Archive for February, 2009

Youngsters Rue Missed Chances

February 27, 2009

Rangers 17/19’s 0 Clyde 19’s 2

A young Rangers side failed to take any of a series of chances in tonight’s friendly at Murray Park. A goal in each half saw Clyde’s under 19’s make the most of fewer opportunities.

Clyde took the lead in the 1st minute, when a long ball saw some hesitation between the central defence and keeper and the vistor’s centre forward nipped in to score. Rangers first chance came on 15 minutes, a long clearance from Grant Adam was chased by Isa Bagci who looked to have lobbed the keeper, but he managed to get back in time to tip the ball over the bar for a corner.

A couple of minutes later great play from Kyle McAusland created a good opening, just when it looked like he must score he blazed the ball over. On 20 mins a good run from Gordon Dick was brought to a halt with a foul at the edge of the box. He took the free kick himself and forced the keeper to tip over. From the corner the trialist central defender had a chance but headed straight at the keeper.

Clyde went straight up the other end and their N0 7 missed a great opportunity, shooting well wide when he should really have hit the target.  A few minutes later and another long ball gave the Clyde centre forward a chance to shoot, this time Grant Adam saved comfortably. A minute later only a last ditch challenge by Scott Durie prevented a goal when Grant Adam failed to gather.

Eight minutes from half time a good passing move gave Gordon Dick a chance but he shot over.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 Clyde 1

Rangers first chance of the second half came from a Gordon Dick free-kick, which the keeper saved easily. On 54 minutes Clyde went two up, a ball wide on the right was picked up by Clyde No. 11 who cut inside and knocked it past the advancing Adam.

Rangers almost got a goal back 5 minutes later, a good run and cutback by Gregg Wylde was almost forced home by trialist substitute but was deflected behind for a corner. The next chance came from the other side, with Scott Durie’s cutback eventually falling to Max Wright, who was denied by a great save at the expense of a corner. The corner was headed clear to the edge of the box where Gregg Wylde advanced to shoot narrowly over.

Chances were now coming at regular intervals, first Gordon Dick was denied when the keeper saved to his left. Then good work by the trialist put Max Wright through, he looked certain to score, but the keeper produced another great save.

With 10 minutes remaining Max Wright slipped a ball through and the keeper came rushing out to save bravely at the feet of the trialist striker. Max Wright then had a chance from a Gregg Wylde corner but headed tamely straight at the keeper.

With 2 minutes left Max Wright played a one-two with Gordon Dick, only to then see his goal bound shot deflected wide. It was not going to be Rangers night when from McGeough’s resultant corner Gordon Dick headed against the post with the keeper beaten.

Full Time :- Rangers 0 Clyde 2

A disappointing scoreline, but an opportunity to get  a game for a few who haven’t been playing recently and a test for the under 17’s stepping up to the physical challenge of the older age group.

Rangers Lineup:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Trialist, Scott Durie, Micheal Noble (Trialist 46 mins); Max Wright, Gordon Dick, Dylan McGeough, Andrew Milne (Gregg Wylde 25 mins); Kyle McAusland, Isa Bagci.

Seven Gers in Scotland Under 15’s Gathering

February 23, 2009

Seven of Rangers Under 15 squad have been to selected  to attend this weeks Scotland gathering. Ross Mathie has selected over 40 players to attend, from this gathering the the preparation for next season’s Victory Shield begins.

The players selected are, goalkeeper Blair Currie, central defenders Scott Rumsby & Gregor Fotheringham, midfielders George Scott, Lewis McLeod & Chris Hackland and striker Lee Cochrane.

