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Taylor strikes twice as Rangers march on

Isaiah Taylor scored twice in extra time to give Southampton Rangers the shock of the FA Cup quarter-finals, as the First Division promotion chasers defeated top-flight North Village 3-1 at Southampton Oval yesterday.

The stingy Rangers defence stymied a potent Village attack time and again. Village's ineffective shooting in front of goal also helped put paid to their cup run.

It was a tense first half, with Rangers creating the better scoring opportunities, but they were unable to capitalise because of poor finishing.

The sides approached the second half with a renewed sense of urgency and the deadlock was broken in the 47th minute when Khalil Symonds chased down a long pass into the penalty area, turned his defender and fired a low, hard shot past Village goalkeeper, Tahj Bell.

Two minutes later, Demetre Daniels fed a perfect square pass across goal to a wide-open Lashun Dill, but the Village striker could only shoot tamely at Rangers goalkeeper Ajai Mello from ten yards out.

Then, after two failed attempts by the Rangers to clear, Keishen Bean picked up the loose ball, but could only watch in dismay after shooting into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Bean redeemed himself in the 70th minute when he outpaced the Rangers defence to level the scores.

Village almost broke the heart of the Rangers faithful in the 82nd minute when a deep cross fell between Daniels and Bean. Bean pulled the trigger, but Mello smothered the shot at Bean's feet to nullify the threat.

Rangers also squandered a golden opportunity to score in the 85th minute after Shannon Coddrington-Burchall was sent through by substitute Akale Bean after he dispossessed a Village defender deep inside the penalty area. Bean laid off a soft pass to Coddrington-Burchall, whose shot was brilliantly turned aside by Bell's reflex save.

With both teams starting to find their stride, they began pressing and it would be Taylor who answered the call in the tenth minute of the first period of extra time.

Quadir Maynard, the Rangers midfielder, fed a deft pass to a streaking Taylor, who wasted no time thumping the ball past the advancing goalkeeper to restore his side's lead.

Three minutes later. Taylor struck the decisive blow after a long ball through the heart of the Village defence caught them napping. An anticipated offside call was not given, allowing Taylor to race in untouched to finish off the upright.

“To be successful today our guys had to play hard and stick together,” Maynard said. “North Village are a great team. They are well coached and they have a lot of good players. So we knew coming in that we had to defend them well and take our chances when they came in order to get the result we wanted.

“Moving on in the competition, we like our chances. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now and we are not afraid of any team. We'll take on anybody that comes.”

Cup of cheer: Khalil Symonds gave Rangers the lead as the First Division side stunned top-flight Village yesterday (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published February 19, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 18, 2018 at 9:44 pm)

Taylor strikes twice as Rangers march on

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