Hall Road Rangers 4, Hemsworth MW 0
Thursday May 3
Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
By Neil Winsor
LAST night has been dubbed as Hall Road Rangers best performance of the season after they comprehensively saw off Hemsworth MW at Haworth Park
A stunning Josh Batty hat-trick as well as a Danny Norton second half free kick, sent Rangers on their way in a game they deserved the three points from.
Jack Griffin and Dane Mortimer returned after the pair missed Tuesday’s tired defeat at home to Albion Sports, whilst Gareth Owen also started.
There was no sign of fatigue though from Hall Road’s recent heavy schedule though, as they set about their task with a high tempo against a side in fifth place in the league table.
Despite Hemsworth registering an early shot off target, Rangers responded with a similar effort by Danny Norton in the opening exchanges.
With both sides looking for a telling blow, twice Conner Harman and Josh Batty linked up well with the latter firing wide on both occasions in the opening ten minutes also, before a swerving effort by Gareth Owen tested the resolve of Danny Rusling in the visitors goal.
After the first quarter the visitors showed signs of settling down, as a couple of dangerous balls into the penalty area had to be dealt with by the Rangers rearguard, with their only serious effort on goal coming on 22 minutes when James Hitchcock had to be alert to tip over a dipping rifled shot.
Hall Road deservedly took the lead though soon after.
Josh Batty who had only minutes earlier received treatment to his ankle after clearing the danger in his own penalty area, proved a nuisance at the other end.
The striker rose at the back post to powerfully head home Jack Griffin’s left sided cross on 27 minutes.
Batty was again prominent ten minutes later as he peeled away from his marker to get on the end of a deep cross from the right, however he failed to connect with any power, and shot straight at Rusling.
The hosts showed no signs of letting up at the start of the second period though as they began to take the game away from Hemsworth.
Mortimer missed the target with a difficult headed chance, before Griffin was shown the only caution of the game on 52 minutes.
With the chances Hall Road had carved out, it was only a matter of time before the second goal came, and skipper Danny Norton’s pinpoint free-kick from just left of centre on 57 minutes, clipped the inside of the left post to double his side’s lead.
With Rangers assistant Andrew Watts stepping into the hotseat in the absence of Bill Gill, Norton raced over to the Rangers dugout to passionately celebrate.
It wasn’t long after either, when Rangers made sure of the points as they netted once more, four minutes later.
Dane Mortimer’s ball downfield was only half cleared by a weak header, which fell to Danny Norton who’s cushioned pass into the path of Batty saw him undertake an audacious lob over Rusling from the right hand touchline, and nestling into the far corner of the net.
The wave of Rangers attacks continued, as Owen was again denied by Rusling, this time having his effort tipped round the left post, but with nineteen minutes left to play, Hall Road were to add to their tally, as Batty completed a superb hat-trick.
The visitors were undone by a route one approach, and as Batty was correctly adjudged to have beaten the offside trap on the left, he raced clear before a drag back inside, led to a curling effort over the head of Rusling once more, and into the top right hand corner to complete his hat-trick.
The game peetered out for the remainder, as Owen failed to pull the trigger when in a good position, and Mortimer showing great desire to nick the ball of Ripley who had broken away on the left at the other end, the only real moments of note.
Rangers were well worthy of the win and look to end a testing season on a high note this week
With one final challenge ahead, Rangers have an opportunity to derail Pickering Town’s promotion hopes in their final game of the season on Saturday at Haworth Park, where anything less then a Pickering win, will hand the second potential promotion spot to AFC Mansfield, thus handing an opportunity for Hall Road to have a major say in the promotion race.
A performance from the boys in blue similar to last night, will make Pickering’s task an extremely unenviable one on what could be a dramatic final day of the 2017/2018 season.
- Supporters are also invited to join us for the club’s presentation evening which gets underway at Haworth Park for 6.30pm this Saturday evening. Entry is free.