Reality check for Rangers
First defeat of season as mistakes are punished
This was a lesson in what can happen in Division One when a team switches off and forgets all those good habits of hard work and concentration. Based on previous results it should have been very close contest but by the end Rangers were well beaten as mistake after mistake was punished.
Strangely there was no hint of the collapse that would follow as Thame enjoyed the better of the opening stages, but when Chalfont scored a breakaway goal from their first attack following two unforced mistakes by Rangers players the pattern was set.
A surprisingly large number of the Thame players were having problems with their first touch and it needed heroics from skipper Tom Howard to clear his line after a Wasps striker had taken the ball round keeper Eddie Hart.
Rangers had their best spell after falling behind , the Herbert/Dann strike partnership carving two good chances which Jake Dann fired wide. Rangers leading scorer found the target however after a delightful through ball from Alec McStay was knocked on by Billy Herbert and this time Jake made no mistake.
At the time the coaches were confident Thame would go on and win the game but Chalfont were very effective counter attackers and struck just before half time to restore their advantage.
If Rangers felt hard done by to be trailing at the break there could be no argument about a disappointing second half. For a short time Eddie Hart kept Thame in the game with a string of saves but all over the pitch too many Rangers players were losing their personal battles and the usually dependable Thame defence began to ship goals.
At 4-1 to Chalfont there was a flashpoint when one of the Wasps players was sent off but even a one man advantage couldn't help Rangers. Two more poor pieces of defending resulted in an embarrassing scoreline of 6-1 to the home team.
The only consolation is that surely so many players cannot have an off day at the same time again. We saw enough in the previous games against Wycombe and Widmer to know there is a decent team there. Let's hope, like the Chinnor game last season, this is one we will look back on and wonder what happened that day.
Squad:Eddie Hart, Matt Gomm, Ollie Gibson, Tom Howard, Tom Darling, Ed Hickman, Sam Muscroft, Alex McStay, George Bennetts, Cameron McLaren, Niall Davies, Jack Howland , Billy Herbert and Jake Dann.