First Team Reports Summerpre season friendlies: 2001/02
loxwood 5 - 0 meadow rangers
loxwood mix and matched their first and reserve teams for a confidence boosting midweek friendly victory. the game gave everyone the chance to put the weekend's woes behind them and although it was hard to get any flowing moves going on a tiny pitch, there were a number of outstanding performances. midfielder adam bowden was the star man in the first half as he pulled the strings to help see his new club into a 3-0 interval lead. and with 16-year-olds ricardo riccio, ryland wilson and liam cattigan all doing well the future certainly looks bright. loxwood took control from the off and scored from the unlikeliest of sorces - dan jack's head. sharkey then added a second from close range before the three teenagers linked up for wilson to make it 3-0 at half-time. despite making 11 changed during the interval, loxwood continued to dominate and after chris thorpe had made it 4-0 with a deflected shot, ed west showed his goal scoring prowess with a strke from two yards.
chazey heath 3 - 0 loxwood
an understrength first team started brightly before fading fast in their opening pre-season friendly at bishopswood. despite being without a number of key players, due to injuries and unavailabilities rangers began well with their new formation. but once a mistake by jack gill had gifted chazey the lead, any confidence seemed to drain away and chazey made it 2-0 by half-time. it might have been very different if jonno morshead's free kick had gone in instead of crashing off the bar while new signing adam bowden saw a fierce shot fly just wide. in the second half chazey made it 3-0 when they pounced on a loose ball in the box while rangers failed to create any worthwhile chances as they finished well beaten. team: byers, mcadden, buckley, roberts, gill, bowden, colman, greenwood, woods, austin, morshead. subs: harris, lewis.summer league 2001:
loxwood b 3 - 4 rides united
another treble from witty wasn't quite enough in the final as some sloppy defending allowed rides to hit back from 3-1 down to claim the trophy. witt gave rangers the perfect start when he volleyed in from 25 yards after just five minutes. and although utd levelled, witt made it 2-1 with a mazy run and finish before adding his third before the break with a superb long range strike which flew into the top corner. jonny austin and jason harris also had chances but with a two goal cushion at half-time, rangers looked set to go on to victory. they dominated the start of the second half but then rides broke away to score against the run of play and when pete phillips saw his close range header come back off the post, you could sense the tide was beginning to turn. rides then equalised when christian buckley's poor headed back pass was intercepted and to add insult to injury, buckley could only stand and watch as his marker got away from him to head home the winner in stoppage time.
loxwood b 4 - 1 afc wokingham
loxwood produced one of their best ever 45 minutes of football on their way to a comfortable win against afc wokingham. some of the passing and movement in the first half really was a joy to watch as rangers raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time. and if loxwood can retain possession like that next season then they are all set for another assualt on some silverware. right from the first whisle, rangers took control and after several close shaves, ace marksman richard witt opened the scoring with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area. and as the wokingham side continued to chase shadows, pete phillips added a second from close range before chronicle colleague jason harris made it 3-0 with a shot from 25 yards. after the break, afc changed their formation in a bid to halt loxwood's domination and for a while it worked as they stopped rangers playing from the back and even pulled a goal back on the hour. however, loxwood moved up another gear near the end and should have at least doubled their total with witt, jonny austin and phillips all going close. it eventually took a typical long range effort by jonno morshead to complete the scoring and make sure of a winning start to their summer league campaign.
dc steamers 0 - loxwood park rangers 4
man of the match jonno morshead scored a stunning hat-trick to make sure of the three points which made loxwood champions. having sat patiently on the sidelines in the first game, morshead showed his eye for goal is as keen as ever with three quality strikes in the second clash of the morning. but it was his first that proved to be the most important as it finally ended steamers' stubborn resistance. steamers had defended well to keep the game goalless for 30 minutes but when morshead turned in the box to fire into the far corner, loxwood could sense another victory in the air. morshead made it 2-0 early in the second half with another first time finish and he completed his treble in some style when he volleyed in from 25 yards after being picked out by jonny austin. all that was left was for chris thorpe to add the fourth and as the final whistle blew, the celebrations started......and they continued all night down at the poachers, official new sponsors of the division two east champions. how they performed 1 jason mitchell - had a quiet game as his defence once again gave nothing away - 7. 2 ed west - didn't give the ball away once and always looked for the simple pass - 8. 3 nathan harvey - tried to get forward as much as possible but rarely threatened - 7. 4 jason harris - played a part in the first goal but with no midfield replacements on the bench ran out of steam near the end - 7. 5 christian buckley - strong and aggressive and made sure big jase had nothing to do - 8. 6 duncan greenwood - had a few shaky moments but was never in any real trouble- 7. 7 chris thorpe - pushed up front late on due to cramp but still had enough energy to score a cracking goal - 7. 8 wes stone - got booked and at one stage looked as though he might see red. we won't say anything about the open goal he missed - 7. 9 jonno morshead - magnificent treble and was easily the man of the match - 9. 10 richard witt - always posed a threat but tired in the closing stages - 8. 11 brian colman - swept up impressively and went close to scoring with a far post header - 8. subs 12 dave clyde (for harvey 35') - gave very little away and made some vital clearances - 8. 14 jonny austin (for witt 50') - set jonno up for his third goal and did well playing out of position in midfield - 8. 15 simon mellor (for stone 60') - set up thorpey for the fourth goal and can now go and have his operation knowing that he played his part in us clinching the title - 8.