Full squad:-

Ryan Baptie – Hibernian
Greg Birmingham – Dundee United
Scott Brown – Hamilton Academical
Liam Callaghan – Cowdenbeath
Scott Campbell – Heart of Midlothian
Ryan Carwath – Heart of Midlothian
Joe Chalmers – Celtic
Lee Cochrane – Rangers
Christopher Connor – Motherwell
Dale Carrick – Heart of Midlothian
Blair Currie – Rangers
Bradley Donaldson – Hibernian
Ross Drummond – Dunfermline Athletic
Stephen Duffy – Aberdeen
Christopher Duggan – Hamilton Academical
Lee Erwin -Motherwell
Gregor Fotheringham – Rangers
Jay Fulton – Heart of Midlothian
Ross Gilmour – Dundee United
Jack Grimmer – Aberdeen
Christopher Hackland – Rangers
Jack Hamilton – Stenhousemuir *
Conor Kelly – Dundee United
Matthew Kennedy – Kilmarnock
Billy King – Heart of Midlothian
Steven Kingsley – Falkirk
Ryan Lundie – Dundee United
Jordan Moffat – Celtic
Craig Murray – Aberdeen
John McGinn – St Mirren
Dominic McGrandles – Falkirk
Lewis McLeod – Rangers
Peter McMenemy – Falkirk
Stephen O’Neill – Aberdeen
Thomas Reilly – St Mirren
Jordan Roberts – Falkirk
Shane Rook – Celtic
Scott Rumsby – Rangers
George Scott – Rangers
Craig Slater – St Mirren
Alistair Smith – Real Sport Clube Port
Andrew Werner – Cowdenbeath
James Wightman – Celtic

Youths Go Top

February 22, 2009

Hearts 0 Rangers 2

A fantastic, resilient performance from the youth side at Riccarton this morning took them to the top of the youth league. With Hibs losing 1-0 to Falkirk on Friday the incentive was there for both sides. Rangers knowing a win would take them top, and the home side knowing a win for them would take then to within two points of Rangers and three of their Edinburgh rivals.

In the opening minutes good work down the right by Ross McKenzie ended with his cross being headed over by Mark Cowan. At the other end a slack pass out of defence gave Steven Forbes a chance but he shot tamely past the post.

On 13 minutes Arvydas Novikas cut in from the left and his shot was deflected wide for a corner by Ross Perry.  Two minutes later the same player had a powerful shot saved ay Arturs Vailculis. On the half-hour mark Rangers were reduced to ten man. Gregg Wylde who had been booked earlier, was late and rash with a challenge on Craig Thomson just outside the Hearts penalty area and was shown a straight red card.

On 34 minutes a Hearts corner was taken short to Craig Thomson at the edge of the box, his shot through a ruck of players and was easily saved by Vailculis. Two minutes later Hearts had the best chance of the first half, Thomson got to the byline and his cutback at the edge of the box was met by Johnathan Stewart but he failed to hit the target and the ball went wide.

Half-Time:- Hearts 0 Rangers 0

Two minutes in to the second half and Hearts missed a real chance to take the lead. A slack pass from Darren Cole, saw Paul Mulrooney carry the ball into the box and he looked certain to score, but his shot went past Vailculis’s left hand post.

On 57 minutes Rangers took the lead, Kyle Hutton fed Archie Campbell on the right. He then played a one-two with Kane Hemmings and headed for the byline, he fired the ball low accros the six-yard box and under pressure from Stephen Stirling, Hearts defender Craig Thomson knocked the ball into his own net.

Fifteen minutes later it was 2-0, Kane Hemmings collected a pass from Kyle Hutton and found Archie Campbell at the right hand corner of the penalty area. With Hearts keeper Mark Ridgers possibly expecting a cross, he was beaten high to his left at the near post by Campbells powerful effort.

Rangers were now content to see out the 90 minutes and were rarely troubled. One last effort from Ryan Wallace saw him come in from the left passed a couple of defenders, Arturs Vailculis blocked his shot comfortably.

Full-Time:- Hearts 0 Rangers 2

Rangers Lineup: Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton; Archie Campbell (Scott Durie 85mins), Stephen Stirling, Steven Forbes, Kal Naismith; Kane Hemmings (Max Wright 82 mins).

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Isa Bagci, Kyle McAusland, Gordon Dick.

Hearts Lineup:- Mark Ridgers; Craig Thomson, Dylan McGowan, Conrad Blatoni, Jonathan Brown; Ross McKenzie ( Rocky Visconte 46mins), Paul Mulrooney, Jonathan Stewart, Steven Husband, Arvydas Novikas ( Ryan Wallace 73mins); Mark Cowan.

