04 Sep

Rayners Lane suffered their first defeat of the season, going down by the odd goal to Virginia Water at Stag Meadow, home of their landlords Windsor & Eton. The home side came into the game on the back of a win against third placed North Greenford United and an earlier FA Cup victory against one of the title favourites, Risborough Rangers. In the early stages Virginia Water were content to sit back and soak up some Rayners Lane pressure and possession but the closest the visitors came to opening the scoring were a couple of shots from Troy Perez-Duah. Despite the visitors dominance it was the home side who had the first really good chance of the game when Michael Capon latched onto a clearance between Rayners two central defenders and, with keeper Jack Smith in no-man’s land, sent a chip over the Rayners custodian but his effort lacked sufficient power and was cleared by Keano Robinson. Rayners then had a good chance of their own as Alex Cathline found himself with space in the box with a clear header from Kyel Reid’s cross but the big striker put his close range header wide. Shortly after this came the first controversial decision of the match which saw Rayners concede a penalty. An initial Virginia Water move down the right hand side saw the ball fed across the box and their forward strike a vicious goal bound effort which Callum Webb slid across to block but the referee deemed that the full back had handled. At first glance its eemed a harsh decision as the ball was hit so hard and Callum was prone, with his back to the ball when it hit him. To add insult to injury Callum received a yellow card and in the aftermath Alex Cathline was sin-binned for something that he said to the referee. The penalty was converted and Rayners Lane found themselves behind for the first time this season. The visitors reacted well to the setback and for the rest of the half attacked their hosts with gusto. Oli Sprague and Kyel Reid were prominent down the left hand side but although most of the action was in and around the home penalty box Rayners couldn’t breakthrough a determined defence. The second half settled into a pattern of Rayners dominating possession and territory but unable to create any clear cut chances. Frustration began to boil over for the visitors as they felt aggrieved at some (some?! Ed) inconsistent refereeing – the best example being the home sides Jae Kelly, booked on 64 minutes for a foul, deliberately handling the ball two minutes later to halt an attack but only given a talking to when everyone in the ground was expecting a second yellow. Needless to say the Virginia Water bench substituted him immediately!
The game became quite fractured, punctuated by sin bins for keeper Jack Smith and fullback Oli Sprague and two yellows and then a red for skipper Aaron Minhas. Rayners, at one point down to eight men including Nathan Webb as stand in keeper, kept pushing for an elusive equalizer, Rio Connell in particular chasing every ball but it wasn’t to be their night. Come On The Lane! Rayners Lane – 1. Jack Smith 2. Callum Webb 3. Oliver Sprague 4. Keano Robinson. 5.IvanAtkins 6. Troy Perez-Duah (Sub: 15 Nathan Webb, 60)7. Rio Connell 8. Hamilton Antonio 9.Alex Cathline (Sub: 12 Manny Folarin, 90) 10. Aaron Minhas © 11. Kyel Reid (Sub: 14 Zaine Gangadeen, 90)Att:Ref: Ka Ho Wong Asst: Richard Addae / Nick Phipps

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