Rangers let two goal lead slip

RATHFRILAND RANGERS 3 CRUMLIN UTD 3

Rathfriland Rangers hosted Crumlin United at Iveagh Park in Brian Adair’s first home game of his second term in charge.

Despite leading by a two goal margin with ten minutes remaining, “The Whites” conceded twice to let the visitors back into it and help themselves to a share of the spoils.

Crumlin probably had the better of the play in the early stages of the game with Kieran Maguire in the Rathfriland goal called into action on a couple of occasions. Rathfriland took the lead on the half hour when Johnny Gibson controlled a neat header to Ryan Evans who progressed to carve in a low cross for debutant Gerard Rooney to slot home at the back post from six yards out.

Gibson then had a fantastic towering header cleared off the line but United equalised just before the half time whistle when they broke away culminating in the no 10 volleying into the bottom corner to make it 1 -1.

In the second period Rangers had more of the possession and control of the game when Paul Donegan floated a great ball over the top to Darren McGrath who controlled the ball well and fired in a great low shot to put the home side 2 - 1 up.

Ryan Evans then grazed the crossbar with a fierce angled shot shortly followed by captain Stevie Coulter slotting one past the outside of the post with the outside of his foot. Crumlin were always dangerous on the break and from time to time reminded Rathfriland of their danger going forward.

The home side then extended their lead giving them a two goal gap when Coulter slipped in Rooney and the no 9 finished with great aplomb with a low shot under the advancing ‘keeper.

The turning point of the game came with ten minutes remaining when Crumlin on one of their breakaway attacks got far enough for the no 9 to neatly slot te ball under the ‘keeper to make it 3-2.

The home support hardly had time to take in the fifth goal of the game when a sixth arrived when another fine volley nestled in the corner for the equaliser sending the visiting dugout into raptures.

Overall an entertaining game with Rathfriland having really good spells of play but probably a notch higher in fitness would have seen them over the line.