Profligate Town do just enough to banish Onions nightmare
Dandy Town got their Premier Division title challenge back on track with a much needed victory over Southampton Rangers yesterday.
Still licking their wounds from last weekend's shock home defeat by Flanagan's Onions, Town looked in determined mood at a wet and windy St John's Field and should have won by a greater margin.
They took the lead somewhat fortuitously when Andrew Raynor, the Rangers defender, put the ball into his own net on 29 minutes.
Rangers, too, were showing plenty of fighting spirit and pulled level just before half-time when midfielder Reggie Lowe poked home during a goalmouth scramble.
Town improved after the break, enjoying the superior swathes of possession, but wasted several scoring chances before Angelo Simmons's virtuoso effort in the 63rd minute.
Hornets had further chances to score with Daeshun Butterfield twice firing straight at Jason Smith, the Southampton goalkeeper when he should have done better.
Jah-Quille Stowe also forced a flying save from Smith with a powerful strike from distance, which was pushed behind for a corner.
Rangers threatened occasionally on the counter-attack after the break but never really troubled Treadwell Gibbons in the Town goal, rendering him a virtual spectator for most of the second period.
The victory sends Hornets back to the top of the table, with coach Jomar Wilkinson admitting that it was essential that his team returned to winning ways.
“It was important we bounced back [after losing to Onions] and we showed a lot of character today,” he said.
“I felt we dominated the game and we were able to complete more passes this week.
“We made some adjustments, playing three in midfield, and it worked out well for us.
“We played better in the second half when we were more organised and that allowed us to play a bit more football.”
Wilkinson said that he was concerned that Rangers might have got back into the game with it delicately poised at 2-1.
“It was a concern at 2-1 and we have to learn to put teams away,” he said.
“Rangers played a very good game today, but we had chances and need to start putting them away.
“If we're going to try and win this title, we need to start putting teams away and take our chances like a title-winning team.
“We knew it wasn't going to be pretty and we knew we had to put in a shift and play with some pride today.”