20 Oct

RAYNERS LANE 7         HAREFIELD UNITED 1                                     Keano Robinson                                     Bradley Bubb                                     Sean Shields (2)                                     Kyel Reid                                     Anthony Mendy (2)                                                                                                                                       Rayners MOM: Sean Shields Rayners made four changes for the visit of fellow Middlesex side Harefield United. Skipper Aaron Minhas and full back Callum Webb were both suspended, midfield dynamo Troy Perez-Duah failed a late fitness test and Anthony Mendy reverted to the bench. On a swelteringly hot day Harefield United were much changed from recent fixtures and approached the game with positive intent, in stark contrast to recent visitors to Tithe Farm. This made for an open, entertaining match. Rayners made the early running, dominating possession and territory but The Hares posed a threat on the break. Rio Connell, with his speed and trickery down the flank, and Sean Shields always picking the ball up in pockets of space, caused the visitors problems and both had efforts off target. The breakthrough came in the 19th minute when a short corner ended with Kyel Reid putting a teasing cross into the  box where Keano Robinson reacted quickest to poker the ball home from close range. Harefield restored parity with a minute when Harry Healey hit a speculative volley from wide left which nestled in to the corner of the net, over a stranded Jack Smith. The game then returned to its previous pattern, with Rayners in the ascendancy but just unable to find the final pass – Bradley Bubb headed just wide, Rio Connell went close with a volley and Sean Shields had a goal disallowed. Just before the break, however, Rayners Lane went ahead again. Some good work from Shields set up Kyel Reid and the mercurial winger made no mistake, slotting past the advancing keeper. During the break Nathan Webb was replaced by debutant Frank Keita and it wasn’t long into the second period before Rayners extended their lead. After pushing the visitors back for the first five minutes, Sean Shields, from just inside the box on the left hand side, curled a delightful shot into the top right hand corner, giving the keeper no chance. Just over a minute later Rio Connell was brought down in the box and Bradley Bubb made no mistake from the spot. By now Rayners were well into their stride and put relentless pressure on the Harefield defence. The main thorn in the visitor’s side was Rio Connell who terrorised both full backs for the whole ninety minutes. He was again prominent in Rayners fifth goal, another burst down the right and across for Shields to get his second from close range.  Anthony Mendy replaced Bradly Bubb and helped himself to the final two goals. The first was a deft header over the stranded Harefield keeper, David Brown, from a pin point Shields cross and the second when he ran onto Frank Keita’s long pass from the back and lobbed Brown. Rayners will have been disappointed not to have increased their lead further. Connell was by now going past the visitors left back and advancing towards goal every few minutes but each time his shot was wide or his cross didn’t reach a team mate. This was a good team performance against an opposition in transition who battled until the end. A word also on the referee Michael Smith who had an outstanding game.  He controlled proceedings, communicated with all the players and staff well and got all the big decisions right. He was ably supported by his Assistants Steve Williams and Nigel Hicks so well done to the team in black. Come On The Lane! Rayners Lane – 1. Jack Smith 2. Manny Folarin 3. Oliver Sprague 4. Keano Robinson ©. 5. Ivan Atkins 14. Troy Perez-Duah (Sub: 17 Alex Cathline, 80) 7. Rio Connell 8. Nathan Webb (Sub: 15 Frank Keita, 46) 9. Bradley Bubb (Sub: 16 Anthony Mendy, 65) 10. Sean Shields 11. Kyel Reid (Sub: 12 Zaine Gangadeen, 60) Att: 103 Ref: Michael Smith      Asst: Steve Williams / Nigel Hicks

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