loxwood 6 dc steamers 0
loxwood park rangers were crowned division two east champions after emerging with maximum points from their final day double header against dc steamers. the two wins put rangers into pole position for the first time all season and completed a magnificent late run of eight successive victories which ensured loxwood took the title by just a single point ahead of ruscombe. having had as many as five games in hand on their fellow title challengers, rangers showed great character to make up so much ground. and it really was a case of perfect timing with the laurel park based side nipping in to steal the title right from under the noses of ruscombe. teenage marksmen jonny austin and richard witt bagged two goals each to help hit steamers for six in the opening game. although loxwood made a nervous start and took 20 minutes to get into their stride, once witt had lobbed one in from the edge of the box there was no looking back. centre half christian buckley made it 2-0 just before the break when he headed in his 11th goal of the season from a jason harris corner. and after the interval rangers continued to dominate with austin and witt adding to the tally with well taken efforts and as steamers lost their composure they had their goalkeeper sent off for pulling down austin when he was clean through on goal. the youngster then coolly dispatched the penalty for number five and with the points safe, player-boss harris took himself off to give striker simon mellor his first taste of division two action this season. and big si immediately made his mark by scoring the sixth goal when his miss-hit effort completely fooled the stand-in keeper. despite being hit by injuries and unavailabilities with both nick pope and pete phillips failing late fitness tests and mike roberts and matt poll missing, rangers still had too much strength in depth and with half the job done they regrouped ready for the return match. how they performed 1 jason mitchell - made some vital saves during the early stages but had little to do after that - 8. 2 nathan harvey - struggled to get into the game and came off with a slight injury - 7. 3 dave clyde - could have had a hat-trick as his overlapping runs caused havoc - 8. 4 jason harris - got through a lot of work and tried to get his side playing a simple passing game - 8. 5 christian buckley - scored yet another headed goal and was a tower of strength at the back - 8. 6 duncan greenwood - slotted in well at the back and made life tough for steamers' forwards - 7. 7 chris thorpe - looked nervous early on but gradually got into the game and kept things tight in midfield - 7. 8 wes stone - looked a little rusty on the ball having missed the previous two matches - 7. 9 jonny austin - weighed in with a man of the match display. he led the line superbly and took his goals well - 9. 10 richard witt - could have had a hat-trick but generously let jonny take the penalty - 8. 11 brian colman - took a nasty bang on the nose when big jase punched everything in sight from a corner but perhaps it knocked some sense into him - 8. subs 12 ed west (for harvey 60') - looked cool and collected and kept things simple - 8. 14 simon mellor (for harris 65') - scored a goal and upset one of their players big time. big si was back with a bang - 8. 15 jonno morshead (not used).
