Blain Wakeman (Tamjir Malak 68mins), Shaikul Islam (Rio McFarlane 74mins), Prince Banda, Samuel Kayode, Finlay Gaynor, Kozi Muanza (Leo Glenn 60mins).
Subs not used: Ferid Mussanure; Akeel Ward.

SHIFNAL: Jake James, Jordan Uppal, Jordan Jones, Angelo Franco, Daniel Lloyd, Brad Smith, Sam McCarthy (Harry Cunningham 60mins), Jacob Craner, Tom Hill (Dave Howarth 74mins), Jay Holdcroft (Kyle Montague 74mins), Jake Webb.

Subs not used: Brad Sharman; Jamall Pinnock.
Caution: Montague (90mins).
Attendance: 60.
Referee: Craig Thompson (Stourport-on-Severn).
Assistant referees:Keith Hackett (Stourbridge).
Chris Winchurch (Brierley Hill).
Shifnal Star Man: Harry Cunningham.

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