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Rangers Youth stay top as Curtis is spot on with double in victory

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

By Dave McLean

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STAFFORD Rangers Youth U18s maintained their position at the top of the County Minor League against a committed Keele FC side.

With a disciplined performance, Rangers emerged worthy 4-0 victors.

Keele forced a couple of early free kicks which were dealt with by keeper Wes Hopwood and captain Harry Wightman.

In attack, Jack Edwards delivered a superb early cross which caused difficulties for Keele. Mat Smith shot at the keeper, then Alex Curtis failed to connect well with a chance when put in by Billy Thorley.

But the same two players combined again and Curtis slotted the ball home across the keeper to open the scoring. A second followed soon after when the impressive Smith turned and drove home from the edge of the box.

The game turned tetchy for a while and several bookings for Keele players ensued. Keeping to the task in hand, Rangers extended their lead when Smith was fouled in the area. Curtis saw his penalty saved but followed up and put away the rebound.

The second half was a tamer affair as Rangers, marshalled by Max Kiddle and Marcus Mathews, kept Keele at arms length and Hopwood was largely untroubled.

Alex Hannan brought a good save from Keele's keeper with a rasping drive, before Harry Wightman headed against a post from a Sean Phillips cross.

Phillips then headed wide from a free kick delivered by Matthews, before Rangers eventually increased the lead.

Phillips and Dan Nowell combined from a short corner routine before Nowell lifted a great ball into the six yard box for Hannan to head home and complete the scoring.

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