Rangers are on a high after netting a double

Grassroots | Published:

It was double delight for Beacon Sunday League champions Claregate Park Rangers this week.

Clargeate Rangers celebrate their NDT Midlands Lester Charity Cup success Pictures: Simon Cater

A week after lifting their first Redbox Signmakers Beacon Championship, Claregate added the flagship NDT Midlands Lester Charity Cup to their season’s silverware haul.

And they did so in some style, hitting second tier league runners-up Bloxwich Rangers U21s 7-1, writes Dave McLean.

Star of the show, and inflicting most damage on the young Bloxwich outfit, was deadly marksman Kyle Matthews who pushed his seasonal tally to 41 goals.

On this occasion he hit the net no fewer than five times, four in the first half, as Gary Cooper’s charges raced into a comfortable 5-0 advantage.

Bloxwich, playing their first campaign in adult football, fell behind after just six minutes when Jon Wilson and Dan Pritchard combined well and Matthews made no mistake from close range.

Matthews doubled his tally on 15 minutes, before Bloxwich forced a couple of good efforts thanks to Reece Berry midway through the first period.

Back came Claregate as Matthews, who had scored in all four previous rounds of the competition, pushed his tally in the final to four with further efforts on 26 and 34 minutes. Nathan Ratcliffe made it a nap hand just before the break.

It was six of the best for Claregate on the hour mark, through Reece Chambers, before a rare Rangers slip at the back let in Berry for Bloxwich, and the young forward ran through to notch his 33rd of the season with a smart finish.


Brian Lester with Danny Jones

Claregate’s almost immediate response was a seventh goal as that man Matthews pounced again with a well-struck 25-yard drive before being substituted for a job well done.

Double trophy winning boss Cooper believes Rangers can build on this season’s successful campaign.

Over the past 12 months Claregate, who were formed four years ago, have well and truly put behind them a 6-2 defeat in last season’s Wilkes Tranter Chell Cup final.


“A year ago we lost heavily (to Dynamo) in the Chell Cup but have bounced back and enjoyed a fantastic season,” said Cooper.

“I put that (this season’s successes) down to a great desire from all the players to prove what they can achieve.”

The Claregate camp have made great strides this term and Cooper says they will not be resting on their laurels, instead chasing additional glory in the coveted Birmingham FA County Cup and domestic Chell Cup, as well as defending what they have won this season.

Such has been the success story at Claregate, who play their home games at Barnhurst Lane, Pendeford, a reserve squad has now been formed.

They will operate in the Beacon League next season under the leadership of two former Claregate players, Andrae Brown and Carlo Bandiera.

The remaining Beacon final, the Wilkes Tranter Chell Cup, between Beacon Lions and Kurdish United takes place at AFC Wulfrunians ground this evening (May 2) kick off 7.45pm.

Meanwhile, Beacon Lions have won the inaugural Cater Invitation Trophy, on goal difference from Cannock United.

Brian Lester (league chairman) with Man of the Match Kyle Matthews

The Lions had to win their remaining group game against AFC Sporting Gornal to take the trophy and did so in style, crushing their local rivals 8-0, with Adam Skelton notching three. Also on target were Reece Low, Jordan Kelly, Jay Dodd, Cory Hill and Jason Wood.

In the Redbox Signmakers Beacon Championship, Codsall Station kept alive their hopes of bagging a top-three finish when hitting back twice to sink Cannock United.

Codsall led early on, before Cannock struck back through Brad Fleet and Danny Mayo. The former equalised only for Mayo to convert a penalty and give his side a 3-2 interval lead.

The Station levelled matters again and went on to grab a 66th minute winner. On the mark for Codsall were Chris Perry (two), Mike Dwight and Liam Davies.

Codsall have one match to play, against fellow top three contenders Fiveways, who also have to face Cannock in a league fixture this Sunday.

n The Beacon Sunday League host their annual meeting and prize presentations at AFC Wulfrunians ground on Wednesday, June 5 at 8pm.


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