Youths Stalemate Again

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.


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