Archive for January, 2009

Youths Grab Late Winner

January 31, 2009

Rangers 1 Dundee United 0

A last gasp winner from Kal Naismith, at Murray Park today, took Rangers to within a point of leaders Hibs. Billy Kirkwood’s side went into todays game knowing they had a chance to narrow the gap at the top, after Hibs 2-2 draw with St. Mirren on Friday.

The game got off to a slow start with little action in the early stages. The first hint of a threat at goal came in 12 minutes, Darren Cole released Archie Campbell on the right, his cut back found its way to Jamie Ness at the edge of the box, but his miss hit shot drifted harmlessly wide.

At the other end Ryan Dow played a through ball and Arturs Vaiculus had to look sharp to save at the feet of the on rushing striker. In the 22nd minute Rangers came close, when Gregg Wylde hit the byline and when his low cross was cleared by the United defender it his one of his colleagues and just went past the post for a corner.

A couple of minutes later Craig McShea shot from the edge of the box and  keeper  Conner Grant saved low to his left. On 37 minutes Rangers had the best chance of the first half, Kyle Hutton played Archie Campbell through. Grant managed to save at his feet as he tried to go round him, the ball broke to Gregg Wylde but the keeper blocked his effort with his leg.

On 40 minutes a good run from Jamie Ness gave Isa Bagci a chance, but his weak shot was saved easily. Then right on half- time a corner found its way to Ross Perry inside the box, but the defender cleared his effort off the line at the keeper’s right hand post.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 Dundee United 0

The first effort was soon after the break, a long range shot from Gregg Wylde, easily held by Grant. The game then went into a bit of a lull, with only a few substitutions to try and brighten proceedings.

On 63 mins a neat flick form Stephen Stirling, was headed down by Bacgi to substitute Kane Hemmings, but his shot was blocked by the defender. Two minutes later Grant conceded a corner with a good diving save from a Stephen Stirling shot.

On the 70 minute mark Rangers had two half chances. First a Kyle Hutton shot was fumbled by the keeper, but he recovered quickly to gather before any Rangers player got close. Then a long throw gave Jamie Ness a chance this time the keeper save more comfortably.

With 15 minutes remaining a good run and shot by Bagci ended with the ball being deflected over for a corner. Five minutes later he was replaced by Kal Naismith, which was to prove significant.

With 2 minutes remaining, just as it was looking unlikely Rangers snatched the winner. A long throw from Hemmings was helped on by the head of Jamie Ness, the ball dropped at the feet of Kal Naismith on the six yard box and he managed to prod the ball home.

Full Time:- Rangers 1 Dundee United 0

Not the best performance from the youths this season, but it was a game they dominated, with Dundee United not having a meaningful effort at goal in the 90 minites.

Rangers :- Arturs Vaiculus; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, Craig McShea (Kane Hemmings 50 mins); Archie Campbell (Max Wight 62 mins), Isa Bagci ( Kal Naismith 80 mins).

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Gordon Dick, Steven Forbes.

Youths Stalemate Again

January 27, 2009

Rangers 1 Livingston 1

Billy Kirkwood’s under 19’s had their final friendly before the League resumes this weekend, today’s opponents at Murray Park where SFL Youth League leaders Livingston. The Almondvale youngsters have averaged almost 5 goals a game and were impressive in a goalless pre-season friendly at Murray Park in August.

The Livi lineup included five overage players, former Hearts player Joe Hamill, Phil Cave who had a spell with Newcastle United, Mark Torrance who came through the club youth system and French signings Milan Thomas and Jean-Jose Cuenca.

The game got off to an explosive start, straight from the kick-off Grant Adam had to look sharp to beat Gordon Smith to a cross from the right, punching clear. Rangers immediately went up the other end and Kal Naismith found himself clear through, he knocked the ball passed keeper Craig McDowall who brought him down for a clear penalty. Stephen Stirling made no mistake from the spot to give Rangers the lead.

On 5 minutes Andy Halliday cut inside Gregg Wylde and hit a powerful shot but Grant Adam dealt comfortably. After a quiet period Livingston equalised in the 25th minute. Keeper McDowall came to claim a Rangers corner and his quick throw set up a counter attack. The move ended with a great run from Mark Torrance who fired home from just inside the box.

