Lytham Junior Blues didn’t look ring-rusty as they won their first match since mid-November in the Blackpool and District Youth League’s Under-14 competition.
Paul Wright’s Lytham side weren’t knocked out of their stride by FC Rangers’ stunning equaliser at Park View playing fields as the home side went on to seal victory 2-1.
There was some fine football played in tough, cold conditions and the hosts took an early lead when Kane Twomney fired his shot into the bottom corner.
Boosted by their previous match against Lytham, in which they recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-2, FC Rangers were unfazed and equalised in superb style shortly before half-time, when captain Dominic Gil rocketed an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards.
Manager Colin Cardwell revealed that his skipper had been reluctant to take the free-kick, despite having scored another screamer this season, and this will have boosted his confidence at set-pieces.
Lytham took the game to their visitors in the second half, and although good saves denied Kyle Costin and Twomney, the winning goal arrived on 51 minutes.
It followed a rare mistake at the back by Rangers, striker Jay Orchard nipping in to pounce on a loose ball and secure the points.
Lytham manager Paul Wright was pleased to be back to winning ways after such a lengthy lay-off.
He said: “It’s good to get going again and to play well, even if we didn’t have our shooting boots on at times.
“It was a close game but we had plenty of chances and could have won by more. I was pleased with the football we played.
“The target is still to finish in the middle or towards the top end of the table.”
Rangers have struggled to reproduce their early-season form but manager Colin Cardwell is encouraged by their efforts.
He said: “The game was dominated by both defences and the teams were evenly matched in midfield, but our chances for a second equaliser came and went.
“It was a disappointing result but we need to pick ourselves up for this weekend.
“We were able to turn up with 14 or 15 players for a good, competitive game and that’s what it is all about. The top four is still achievable.”
Both managers named a defender as man of the match, with centre-half Charlie Barnes rock-solid for Lytham, while Stephen Forbes stood out for Rangers in a sweeper role, reading the game expertly.