RANGERS suffered only their second defeat in their last nine fixtures when they entertained fourth placed Ludlow Town Reserves on Saturday at Victoria Park playing fields.


Rangers have managed just two draws in their previous four fixtures against their visitors so perhaps defeat wasn't so surprising. In reality Rangers were forced to make five changes from last week's starting line up, the most notable absentee being injured keeper Ross Sanders, although his replacement Dean Drinkwater could certainly not be blamed for any of the goals conceded.

Rangers started brightly and were enterprising in the opening 15 minutes but were hit in the 16th minute with what was Ludlow's first real attack. The ball wasn't cleared and Patrick Hamilton was allowed to beat two players before lobbing Dean Drinkwater as he advanced from goal.

Just four minutes later Ludlow hit the cross bar before they increased their advantage after 25 minutes. Again Rangers lost possession far too easily and Adam Bowen was allowed to beat Sean Lynch before rounding Dean Drinkwater to comfortably score number two.

Rangers didn't crumble and on 29 minutes Dave Green struck the outside of the post before Rangers had a great chance. An interchange of passes in and around the penalty area finally saw Mark Tipton slip the ball through to Dave Green, but from close range he screwed his shot wide. One minute later Mark Taylor shot over the crossbar from distance before in the final minute Chris Davis did likewise.

Again Rangers started the second half brightly, but shots were restricted to long range efforts which didn't seriously threaten keeper Ben Austin. Ten minutes into the half the visitors should have increased their advantage when Nicky Stocker did well on the right before crossing to Howard Shearing, who shot straight at Drinkwater.

Although Rangers enjoyed a fair proportion of the play they had no cutting edge to their play and Ludlow always looked more threatening in front of goal. So it proved with just five minutes to go when again Rangers gave possession away and Adam Bowen flicked the ball around Dean Drinkwater to complete a comfortable win.

Man of the match was Mark Tipton.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Rangers, sponsored by Strikes, travel to play Tenbury United in a West Midlands Division One (South) fixture, kick off 1.45pm. Players to meet Brooklyn Motors 11.45am or Worcester College of Further Education noon.