Dollingstown looked to stop the run of two poor results against an experienced Rangers team. Dollingstown themselves had two ex-Rangers players in the squad, one of which made a telling impact. The game started at a frantic pace that show Dollingstown control the opening thirty minutes, moving the ball well with the explosive Lavery and skillful De Brun cause all sorts of problems for Rangers.
Diven who had the lone striker’s role was isolated for the majority of the opening exchanges however he was involved in all of the Town attacks, and defended from the front leading the Town press well. For all the Town possession, the final ball was missing, either the weight of ball was not right or the pass selection was wrong. This seemed to give Rangers an added boost who got themselves back into the game and started to test McRobert’s all be it from range.
With the match evenly balanced Rangers took the lead on the thirty forth minute, a corner was not cleared and the ball fell to Chambers who as always was in the right place for a simple tap in. The remainder of the half ended a stalemate, Rangers playing the early long ball to the pacey McCann and Davidson out wide who struggled to get past both Town full backs in Denver and Russell who were excellent today. Town did have a few chances to draw level before the break, Treanor went through one on one but his touch was a little heavy and was easily gathered up by Parkes in the Rangers goal.
Town did have the ball in the back of the net, a recycled free-kick fell to Cathel DeBrun who whipped in an excellent cross for Lavery who headed in past Parkes only to be flagged off side.
HT 1-0 to Rangers
At half time Town were asked to get what they deserved from the game, having played good football for the majority of the match they were urged to take their chances and play football in the right areas. The squad know they would get chances and knew that they must take them.
The second half started as the first ended with both teams sparing, Rangers looking to put some daylight between Town and themselves whilst Town were seeking an equalizer. On fifty-five minutes Matthew Smylie was introduced for his debut against his former club and he made little time in making his presence known rushing onto a through ball from Lavery, beating the offside trap only to the forced wide by the on rushing Parkes.
Again Smylie was involved in the next incident, this time handbags between himself and Hilland which caused a number of Rangers and Town players to come together but nothing more than a few strong words and shoving took place, easily resolved by both managers and referee.
Second substitution of the game saw Branker come on for Treanor, Branker took up his role on the left-wing and was involved in the equalizing goal, on seventy-six minutes Branker collects the ball from a Rangers slipped in Cathel who played another through ball to Smylie who powered past the Rangers defence, into the box from the left corner and slipped the ball coolly under a driving Parkes, queue cheering and jeering from both teams as the ex-Rangers man comes on to make the desired impact.
The game was far from over with Town increasingly applying more pressure on the Rangers back four forcing them into a defensive change, on the eighty-third minute, Town had the chance to win the game Lavery came in of the right-wing running in front of the Rangers defence, ball played to feet by Diven, Lavery spins past Gregg into the box only for his shot to be tipped onto the post by Parkes.
The game ended 1-1, Town with a much improved performance, playing a very good high tempo game. A special mention is to Cameron who was fantastic at the heart of the defence today as well as captain Hill who was played out of position but battled hard and moved the ball well from the middle of the park.
Up next for Town as they look to get back to winning ways is an away trip to Annagh United Strollers this Friday evening under the lights at Tandragee Road with a 8.15 KO.