RATHFRILAND Rangers hosted Holywood on Saturday in their first league fixture for two months.
With a range of cup games on offer for The Whites in the last number of weeks this was their first chance to get more league points on the board in their quest for the Division 1B title.
Although their league position didn`t show it, the visitors were plucky and determined and pushed the home side all the way to the finish.
Holywood were up for the job straight away and took the lead as early as the tenth minute when the No 10 curled one into the top corner for a brilliant finish to make it 0 – 1.
The visitors in fact could have taken a 2 – 0 lead but somehow the striker seemed to scuff his shot wide of the post.
The match failed to flow with any great consistency but Rathfriland came back with two close efforts after a great run and strike by Ryan Evans and another snapshot from Ally Wilson.
Rangers however did level the scores at 1 – 1 when from a corner kick captain Kevin Henry powered a header past the `keeper. Holywood never gave up and did not allow Rathfriland to get any grip or hold of the game and so the remainder of the half failed to change the scoresheet.
On the restart Rathfriland had more possession of the ball but Holywood continued to bite at their heels with the spine of their team from goalkeeper to striker a real asset to their play.
The Holywood `keeper made a great save with his legs from Stevie Coulter while he also palmed one away from Ally Beck and Johnny Jess and at the other end they also twice went close.
With time running out and a draw looking to be the only result likely, Ally Wilson found himself on the left and his low powered cross into the six yard box was clipped into the net for an own goal to leave the Rathfriland fans in raptures.
Holywood went close from a couple of late corners but in the end Rathfriland ran out 2 – 1 winners.
Overall not the most exciting or end to end game in the world but on the day Rangers done enough to get over the line and collect three valuable Division 1B points.
TEAM: David Wilton, Ally Evans, Glenn Waddell, Connor Larkin, Decky Allister, Kevin Henry, Johnny Jess, Ryan Evans, Stevie Coulter, Ally Wilson, Ally Beck.
Subs: Willie Herron, Ian Weir.