Rangers save best form for surprise cup victory
ROSSLARE RANGERS caused something of a shock when they started their campaign in impressive fashion with a three-goal victory over Premier Division side Forth Celtic in the Spinglo Wexford Cup third round at Murrintown on Sunday last.
Rangers, who have been having an indifferent league run, certainly lifted their spirits as they controlled the second period, having soaked up a tremendous amount of pressure through the opening 45 minutes. While Forth Celtic played with fluency and some style through that opening spell, they still failed miserably in front of goal as they yet again couldn't turn their period of superiority into scores.
It was a big day for the Division 1 giant-killers who thoroughly deserved their victory. They remained defiant through that first 45 minutes, being content to hit the home side on the break. With Celtic unable to break the deadlock, there was nothing between the sides with the opening goal always going to prove crucial.
During the opening half hour Forth Celtic managed to create a couple of goal chances but on both occasions Jason Pettit and Anthony Hayes saw their efforts well saved by 'keeper Stephen Cogley. Somewhat against the run of play, the visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute.
Having forced a free-kick some 30 metres from goal, Paul Culleton drilled a low left-footed kick through the wall under the diving body of 'keeper Noel Simpson who should have done better in his efforts to keep the ball out, but the visitors now enjoyed a 1-0 lead.
Forth Celtic continued to press, forcing successive corners, while 'keeper Stephen Cogley denied Anthony Hayes as he saved splendidly to keep out a well-placed header. Close to the break Cogley this time denied Brian Dunne with a fine diving ave, leaving his side leading 1-0 at the interval.
As the second-half developed Rosslare Rangers were still content to attack in quick breaks out of defence. They suddenly began to prise open space in the home side's back four, increasing their lead in the 69th minute when home 'keeper Noel Simpson spilled an Emmet Byrne shot into the path of Oscar Pitt who calmly tapped the ball to the net from close range.
The importance of putting away chances now began to show as Rosslare Rangers, in contrast to the home side, made full use of the opportunities that arose. While Forth Celtic continued to launch attacks, they now lacked ideas in front of goal and the seasiders put the game beyond doubt twelve minutes from the end when Oscar Pitt drilled a low shot from the right edge of the area to the bottom right-hand corner of the net, making it a resounding 3-0 victory in the end.