Unlucky Rangers match older opposition in all but the scoreline
Cruel defeat in derby cup quarter-final
A game played under the floodlights of the main Thame stadium saw the Under 18 Rangers more than hold their own against Chinnor U21. While there were occasions when the Chinnor players used extra experience and muscle to their advantage, it was the younger home team who played the better football and carved out the better chances. Unfortunately on this night they were unable to take them.
A goalless first half featured a fierce battle for control of midfield with Alex McStay and George Bennetts in the heart of it. Billy Herbert and Jake Dann were posing problems for the visitors defence and it must have been a marginal decision when Dann found the net only to have the effort disallowed for offside.
Jack Thurnham volleyed over and wingers Matt Wigglesworth and Niall Davies created openings that were not converted as Rangers edged a competetive first 45 minutes.
The second period began with more of the same, Jake Dann clean through only to be denied by the keeper sprinting yards outside his area to clear the danger.
The deadlock was then broken by a well taken goal in the 53rd minute as the visitors finally found a way through Thame's impressive defence. The response was immediate and spectacular, less than a minute later Herbert and Dann combined again with Jake Dann firing an unstoppable shot past the Chinnor keeper.
A draw would have been enough to see Rangers through to the semi-final of the Development Cup but the Thame boys were pushing for a win and came desperately close to taking the lead when Herbert cut through a succession of defenders only to shoot over.
The killer goal however came at the other end. What had by now become a rare Chinnor attack ending with a shot crashed against the crossbar and a Chinnor forward quickest to react and head the rebound past Eddie Hart.
With legs tiring on both sides the last ten minutes saw play switch from one goalmouth to another. Eddie Hart produced one spectacular save but Rangers had several opportunities to grab the equaliser that would have been enough. Alex McStay and Jack Thurnham went close and in the dying seconds Billy Herbert showed tremendous skill to cut through the visitors defence only to shoot over with only the keeper left to beat.
It was a very quiet dressing room after the final whistle. The season's last opportunity to collect a trophy had gone and not for the first time the performance had not been reflected by the result. The Chinnor coach admitted that the better team had lost and he was right.
Squad: Eddie Hart,Tom Howard(capt), Tom Darling, Jordan Baker, Ed Hickman, Niall Davies,Alex McStay, George Bennetts, Jack Thurnham, Matt Gomm, Matt Wigglesworth, Jake Dann and Billy Herbert.