By James Hiley

North West Counties Football League Division One South

FC Oswestry Town 5

Ellesmere Rangers 2

A LOCAL derby between North Shropshire sides FC Oswestry Town and Ellesmere Rangers certainly didn’t disappoint, with seven goals on show and some fine attacking football on display.

Town went in 3-0 up at the break and looked to be firmly in control of the game, with a Dave Howarth brace and a Lewis Jarman goal.

A bright start to the second half by Rangers stunned Town as they scored twice in the opening seven minutes to make it 3-2.

However Howarth continued with his fine-form of the first half and grabbed another two goals in the final 10 minutes to make it 5-2.

The game began with both teams attacking well early on.

A quick break from Oswestry led to a goal within four minutes, with Howarth scoring his first of the afternoon.

Rangers came close shortly afterwards when a great ball from James Gregory-Cork landed straight in-front of Jack Briscoe who was unable to get a shot off.

Richard Cowderoy was called into action on a number of occasions to keep the score at 1-0, and did well to keep Town out on several occasions.

However, Town were piling on the pressure and they were rewarded with another goal after 17 minutes to double their lead through Jarman.

The third goal of the first half came when the referee pointed to the spot in the 36th minute. Howarth stepped up and fired home to give his side a three goal lead going in at half time.

After the break, Rangers were quick to put pressure on the hosts and started to take the game to them.

They applied the pressure straight away. A corner for Ellesmere resulted in a good opportunity, with Levi Hunter’s ball finding Leighton Kendrick who scored to make it 3-1.

Just moments later, Rangers had another set piece - a free kick just outside the area was enough to tempt Adam Davies to go for goal - his strike hit the back of the net and put his team just one goal behind.

Rangers looked likely to perform an incredible comeback when they came close again moments later. A corner delivered by Briscoe found Gregory-Corks whose shot was saved by keeper Louie Mackin.

The hosts did well to soak up the pressure however and shortly afterwards they extended their lead to two goals again.

Howarth broke through the defence and scored to complete his hat-trick and restore a comfortable lead for his side with less than 10 minutes remaining.

With full time on the horizon, Ellesmere kept on fighting with a great ball from Seth Ellis to Davies producing a half-chance, but Davies’ effort went over.

With just injury time left to play, Howarth was able to add to his hat-trick by bagging his fourth goal of the afternoon to round off a 5-2 win.

The result means Ellesmere remain in 19th place just six points behind Cammell Laird 1907 in 18th.

Meanwhile, Town sit in eighth, nine points behind league leaders Rylands.

Next up for Rangers is a game against Barnton and Beech Grove on Saturday, February 2.

On the same day, FC Oswestry Town are set to take on Stone Old Alleynians away.