Youth football match of the week: FC Rangers Under-16s v St Annes Greens
The Under-16s of FC Rangers and St Annes Greens started their match at Boundary Park level on points in the Blackpool and District Youth League, so a close contest was expected.
It turned out to be anything but as an outstanding Greens side scored six goal in the first half and went on to complete a 9-1 victory.
Rangers were badly hit by injuries but the Greens were in great form as their man of the match, Matt van Wyk, and Lucas Kilgallon both scored twice in the first half.
The Greens too have struggled for numbers this season but were able to name a substitute on Sunday, when they wasted no time in taking the game to their hosts.
Van Wyk netted the opener after 10 minutes and Scott Cowgill soon doubled the lead straight from a corner.
Kilgallon made it three but Rangers kept their heads up and their top scorer Kye Wyley pulled them back into the contest.
Indeed, it could have been different had the on-form striker received more service or had St Annes not pulled off a crucial goal-line clearance when the scoreline was still 3-1.
Instead, they went back on to the attack to add three more before half-time.
Those second strikes by van Wyk and Kilgallon were separated by a scorcher from Kevin McGow.
It was comfortable for St Annes thoughout the second half as they added three further goals from Aidan Preston, Matthew Lumby and Connor Heyes.
It continued a solid start to what could be the Greens’ last season together and manager Jayne Cowgill is highly satisfied.
She said: “Our target is to finish in the top two after just missing out on second place last season.
“We’d love to win the league, but being under-16s this could be their last season and so the main thing is to finish this season on a high.
“We expected a far closer game against FC RAngersbut the boys played really well. They put in loads of effort and really played as a team.”
Rangers also have plenty to play for as manager Phil Stott said: “We could still get into a good position but we need to get players fit.
“Our games against St Annes are usually very good and close. They played very well but we have a lot of injuries and we need to get players back.”
Two-goal van Wyk was St Annes’ man of the match, though any of his team-mates could have won the award after a dominant first-half display.
Right winger Carl King was the Rangers man of the match. He fought throughout on his return from injury and never gave up.