Sensational Griggs hat-trick inspires Rangers to five-star win

Risborough Rangers leading goalscorer Martin Griggs. Picture by Marc Keinch
Risborough Rangers leading goalscorer Martin Griggs. Picture by Marc Keinch

Risborough Rangers enjoyed an excellent few days as their promotion bid gathered pace with four points from two games in SSML Division One over the past week.

Last Tuesday, Risborough held runaway leaders Welwyn Garden City to a goalless draw. It was just the sixth time this season that Welwyn have failed to take all three points.

Rangers then followed that up with a trip to Southall on Saturday when they notched an emphatic 5-1 victory to keep the pressure on their promotion rivals.

Chris Hurford-Green opened the scoring on just two minutes with a sweetly-struck shot from the edge of the area after Rory Lonsdale’s effort had crashed back off the post.

Laurence Clark then made it two 10 minutes later with an audacious 25-yarder, followed by a goal for Risborough’s top scorer Martin Griggs, who went on to score three outstanding goals for a sensational individual hat-trick.

The first came on 16 minutes from a 20-yard free-kick that Griggs curled inside the near post, before Southall pulled a goal back, but Griggs then netted his second 15 minutes from full-time when he lashed a shot home from 35 yards having spotted the goalkeeper off his line.

And the pick of the bunch was still to come and it came five minutes later when Griggs picked the ball up 45 yards from goal, again spotted the goalkeeper stranded on his 18-yard line and unleashed a Beckham-esque strike to complete a memorable hat-trick.

The result extends Risborough’s unbeaten run to six games and moves them up to fifth place, four points from the second promotion spot.

Risborough Rangers Reserves completed an excellent day for the club when they progressed to the final of the South Midlands Reserve Challenge Trophy. Rangers beat Oxhey Jets Reserves 1-0 with Jamie Carter scoring a 75th minute penalty to set up a clash with Crawley Green Reserves. The date and venue are yet to be confirmed.

Risborough now have another busy week with three more league games. Later today, Wednesday, they make the journey to play London Lions, which is followed by a home game against Wodson Park on Saturday, and then Rangers are on their travels again when they go to local rivals Buckingham Athletic next Tuesday.