In blustery conditions at Bexhill Road where Hastings Borough Council had seemingly opted against cutting the grass, the Eastbourne Rangers ESFL team secured the spoils to go three points clear at the top of division one.
Rangers took the lead after just 11 minutes when Dylan Nanuck found Connor Sullivan, who’s Cantona-esk chip to the far corner left the home keeper completely bamboozled.
Rangers doubled their lead 23 minutes later when skipper Ben Jesson rifled in first time after Steve Green had supplied a cross from the rangers right.
The second period, much like the first, was dominated by the conditions with rangers coming close to adding more goals with a Brad Meredith volley hitting the post and a Sullivan freekick headed on to his own bar by a home defender.
Martin Bell in the rangers goal had one shot to save all game and this came towards the end of the game – one for the cameras.
2-0 was the final scoreline and this was enough to send rangers clear at the summit of the league.
The Seaside Cafe MOM was awarded to Tony Derese (immense in midfield) just edging out Lee Chapman who had a composed game at the back.
This week our ESFL team make the long trip to The Bell Field to face Ticehurst FC in a division one clash. The sides met very recently on the Eastbourne Sporks Park 3G where rangers ran out accomplished winners by netting seven unanswered goals.
This game is expected to be a much tougher challenge with The Bell Field pitch expected to be very heavy if it is deemed playable. If not, Rangers have booked a pitch at Old Town Rec in Eastbourne to give the game a better chance of going ahead.
Since the last meeting between the two sides, Rangers have played just one game which was a 5-1 victory over league leaders Sidley United. Ticehurst have been out of action since their visit to the 3G due to the appalling state of the weather.
Ticehurst’s league record reads P7 W1 D0 L6 F9 A25 Pts3 and their top scorer is Rob Briley, his last goal coming in a 6-1 defeat to Old Hastonians early in December.
Rangers come into the game in scintillating form with five league wins from five propelling them to within touching distance of league leaders Sidely. During these five games rangers have netted 26 times (conceding 3) with nine of these goals coming from the divisions leading scorer Dan Wilkes, Wilkes only having played the last three matches.
Wherever this game gets played, the going is set to be heavy with conditions bound to be tough. But with only light rain forecast from Friday night onwards, there is a big hope this game will be played one way or the other. The importance of this game is huge. A win for Rangers could see them go top of the table on goal difference should Sidley’s game not go ahead at Bexhill Road versus JC Tackelway.
Our MSFL team take part in their first semi final of the season this week against AFC Haywards II in a 1.30pm kick off at the sports park. AFC currently top MSFL division 5 with a league record similar to rangers having amalgamated 26 points from a possible 33 which has seen them secure 8 wins, sales 2 draws and just a solitary defeat to a Portslade Athletic II side who “strengthened” on the day.
Their route to the semi final has been relatively straight forward. After receiving a bye in the first round, web Lindfield III (of MSFL division 7) were the opposition and AFC dispatched of them with a comfortably with a 5-1 win – the division 7 outfit yet to win a single game this season. AFC had a much closer game in the quarter finals and beat higher ranked opposition in the form of Peacehaven United II (3-2), medical opponents that rangers are very familiar with in MSFL division four this campaign.
They have two danger men that rangers need to be wary of; the first is Jimmy Jones who has netted 9 times in 12 games, while Terry Wallis has scored 13 goals in 10 games having also played half a dozen games for the AFC first team.
Their league record reads: P11 W8 D2 L1 F33 A10 Pts26 with AFC accumulating 4 clean sheets in 4 of those wins. That said, they have not kept a clean sheet since the end of October. Rangers, on the other hand, have kept 4 consecutive clean sheets including the 3-0 quarter final victory at Rotherfield !!. Rangers have kept 6 clean sheets from 17 games in total and will look to go 15 games unbeaten in this week’s game, a truly amazing run.
Our ESFL team have an equally important game against third placed Old Hastonians. Hastonians came out on top in the only meeting of the two sides this season so far when rangers put in their worst 45 minutes of the season back in October, which saw “The Stones” take a 3 goal lead at the break. Some harsh words at half time rallied the rangers troops but the red an blacks only managed to claw 2 goals back despite making a whole array of chances in the second half.
Hastonians have only dropped 4 league points all season compared to rangers 6, so the enormity of this game for both sides, rangers in particular, is very apparent. Rangers will be buoyed after dismantling league leaders Sidley United last week 5-1, a result which has blown division one wide open with four teams still in with a realistic chance of becoming champions.
The Stones league record reads: P7 W5 D1 L1 F26 A13 Pts16 which sees them sit 5 points behind rangers with two games in hand. In their last 3 league games they have secured 2 wins against Ticehurst (6-1) and JC Tackleway (2-0) while Hastonians came back for 3-0 down to rescue a 3-3 draw against Crowhurst.