reading pirahnas 0 - 1 loxwood rark rangers
prolific marksman richard witt fired loxwood to within touching distance of the division two east title after his second half winner last sunday. his crucial strike means rangers will be crowned champions if they can take maximum points from this weekend's double header against dc steamers. witt's goal was all that separated the two side's in what had been billed a title decider prior to kick-off. yet if loxwood had taken all their chances they would won even more convincingly having always looked in control of a fascinating game. with teenage strikers witt and austin posing constant problems, austin should have given his side an early lead but with the goal gaping his first time prod sailed wide after being set up by witt. witt also saw a fierce shot hit the side netting while the unmarked nick pope headed a free-kick wide as loxwood continued to threaten. however, it took a superb save by jason mitchell to deny piranhas just before half-time in what was to prove their only real chance of the game. the tense battle began to hot up after the interval as the home side became increasingly frustrated at their inability to break down rangers water tight defence. and the longer the game wore on the more loxwood threatened with witt and the outstanding brian colman just inches away from scoring. however, the breakthrough finally came 15 minutes from time when dave clyde's determination in the tackle set up a chance for witt who rifled in a 20 yard effort to spark massive celebrations in the loxwood camp. this goal always looked to be enough as piranhas simply ran out of ideas up front and the title is now within loxwood's grasp after their sixth win of a hectic month. with a double header left to play, loxwood will be going flat out to finish in style as they take a squad of 18 players into the final games. how they performed 1 jason mitchell - made one crucial save in the first half but that apart wasn't really tested - 8. 2 nathan harvey - very solid and hardly put a foot wrong - 8. 3 dave clyde - his never-say-die attitude led to the goal - 8. 4 jason harris - kept things tight in midfield and delivered his usual quota of set pieces - 8. 5 christian buckley - made just one mistake when he lost his man but was superb apart from that - 8. 6 brian colman - colman was a man mountain with his best display of the season - 9. 7 chris thorpe - some no-nonsense tackles meant piranhas were unable to get into their stride - 8. 8 pete phillips - did a superb job on their dangerman and was nearly as good as colman- 8. 9 jonny austin - should have scored but got through so much work i'll let him off - 8. 10 richard witt - another well taken goal to add to his long list of important strikes - 8. 11 nick pope - should no signs of rustiness after a lay-off through injury and kept things organised at the back - 8. subs 12 mikey roberts (for thorpe 75') - slotted in well and made sure we kept hold of the lead - 8. 14 jonno morshead (for austin 85') - gave their defenders no time to settle - 8. 15 duncan greenwood (for harvey 89') - immaculate display, didn't put a foot wrong - 8.
ecmwf 1 - 5 loxwood
loxwood made it five wins in a row last thursday night after completing a quick double over the weathermen. and despite another slow start, once dave clyde had headed his side into a first half lead the final result was never in doubt. yet the opening 20 minutes were a stop-start shambles as both sides struggled in the driving wind and it didn't help matters when the referee took a tumble and spent most of the first half wandering around half dazed. but finally loxwood found some form and clyde was delighted to open his first team account when he looped a header in from eight yards out. with the wind at their backs after the break, loxwood went in search of more goals and they weren't long in coming as jonno morshead struck from close range and then jason harris made it 3-0 with a first time strike from the edge of the box. a mistake by duncan greenwood allowed ecmwf to pull one back, despite a great parry by jason mitchell, but almost immediately the visitors added a fourth when brian colman stole in at the far post to head home a harris free kick. morshead bagged his second with a first time lob from 20 yards and man of the match jonny austin deservedly got on the scoresheet when he cut in from the left before powering home from a difficult angle. there should have been more goals but pete phillips had an effort blocked on the line while colman slammed a header against the woodwork. but once again rangers were comfortable winners despite not being at their best.
loxwood 3 - 1 salisbury club
loxwood were expecting a tough test against a much improved salisbury side and that was just what they got in last sunday's clash. in an even first half, nathan harvey fired loxwood ahead when his scuffed shot somehow found its way through the keeper's legs but salisbury were back on level terms by half-time following an own goal by brian colman. a superb header by the gaffer from a jason harris set piece edged rangers into a 2-1 lead midway through the second half but it wasn't until harris netted with a free kick near the end that the result was put beyond any doubt.
loxwood 7 - 2 ecmwf
rangers ran out comfortable winners in another midweek clash after jonny austin had given his side a dream start with two goals in the opening two minutes. yet some more sloppy play allowed ecmwf to pull one back and it took an own goal to leave loxwood with a 3-1 interval advantage. richard witt made it 4-1 after nathan harvey had missed a sitter and after the visitors had briefly rallied with a second goal, jason harris reopened the three goal gap from six inches after great work by pete phillips. a mazy run by witty resulted in number six and buckers scored with yet another header to take his tally for the season to 10.
loxwood 8 - 2 shinfield boro
youngster richard witt weighed in with a well taken treble as shinfield were sent packing at laurel park. the former reading academy goalkeeper has been a revelation since signing for loxwood last month and his goals could yet help push park into a top two position come the end of the season. that's not to say the other strikers haven't been doing their bit and jonno morshead (2) and jonny austin also hit the net as loxwood eventually ran out comfortable winners. but it wasn't all plain sailing as loxwood struggled to find their best form early on. witt and morshead give their side a 2-0 lead but a needless handball by nathan harvey allowed borough to peg one back from the penalty spot and after witt had volleyed home an awesome strike to make it 3-1 a deflected shot put the visitors back in contention. however, christian buckley restored the two goal cushion morshead made it 5-2 and witt completed his treble for the sixth. austin added the seventh after being picked out by jason harris and a typical buckley bullet from a corner completed the tally.
Read about first team result at east division.