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Rangers stunned by bottom club Vasco

Vasco produced the biggest shock in the First Division this season when they spoilt Southampton Rangers' promotion party at Southampton Oval by handing them a 3-2 loss, their first league defeat since March 2017.

It should have been the day that Rangers sealed promotion, but Vasco had other ideas, the bottom team twice coming from behind before captain Ricardo Ponte scored the winner from the penalty spot four minutes into stoppage time.

It was not only the first league loss under coach Jomar Wilkinson since taking over at the start of last season, but it also cost them first place in the table as Somerset Eagles climbed above them to become the first team to clinch promotion.

“It's been a while since we lost a game; it had to come to an end sometime and today was the day,” Wilkinson said. “Not having a game for two weeks played a part as the boys looked rusty today, but credit to Vasco, they stuck with their game plan.

“This was one of our off days and we have to accept that. We've been pretty consistent for two years and I can't dig them out now.”

Rangers, who thrashed Vasco 7-0 at Bernard Park last October, took the lead through Ezekiel Stoneham from the penalty spot in the tenth minute following a handball.

Vasco equalised three minutes later when a defensive error put Ryan Lopes clear before he kept his composure to score. Rangers' top scorer Jarazinho Bassett then had an effort ruled out for offside before he found the net on the half-hour mark with a close-range header.

Vasco drew level in the 38th minute when Ponte drove home at the far post after a cross from the left.

The visiting side were awarded a penalty of their own in stoppage time when Lopes was fouled. Ponte's spot kick was saved by Daniels but Ponte was quick to follow up and plant the rebound into the far corner to stun the home team and end a 32-match unbeaten run in the league. Ponte earned a booking from referee Lionel Cann for taking off his shirt to celebrate.

“I want to take my hat off to Jomar and Southampton Rangersl; it was no easy feat,” said coach Brian Dickinson, whose team is now unbeaten in three matches. “It's awesome to have a second victory for the season, which legitimises that Vasco can play with the best going forward.”

In the other matches yesterday, Devonshire Colts beat Young Men's Social Club 2-0 at Police Field where Quinn Simmons scored in the 44th minute and Daniel Ball doubled the lead in the 77th minute.

St George's beat Wolves 3-0 at Wellington Oval with Jahkai Brangman opening the scoring and Tre McCallan adding a second in the seventeenth before closing out the scoring with his second goal ten minutes from the end.

We did it: Ricardo Ponte, the Vasco captain, celebrated after scoring from a penalty in his team's 3-2 win over Southampton Rangers yesterday (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published March 04, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated March 04, 2019 at 12:38 am)

Rangers stunned by bottom club Vasco

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