Date : 17th December 2023
Opposition : Dalkeith Thistle
Venue : Home
Scorers : Own goal, Griffin Sabatini, Craig Bell, Rhys Bloomfield
Booked : Rhys Dixon
Sent Off : None
Attendance : 126
Referee : Boise Allan
Team Lineup :
Rhys Bloomfield (C)
Sam Straughan on for Michael Robinson 75 mins
Ciaran Hatsell on for Christian Temple 71 mins
Leighton Robertson on for Riley Lightfoot 90 mins
Match Report :
Tweedmouth Rangers climbed three places up from the bottom of the East of Scotland Second Division table with a memorable first ever victory over Dalkeith Thistle who were third top on the ladder going into the game. Tweedmouth made light of the conditions at a very windy Shielfield. A little unlucky not to be ahead at the end of the first half, it was a case of rampant Rangers in the second.
After the home team won a couple of early corners, Griffin Sabatini dispatched what appeared to be a perfect through ball to Riley Lightfoot but, what was to become a feature of the opening forty five, he was ruled offside, the first to be caught out by Thistle’s use of a high defensive line.
There followed an exchange of attempts on goal. First, Rangers’ Michael Robinson was wide with a stab at a high ball from Ross Aitchison. On a counter attack, Dalkeith’s Cameron Leslie was under less pressure but his tame finish did little to trouble Ryan Dunn.
A rare instance of the home rearguard’s lack of composure allowed Darren McTernan to take aim but he fired too high. In contrast, the ball stayed firmly on the ground as Craig Bell made yards before shooting. Robinson was on hand but didn’t need to do anything as the ball hit keeper Jamie Newman and then defender Elliot Grieve for a 24th minute own goal.
A throw in sparked a strong run by home captain Rhys Bloomfield but he finished it with an off target hit. Instead, it was the Jags who this time found the right net five minutes from half time. Dunn appeared to have Matthew Brown’s cross covered but he hesitated, giving Leslie a soft header to make it one-all. Later, Dunn would make up for this with a rare feat from a goalkeeper, a goal assist.
Two minutes into the new half, Christian Temple set up Rangers’ second score with a ball from the left to Sabatini. He made sure it was on his right foot before banging it high into the net from near the edge of the penalty area. It was his first goal for the club. From then on, Tweedmouth ran the show.
Dalkeith no longer seemed capable of operating an offside trap as their opponents ran at them from deeper positions. Bloomfield, third man in the chain after Robinson and Bell, got away again only to see his well directed chip come back off the crossbar.
Only two players were involved in the third home goal in the 78th minute. Bell collected a long punt from Dunn and hared towards goal with defenders in his wake to confidently slip the ball past Newman.
With similar assuredness, Rangers’ defence mopped up what little Thistle, now largely confined to long shots, had to offer. Meanwhile, as a consequence of fouls and dissent, their yellow card ‘awards’ were mounting to a final total of six.
Tweedmouth completed their tally just before added time kicked in. Ciaran Hatsell who replaced Temple, rested after an impressive 70 minutes, spotted another opportunity to send Bloomfield racing forward. This time, he brazenly nutmegged Newman to make it 4-1.
Thanks again to A W Bell Joinery for sponsorship and support during the match.