Hall Road Rangers where left lamenting another poor start to a game as they entertained Westella VIP on Thursday night. After the planning and preparation that Martin Thacker and his back room staff put into the fixture and after playing Knaresbrough on Tuesday and ahead of the away return fixture at Westella VIP on Saturday, plans where scuppered on four minutes. Rangers keeper Jordan Douglas was shown a straight red card in the 4th minute for a one on one challenge with an onrushing Westella attacker. Referee Matthew Bacon deemed the challenge a red card offence and despite the ball heading towards the corner flag and with men on the line to cover he sent Douglas to the dressing room.
Ex Rangers player Chris Spinks dispatched the resulting spot kick past stand in keeper Darrel Thompson to give the travellers the lead. More controversy followed as Referee Bacon again awarded Westella a second spot kick on 24 minutes after an apparent handball in the box by Mike Walsh. Thompson was up to the challange though and saved well with his legs.
Parity was restored just before the break though as clean through on goal Rangers forward Martin Jones was cleaned out by the Westella Keeper Liam Taylor who only saw yellow for his challenge. Adam Foster score the resulting kick to make it 1-1 at the break.
As the 10 men of Rangers continued to compete they were again behind on 58 minutes as Gaz Flounders capitalised and fired Westella into the lead. A further Chris Spinks goal on 60 minutes made it an uphill struggle for the 10 men but when another penalty was awarded to Rangers Adam Foster it shortly afterwards it gave the home side a glimmer of hope. At 3-2 Rangers were still in the game. With energy levels draining a poor clearance by Danny Blount on 70 minutes provided Chris Short with his opportunity and he made it 4-2. Jo McFadyen rounded off the scoring on 75 minutes but with Martin Jones and Ben Kinsley both hitting the woodwork it was still a close fought affair. Further controversy at the end compounded the defeat as with the ball in the net Callum Harrison was given off side directly from a throw-in.
After the game Manager Martin Thacker lamented the loss “I’m bitterly disappointed with tonight.” He said “We played 90 minutes with 10 men and an outfield player in goal.”
“First half we were the better team and deserved to go in winning never mind drawing. 2nd half we made too many mistakes and in the end it cost us, some of the errors are shocking and a few of us will be gutted with the mistakes but we move on a try again Saturday.”
“I will let everyone else comment on the officials because I have never seen anything like it. I’m not even sure these officials knew the rules.”
Rangers will now play the return fixture away at Westella on Saturday afternoon. Kick off will be 3pm at the Euronics Ground, Barton-upon-Humber.