Soccer

Rangers secure top-flight return

  • Too late: Southampton Rangers pair Keedai Astwood and Ezekiel Stoneham evade a sliding tackle from a Flanagan’s Onions player at Goose Gosling Field yesterday

(Photogaph by Lawrence Trott)

Southampton Rangers clinched the second promotion place when they beat Flanagan’s Onions 1-0 at Goose Gosling Field yesterday.

Rangers, who lost top spot to Somerset Eagles last weekend when they suffered a shock defeat to bottom side Vasco da Gama, also reclaimed first place after Eagles could only manage a 1-1 draw with Devonshire Colts at Police Field.

Onions, like Vasco, certainly did not make it easy for Rangers, holding them out until captain Donte Brangman’s 66th-minute goal separated the teams. A draw would have been enough for Rangers to confirm a top-two finish. However, it did not matter as third-placed Hamilton Parish, who had only a slim chance of catching Rangers, lost 4-2 to St David’s.

Brangman’s winner came from a run down the right flank after a long ball by goalkeeper Ajai Daniels. Brangman ran into the box before slotting past the Onions goalkeeper Lejaun Matthews.

“It was definitely a hard-fought win, but deserved for us,” Brangman said. “We put in the work and knew it wasn’t going, but we did what we had to do to get the victory.

“I was in the middle of the park and wasn’t seeing much of the ball so [coach] Jomar [Wilkinson] told me to go on the right so I could expose the line. As soon as I went there the ball came to me. I tried to take my time and I finished it. A thought went through my head which said ‘promotion’ and I had to score.”

Brangman added: “We just heard that Eagles drew so we’re back on top by one point. Now we’ve got to win the rest of our games; that’s the main thing. We want to beat Eagles in our last game and celebrate at the end.”

Wilkinson is relieved that promotion has been secured after missing out last year despite going undefeated in his first season as coach. “My hat goes off to Flanagan’s, they did a hell of a job today,” he said.

“We understood what we were in for today and my team showed a lot of heart, determination and passion. We had to stay true to what we do, our style of play, our philosophy and we needed to trust that.”

Eagles had to come from a goal down to earn a point against Colts who led after 14 minutes after a Chemari Henry’s goal. Anwar Telford equalised in the 68th minute to protect their unbeaten league record this season.

Kyle Brangman scored as Wolves beat Ireland Rangers 1-0 while Vasco made it two wins in a row with a 2-0 victory over Young Men’s Social Club. Kyle Godfrey scored in the 49th minute and captain Ricardo Ponte netted the second in the 63rd as Vasco moved off the bottom of the table for the first time this season.

Jamal Woodley. of St David’s, scored twice against Parish. Stuart Wilson then got a late red card that will rule him out of the FA Cup quarter-final against BAA on Wednesday. Kontai Burton gave St David’s the lead before Jermiah Steede equalised six minutes later.

Irvon Vanputten put St David’s back in front in the 47th minute as St David’s scored three unanswered goals with Woodley netting a penalty in the 50th and then a second goal in the 58th minute. Chris Caisey converted a 72nd minute penalty for Hamilton Parish as Wilson received a red card for foul and abusive language directed at the referee Tracy Adams as he disputed the penalty decision.