The only other chance of note in the first half came ten minutes before half time, this time it fell to Gordon Smith but again the shot was too straight and Adam wasn’t troubled.

Half Time Rangers 1 Livingston 1

The early part of the second half was pretty uneventful until the 66th minute when substitute Gordon Dick sent fellow sub Max Wright clear with a great through ball, but as he tried to round the keeper the ball got caught up between his feet and the chance was lost. Almost immediately Rangers had a scare when a sliced Danny Wilson clearance went narrowly over his own crossbar.

Five minutes later Dick again sent Wright clear, he advanced well inside the Livingston box. With a great chance to shoot he elected to play the ball across goal to trialist Lee Bryce, but Chris Malone intercepted and cleared for a corner. From the resultant corner the ball broke to Ross Perry who shot wide in a crowded penalty area.

Rangers had one final chance to win it in the last minute, Kyle McAusland challenged the keeper to a left wing cross from Kal Naismith. The ball broke to Max Wright inside the box, but the keeper recovered to block his close range shot with his legs.

Full Time:- Rangers 1 Livingston 1

Rangers:- Grant Adam (Artur Vaiculus 70mins); Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde (Gordon Dick 46mins); Kyle Hutton (Kyle McAusland 84mins), Steven Forbes, Stephen Stirling, Craig McShea (Lee Bryce 46mins); Isa Bagci (Max Wright 60mins), Kal Naismith.

Livingston:- Craig McDowall; David Sinclair, Neil Hastings, Chris Malone, Phil Cave; Andy Halliday, Mark Torrance, Milan Thomas, Joe Hamill; Gordon Smith, Jean-Jose Cuenca.

Next game for the Under 19’s is Saturday 31st January 2009, against Dundee United in the Youth League at Murray Park, Kick Off 11:30 am.

Scotland 17’s Win Malta Double Header

January 23, 2009

Scotland’s Under 17’s took on Malta in a double header last week as part of their preparation for the upcoming Elite Round European Qualifiers. There were four young Gers in the squad, Darren Cole, Gordon Dick, Kal Naismith and Max Wright.

Malta 1 Scotland 4

First game was on Monday 19th January at the Centenary Stadium. Scotland took the lead in the 5th minute through Callum McRobbie after he was put through by Scott Smith.  It was 2-0 after 38 minutes after a good move was finished by Jamie Pollock. A minute later it was 3-0, the Maltese keeper failing to hold a Gordon Dick shot. Michael Magginson scored from the rebound.

In the second half Malta pulled a goal back after 53 minutes through Sacha Borg.  The scoring was completed in the 73rd minute when Graeme McGregor scored Scotland’s fourth.

Scotland:- Andrew Kennedy (Celtic), Darren Cole (Rangers), Jordan Lowdon (Celtic), Kieran Duffie (Falkirk), Scott Smith (Hibs), Nicky Low (Aberdeen), Max Wright (Rangers), Gordon Dick (Rangers), Callum McRobbie (Aberdeen), Jamie Pollock (Motherwell), Mitchel Megginson (Aberdeen).

Subs:-  Ross Smith (Dundee Utd (For Duffie)), Graeme McGregor (Falkirk (For Cole)), Andrew Gardiner (Ross County(For McRobbie)), Kal Naismith (Rangers (For Megginson)), Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen( For Lowdon)), Dale Hilson (Dundee Utd (For Low)), Grant Mosson (Celtic (For Wright)).

Not Used :- Marc McCallum (Dundee Utd), Graham Hutchinson (Lincoln City), Cameron Howie (Dundee Utd), Jordan Kirkpatrick (Hamilton Accies).


Malta 0 Scotland 4

The second game was on Wednesday 21st January, Scotland winning 4-0. The goals coming from Callum McRobbie (8 mins), Mitchel Megginson (19 & 56 mins) and Ross Smith (73 mins).

Scotland:- Andrew Kennedy (Celtic), Darren Cole (Rangers), Jordan Lowdon (Celtic), Grant Mosson (Celtic), Scott Smith (Hibs), Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen), Max Wright (Rangers), Gordon Dick (Rangers), Callum McRobbie (Aberdeen), Jamie Pollock (Motherwell), Mitchel Megginson (Aberdeen).