Footnote:-

A Rangers under 17 side took on runaway leaders in the SFL under 17 league St. Johnstone, at Murray Park on Friday night. The visitors started brightly but gradually Rangers began to dominate with Dylan McGeough outstanding in midfield.

Rangers  took the lead from a corner in the 40th minute, Rhys McCabe heading home. Rangers continued to control the game in the second half, with St.Johnstone looking dangerous in counter attacks.

It was from one such attack that the Saints equalisedon 60 minutes. Rangers then went back on attack and got the deserved winniner when Rhys McCabe again rose to head home at a corner.

Rangers Lineup:- Gary Inglis; Adam Hunter (Murray Wallace 58mins), Trialist, Trialist, Trialist; Nicky Main (Robbie Crawford 63mins), Dylan McGeough, Rhys McCabe, Michael Noble; Ewan McNeill (Anthony Merenghi 63mins), Cristiano Kisuka.

Perth Saints Win At Murray Park

February 20, 2009

Rangers 13/14’s -1St.Johnstone 14’s -2

Thursday night gave me an opportunity to watch and report on some of the younger youth players when a Rangers team made up of a mixture of under 13’s and under 14’s took on St Johnstone’s under 14’s. In what turned out to be an excellent game, the Perth side edged it by the odd goal in three.

In the first of three 30 minute periods Rangers had the first real chance of the period just before the halfway mark. Good work down the left wing by Craig White and Connor McGrandles saw the latter cut the ball back to the on rushing Charlie Telfer, who’s powerfull shot was deflected wide.

Next chance came when Charlie Telfer released the Trialist No.7 on the right, he cut inside passed the defender and shot powerfully, but a bit too straight and the keeper saved comfortably. As the period drew to a close St. Johnstone failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to the Rangers trialist No.4 who’s effort came back off the post. The last action of the period saw St. Johnstone’s first real effort on goal, the centre-forward breaking clear down the right and getting a shot on target which was comfortably saved by Sam George.

1st Period:- Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0

The visitors missed a great chance in the opening minutes of the second period, when their central midfield player broke through only to shoot wide of goal. St. Johnstone took the lead 13 minutes into the second period, a corner from the right was met at the near post by their N0.7 who’s flick volley found the net.

It should really have been 2-0 7 minutes later when the Saints No.8 was through on the keerper but shot wide.  Five minutes before the end of the period Rangers equalised. Darren Ramsey picked up the ball at the edge of the box, shrugged of the challenge of two defenders and shot home.

2nd Period :- Rangers 1 St. Johnstone 1

Straight from the kick-off in the third period only a great save from Liam Kelly kept Rangers level. Diving to his left to parry the St. Johnstone’s No. 8  shot from the edge of the box.  Next it was Saints keeper to perform heroics, diving to his right to save from Darren Lyons who had broken clear of the defence.

Now it was end to end stuff and a great tackle from Jack Baird denied St. Johnstone when it looked like their midfielder would get his shot away well inside the box. From the resultant corner Saints went back in front, the ball was cleared to the edge of the box, only to be met on the half volley by Saints N0.8 and his excellent strike evaded everyone and found the net.

Liam Kelly had picked up where he left of from the Newcastle game, this time denying the St. Johnstone centre when he was clean through. Just before the change round in the final period Rangers created a couple of chances. Michael Selfridge cut in from the left and shot for goal, the keeper diving to his left got his fingertips to the ball and it went narrowly passed for a corner. Then after good work on the right by Connor McGrandles and his cross was headed goalwards by Scott Ferguson which had the keeper stretching to tip the ball onto and over the bar.

Another two great saves from Liam Kelly kept Rangers in the game, The Saints centre slipped past the defender inside the box and his powerfull shot was parried by the keeper. The he denied the vistors substitue when clean through with another fine save.

The last action game in the closing seconds, Darren Ramsey shot from the edge of the box with the keeper diving to his left to concede a corner. From the corner the ball was headed narrowly over the bar and the ref blew for time.

