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Rangers snatch draw from jaws of victory

At the last: Simmons' late goal completed his side's remarkable comeback (Photograph by Nicola Muirhead/AP)

Southampton Rangers 3

Dandy Town 3

Dandy Town Hornets staged a dramatic late comeback to grab a share of the spoils against Southampton Rangers yesterday.

At 3-0 up and with just five minutes of normal time remaining Rangers appeared to have done enough to get across the line.

However, Town’s never-say-die attitude ultimately shone through as the visiting side scored three goals in nine-minute to salvage a point and maintain their unbeaten start in the league.

Drewonde Bascome, making his debut for Town, sparked the late rally with a well-taken goal before additional strikes from Jason Symonds and Angelo Simmons sent the visiting team’s fans into a frenzy.

Earlier, Rangers took what seemed a commanding lead with goals either side of half-time from Akale Bean, who scored twice, and a Kwonde Lathan own goal.

Rangers were forced to play the final four minutes of stoppage time with ten men after Jason Smith, the goalkeeper, was sent off in the 90th minute.

The final scoreline flattered Rangers with Town dominating possession. However, Town were too often let down by a poor final touch.

Despite starting without Damon Ming and George Dyer, who were both rested, and Seion Darrell, who is serving a suspension after his sending off in the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-final, Town took control early, pinning Rangers in their own half.

However, the home side scored against the run of play when Bean’s angled shot took a deflection off Lathan’s boot, and squeezed inside of Ajai Daniels’s near post.

Even after falling behind Town continued to dictate the game, and they should have been level, but Simmons shot tamely into Smith’s arms.

Simmons threatened again soon after, with Smith forced to push the Town striker’s free kick around the post for a corner.

Rangers stunned the visiting side again when they doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, when a free kick into the area ricocheted off the body of Lathan and rolled past Daniels.

Jomar Wilkinson, the Town coach, made a double substitution in the 51st minute, bringing on Bascome and Dominique Lambert to add some spark in midfield.

Bascome’s presence lifted Town, and it seemed only a matter of time before the visiting side would score. Instead, Rangers scored again with Bean rising unchallenged at the back post to head home Ezekiel Stoneham’s cross.

Bascome gave the visiting side a glimmer of hope when he blasted past Smith, and Symonds made it 3-2 when he headed home a cross at the back post.

Things then went from bad to worse for Rangers as Smith lost his cool when his appeal for a foul went ignored by Elihu Holmes, the referee.

Instead of getting a foul, Smith picked up a second yellow card for foul and abusive language towards the official and was sent off.

With Rangers clinging on, Simmons completed Town’s remarkable fightback with a 25-yard effort that rolled inside the near post past.


Southampton Rangers (4-5-1) J Smith — A Raynor (sub: R Simons, 68), N Smith, K Simmons, A Rocker — J Seymour, S Perinchief (sub: E Albouy, 89min), J Dyer, V Perinchief, E Stoneham — A Bean (sub: K Symonds, 74). Substitutes not used: J Hill, N Mello. Booked: J Smith, Rocker, Raynor, V Perinchief. Sent off: J Smith.

Dandy Town (4-3-3) A Daniels — A Lowe (sub: F Frankson, 68), D Williams, K Lathan, L Millet — J Symonds, L Tucker, T Goater (sub: D Lambert, 51) — Q Maynard, J Swan (sub: D Bascome, 51), A Simmons. Substitutes not used: K Tucker, T Daniels, G Dyer. Booked: Maynard

Referee: E Holmes