City grind out the win against Rangers in the Launceston Derby
Northern Rangers 0 Launceston City 1 (A Campbell 41’)
IC- Northern Rangers FC
Launceston City have won bragging rights after they overcame Northern Rangers 1-0 at the NTCA in the second of the three game Launceston Mitsubishi-Mazda Derby Cup series. The narrow victory sees City go within five points of Olympia in the hunt for 4th on the ladder, while Rangers are still searching for their first win of the season.
The game was a real battle for each of the sides for much of the game and interestingly both Lanau-Atkinson boys started on the bench. City shaded the play in the first half with greater territorial possession but still failed to find a way to break down the Rangers back four. The majority of the play was breaking down in the central third of the ground, with each team battling and turning the ball over.
It wasn’t until just before half the time that the deadlock was broken. A throw in to Will Rodman on the right wing was chipped in behind the Rangers defence and Aaron Campbell found himself on the edge of the 18 yard box and rocketed one over Luigi Cordova’s head and curling and dipping under the crossbar.
City went into half time with the 1-0 lead and that sparked changed in the Rangers camp. They brought on Nick and Patrick Lanau-Atkinson at the interval for Daniel Cristy and Alex Fulton and looked a far more threatening side afterwards.
They put City on the back foot from the start of the second half. Nick Lanau-Atkinson was a terrier in the final third for Rangers and Harry Thannhauser started to make his mark in the game as Rangers went in search for the equaliser.
It was those two players that had the chances for Rangers to equalise Thannhauser leapt high at a corner but couldn’t keep his effort down while Nick LA fired a good shot on target, but it was well saved by David Smith in the City goal.
City was unable to maintain possession when they looked to build and they consistently turned the ball over, allowing Rangers to go at them again and again. As much as City couldn’t keep the ball, the defence held firm and they held out Rangers, making it difficult for them to create any clear cut chances on goal.
In the end the solitary goal was the decider and the Derby Cup is very much still alive, though it’s advantage Laucneston. Possibly if Rangers started with the Lanau-Atkinson’s on the field from the beginning of the match it may have swung the balance in their favour.
The final match of the three game series is to be played at Mitsubishi Park but there’s only one goal in it on aggregate.
Lino wasn’t overly pleased with the performance but was happy to grind out the result heading into a must win game against Kingborough Lions next week who he sees as on the up.
Des Baker meanwhile saw it as a game that got away and was pleased with the way Rangers came storming out of the blocks in the second half but disappointed they couldn’t get that goal that they searched for.