Subs:-  Ross Smith (Dundee Utd (For Scott Smith)), Graeme McGregor (Falkirk (For Dick)), Kal Naismith (Rangers (For Pollock)), Nicky Low (Aberdeen (For Wright)).

Not Used :- Marc McCallum (Dundee Utd), Graham Hutchinson (Lincoln City), Cameron Howie (Dundee Utd), Jordan Kirkpatrick (Hamilton Accies), Kieran Duffie (Falkirk), Andrew Gardiner (Ross County),Dale Hilson (Dundee Utd) .

19’s Friendly Ends Goalless

January 23, 2009

Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

The youths continued with their series of friendlies in preparation for the Youth League starting again next week. As it was a friendly both sides fielded over age players, Andy Little for Rangers and Paul McInnes for Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock trialists also appeared to be overage.

The game’s first chance came in the 14 minute when Kilmarnock’s Danny McKay cut in from the right hand side but his shot was comfortably saved by Arturs Vailculus. Three minutes later Killie’s Trialist No. 11 was clear inside the box and only a magnificent tackle from Andy Little prevented from giving them the lead.

Rangers first threatened on 22 minutes when Danny Wilson headed over from a Gregg Wylde corner. On 25 mins a fine double save from Mark Weir thwarted Rangers, saving first from Danny Wilson and then Andy Little, with the third effort from Isa Bagci going high over.

On the half-hour mark McKay threatened again, this time cutting in from the left but shooting straight at Vaiculus. Kilmarnock had another chance soon after when Vaiculus under pressure from McKay could only punch to the edge of the box, and only a good block from Ross Perry cleared the danger.

The last chance of the first half came when Isa Bagci was put through, only to shoot weakly straight at Weir.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

The second half was pretty tame until the 66th minute when Rangers came inches from taking the lead. Substitute Lee Bryce, a trialist from Raith Rovers, was brought down just outside the box. Stephen Stirling stepped up to beat Mark Weir only to see his shot come back off the keeper’s left hand post.

Five minutes later and it was another free kick that almost gave Kilmarnock the lead. A great shot from their Trialist No. 8 brought out a fine save from Grant Adam as he tipped over. The last real chance of the game came in the 73rd minute, Stephen Stirling’s shot was deflected into the path of Lee Bryce. Just as he was about to pull the trigger a fantastic challenge from Gavin Brown, cleared the ball for a corner.

The game then petered out to a goalless draw, which was probably a fair result, with Kilmarnock edging the first half and Rangers the second.

Full Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

Rangers :- Arturs Vaiculus (Grant Adam 60 mins); Steven Forbes, Ross Perry, Andy Little, Danny Wilson; Craig McShea (Kyle McAusland 84mins), Stephen Stirling, Kyle Hutton (Max Wright 74mins), Gregg Wylde (Kal Naismith 71mins); Isa Bagci (Gordon Dick 65mins), Kane Hemmings (Lee Bryce 53mins).

Kilmarnock:- Mark Weir (Lee Bannatyne); Gavin Brown, Michael Doyle, Scott Walker; Chris Gilmour (Darren Wilcox); Stuart Currie (Jamie Lindsay), Trialist No.8, Gary Fisher (Euan Cunningham), Paul McInnes; Danny McKay (Craig Fisher), Trialist No.11.

19’s Under Par

January 16, 2009

Rangers 2 Dunfermline Athletic 2

A late Kane Hemming goal saved the youth team from defeat today at Murray Park. With the Youth League in shutdown until the end of the month, Hamish French’s Dunfermline side provided the opposition in a friendly at Murray Park.

After a low key start Dunfermline took the lead with the first real effort of the game in the 18th minute. A corner from the right was met by the central defender Lee Graham who had come up for the corner and he headed powerfully past Vaiculus. Rangers responded 5 minutes later, with three efforts in as many minutes. First Chris Scott headed narrowly over from a Gregg Wylde Corner, then Isa Bagci was played through and he poked the ball past the advancing keeper, but the effort was weak and the defender got back to clear comfortably. Then Archie Campbell had an effort from the edge of the box which the keeper dealt with comfortably.

Rangers equalised in 32 minutes, Chris Scott picked up the ball at the edge of his own box, he then advanced Bougerra like up through the middle of the park. He released the ball to Isa Bagci at the edge of the Pars box, who fired home low past the keeper.

