Rutland 4 Harleston Magpies 1
RUTLAND rounded off the first half of the season with an emphatic home win against League leaders Harleston Magpies.
Their 4-1 victory was only their third this season and the first defeat that the Magpies have suffered.
Rutland controlled the game, patiently building attacks which soon led to the first chance. Jordan Allen fired just wide after being put through one-on-one with the Magpies keeper.
For the next 20 minutes, Rutland dominated, pressing forward with one attack after another, hitting the post and forcing several top saves.
For a while it looked as though Rutland might be frustrated but they finally broke the deadlock with a well-worked short corner routine that Ben Harford flicked high into the roof of the net.
The start of the second half was initially an evenly balanced affair with Harleston letting several chances slip away. But Simon Cooper steadied the ship at the back and Rutland then hit a purple patch with Owen Evans and Marcus Parsons scything through the Harleston midfield at pace.
This led to three more Rutland goals with David Booth doing the damage in the D for Rutland’s second goal. Skipper James Grant scored the second and Jordan Allen the fourth.
In the final few minutes Johnny Ashwin was sent off and Rutland conceded a late consolation goal to take some shine off what was undoubtedly an excellent performance.
Delighted by the result, skipper Grant said: “It has been an eye-opener since getting promoted and a case of getting more experience.
“We have a lot of young lads and it has taken time to get used to playing a more physical game.”
Grant hopes that Saturday’s confidence boosting win will feed into a run of victories in the new year and added:. “A realistic target is the top half.”
Rutland: Toby Green, Simon Cooper, Johnny Ashwin, James Grant, Will Gwyther, Owen Evans, Marcus Parsons, Jordan Allen, David Booth, Tom King, Jack Bishop.