Top scorer Dave Pugh (14) has recently flown the Hastonian nest to join Saltdean United, so their current top scorer is Will Cullen who has five league goals. This weeks opposition are also still in two cup competitions, the Birchwood Challenge (league) Cup and the HastingsJunior Cup where they are at the semi final and quarter final stage respectively.
Two really tough and important games for very different reasons this week, good luck to both rangers sides.
In the days massive game on the sports park 3g, rangers came out convincing winners against table toppers Sidley United to close the gap at the top to just three points.
Sidley got off to a perfect start when Greg Manton was adjudged to have handled in the area after just 2 minutes – the Sidley player dispatching the ball past keeper Martin Bell to give Sidley the lead.
In a crazy five minute spell for rangers, they took the lead with a sublime individual goal from skipper Ben Jesson and a well worked team goal from top scorer Dan Wilkes, which gave the red and blacks a slender one goal lead at the interval.
The next goal was always going to be pivotal and that man Wilkes was on hand again midway through the first half to give rangers a crucial two goal advantage with the simplest of tap ins after great work from Matt Wheeler down the rangers right.
With rangers now in complete control, they found themselves on the end of some tough challenges with Sidley receiving 5 bookings during the second half.
Any hopes of a Sidley comeback were quickly dashed when Wheeler added a fourth rangers goal with 14 minutes to go, with the rangers pace man securing his second, and rangers fifth of the game with 2 minutes remaining – 5-1 the final score.
After a slow first 20 minutes, rangers were exceptional for the rest of the game. The Seaside Cafe? MOM was awarded to Ben Jesson.
Our deepest thanks to sponsors Chatfield Jewellers who have kindly provided new home shirts for the rangers first team. (Picture attached)
Eastbourne Rangers MSFL 6-0 Rotherfield FC? II
Eastbourne Rangers MSFL team cruised to a comfortable win at Old Town Rec. A solitary Glen Noble goal gave rangers a half time lead with Noble adding a second shortly after the break.
Josh Kyte then gave rangers a 3 goal cushion with rangers substitute Joe Horton securing rangers fourth. Kyte then netted again, with substitute Chris Ward scoring a sixth to secure a well earned victory.
The Old Dave’s Gourmet Burger Co.? MOM was awarded to Josh Kyte.
This win sees rangers now ELEVEN points clear at the top of division four.
Our ESFL team face league leaders and the ruthlessly efficient Sidley United this weekend in a crucial clash on the sports park 3G. The sides have already met this season at Hooe Rec where United came out on top in a game which saw rangers miss a host of chances, approved particularly in the first period when the score was 0-0. Nothing should be taking away from United though who were a well organised unit and its plain see why they currently have the best defensive record in the league. United took the lead midway through the second half and then pinched another in the dying moments of the game for a well-earned victory.
They currently boast an amazing run of league form which has seen them gain maximum points from 8 league games (although this run is actually 10 games unbeaten but the two wins they secured against folded team AFC Hastings having been expunged from the league records). Their only defeat of the season came against AFC Hastings in the league cup where they were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. They still remain in both the Sussex Junior Cup and the Hastings Junior Cup and without doubt they will be thinking about the “T” word….. treble.
Their league record reads: P8 W8 D0 L2 F19 A5 Pts24 and rangers sit 6 points behind them with this and one other meeting between the two sides yet to come. United are still to play third placed Old Hastonians (who have title aspirations of their own) three times, and so this league is very still wide open, here especially with Crowhurst waiting in the wings having only played four league games in total, having faced the top three just once each. United’s top scorer is Arron Scrace who has five league goals to his name.
This game is a 2.30pm kick off on the 3g in what looks to be a very wet afternoon – bring your brollies and your support! #rangersarecoming
Our MSFL team look to stretch their impressive unbeaten run to 14 games when then face Rotherfield II for the fourth time this season. This is the third league meeting between the sides while the last meeting between the two was in January when rangers were 3-0 victors in the league cup. Rotherfield have played one game since when they came away with an entertaining 6-3 home win against East Grinstead United II.
Their top scorer is Pat McManus who has found the back of the net 5 times this season, McManus also having secured some game time with the Rotherfield first team this season. Rotherfield’s league record reads: P9 W2 D4 L3 F16 A20 Pts10. With rangers responsible for two of those three defeats, the only other team Rotherfield have lost to in the league is second placed Jarvis Brook II who were able to field a strengthened side that day in a 3-0 win.
Despite claiming three victories already over this week’s opponents, rangers should approach the game with caution, but will also be in a confident mood after keep three consecutive clean sheets and scoring thirteen in the process.
This game has been moved to Old Town Rec and will kick off at 2pm.