The half ended with a couple of bright moments from Craig McShea. Now back playing after his leg break at the end of last season, he had great run along the byline but the Dunfermline defenders cleared his low cross for a corner. He then got on the end of a Danny Wilson cross, his effort though was to straight and easily held by the Dunfermline keeper.

Half Time:- Rangers 1 Dunfermline Athletic 1

Ten minutes into the second Stephen Stirling and Isa Bagci both had efforts that didn’t give the keeper too much of a problem. In 57 minutes Dunfermline almost took the lead, a long ball was controlled on his chest by the centre forward, he then slipped but as he was falling managed to hook the ball towards goal. Arturs Vaiculus was off his line, and was at full stretch to hold on as the ball threatened to loop over him.

Dunfermline did take the lead in 71 minutes, their substitute left winger  Chris Lennon advanced past Steven Forbes and headed for the byline, his cut back was then fired home by Jordan White.

With four minutes remaining substitute Kane Hemmings chased a ball down the right. It should have been dealt with by the Pars defender, but as he tried to shepherd the ball out, he was robbed by Hemmings. Who then moved along the byline and blasted home from a tight angle.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 Dunfermline Athletic 2

Rangers Team:- Arturs Vaiculus; Steven Forbes, Chris Scott, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson; Craig McShea, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness (Dylan McGeough 64 mins), Gregg Wylde; Archie Campbell (Kyle McAusland 76 mins), Isa Bagci (Kane Hemmings 76 mins).

Dunferlmine Athletic  Team:- Craig Bald; Steven Lynch, Stuart Deardon, Lee Graham, Harry McGregor; John McDonald, Ryan Thomson, Jed Hiroz (Laurie Cannon 15mins (Chris Lennon 35mins)), Lewis Turner; Jordan White, Conner Schivone.

Youths Officially Open Hermand Park

January 16, 2009

West Calder United 1 Rangers 6

The wet and windy night on Friday at Arbroath took its toll as I was layed low with a bug on Sunday. Which meant i missed out on the youth team’s visit for the official opening of Hermand Park.

Rangers took the lead in the 10th minute, there seemed to be little danger when Archie Campbell picked up the ball wide on the right, but he cut inside and curled a perfect shot into the top corner from 25 yards with his left foot.

Gregg Wylde made it 2-0 after 30 minutes, cutting inside and shooting in to the bottom corner. Eight minutes later Stephen Stirling was on target as he picked up a loose ball, took two strides and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

The first half scoring was complete in the 40th minute when Archie Campbell shot on the turn from the edge of the box.

Half Time:- West Calder United 0 Rangers 4

Archie Campbell completed his hat trick around the hour mark when the home side conceded a penalty, and he made no mistake from the spot. Number six came in 72 minutes, Kyle Hutton hit the byline and his cutback found Kyle McAusland who made no mistake.

A minute later the home side got their consolation goal, when Steven Johnstone flicked the ball past Adam with the outside of his foot from eight yards.

Full Time:- West Calder United 1 Rangers 6

Rangers Team : – Arturs Vaiculus; Kyle Hutton, Chris Scott, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Craig McShea, Stephen Stirling, Steven Forbes, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Isa Bagci.

Subs:- Grant Adam, Kyle McAusland, Rhys McCabe.

Under 15’s Ease Past Dutch Visitors

January 4, 2009

Rangers 5 Dutch Regional Select XI 0

A Rangers side made up of mainly under 15’s, with the addition of a couple of under 16’s took on a visiting Dutch Regional Select at Murray Park this afternoon.

The Rangers youngsters were much quicker and stronger than their Dutch counterparts running out comfortable winners. The Dutch side passed the ball  well without really troubling the young Gers.

Rangers took a 2-0 lead by half-time with goals from Mark Taylor and ????.  With several changes made at half -time they quickly found their Rhythm and added further goals from Mark Taylor, Michael Mosson & Gary Fraser.

Rangers legend Arthur Numan took in the game, which I am sure this must have been a boost for the youngsters in both sides.

The Rangers team was as follows:-

Sam George; Ross Dickson, Scott Rumsby, Murray Wallace, Chris Hackland; Lewis McLeod, George Scott, Robbie Crawford; Mark Taylor, Lee Cochrane, Ewan McNeil.

Subs:- Gary Fraser, Michael Mosson, Francis Owens, (Along with two trialists).