Full-Time:-Rangers 1 St.Johnstone 2

In what was an excellent game and Saints probably deserved to edge it, but there were there were some good performances from Rangers, most notably Under 13’s keeper Liam Kelly. It all part of the learning process and playing against a physically stronger side will hopefully help them progress in the future.

Rangers squad, who all played at least half the game was.

1. Sam George 2. Dylan Dykes 3. Craig White 4. Trialist 5. Mark Williams 6. Charlie Telfer 7. Trialist 8. Lewis Spence 9. Gary Oliver 10. Darren Lyons 11. Connor McGrandles 12. Jack Baird 14. Michael Selfridge 15. Lewis Martin 16. Scott Ferguson 18. Darren Ramsey 21. Liam Kelly

Youngsters Take On Newcastle

February 16, 2009

Two young Rangers sides took on their conterparts from English Premiership side Newcastle United at Murray Park today. With a slight difference on how the two associations structure their age groups, with the English set up being slightly older. It meant the two Rangers sides were made up Under 13/14’s and 14/15’s.

The Newcastle sides did have a marked physical advantage on both games, below is a brief report on both games, not in depth I’m afraid as I was trying keep an eye on both games.

14/15’s Rangers 0 Newcastle United 3

Each of the games was played over three 30 minute  periods. In the older age group Newcastle ran out comfortable winners. After an early save by Rangers keeper Blair Currie, the home side almost took the lead. Jay Doyle rounded the keeper and from a tight angle his effort rebounded clear off the post. The visitors took the lead when a short pass back left keeper Currie totally stranded. Soon after it was 2-0 when a through ball sent their striker clear and he made no mistake slotting past Currie.

In the second period Jay Doyle hit the post again, before Newcastle went three up with an excellent goal. The wide right player cutting inside Scott Rumsby and giving the keeper no chance with an excellent strike.

The third period did not produce any more goals, although Rangers did strike the woodwork again, but I didn’t quite see who’s effort it was.

Rangers Squad:- 1. Blair Currie 2. Dylan Dykes 3. Blair Smith 4. Darren Ramsay 5. Trialist 6. George Scott 7. Mark Taylor 8. Michael Mosson 9. Jay Doyle 10. Lee Cochrane 11. Darren Lyons 12. Trialist 14. Mark Williams 15. Frankie Owens 16. Scott Rumsby

13/14’s Rangers 3 Newcastle United 1

Rangers took the lead halfway through the first period when the Newcastle keeper was caught in possesion after a pass back and Connor McGrandles shot home. Newcastle equalised at the start of the second period when a long ball sent their striker clear and he shot under substitute keeper Liam Kelly.

Rangers took the lead in the third period after good work down the right by Scott Roberts and his cross when converted by Robbie Buchanan. During this final period keeper Liam Kelly produced two excellent saves, the first low to his right at point blank range amd the second low to his left when the Newcastle player tried to pick his spot when through one on one.

Rangers made the game safe when Robbie Buchanan raced clear and knocked the ball past the keeper.

Rangers Squad:- 1. Sam George 2. Ryan Sinnamon 3. Chris McLaughlin 4. Lewis Martin 5. Jack Baird 6. Blair Munn 7. Trialist 8. Andrew Murdoch 9. Gary Oliver 10. Danny Stoney 11. Connor McGrandles 12. Lewis Spence 14. Neil McPherson 15. Scott Roberts 17. Brett Ward 18. Lewis Morgan 19. Robbie Buchanan 21. Liam Kelly 22. Andy Kay

So it was a good experience for all the boys to take on an English Premiership club’s youth sides. The phyiscal difference was pretty obvious and most the Rangers lads played in their development games against Kilmarnock yesterday. So all considered it was a good display all round.

19’s Progress After Extra Time

February 16, 2009

Motherwell 3 Rangers 4

Rangers youth side progessed to the semi final of the Youth Cup with a dramatic extra time win at Fir Park today. As has happened so often this season, the youth game clashed with a first team fixture so I missed out again.

Rangers started brightly and early half-chances came the way of Darren Cole and Gregg Wylde, but neither threatened Coutts. Motherwell then missed a good chance when the overlapping Slane pulled his shot wide of the post.

On 23 minutes Rangers took the lead, Gregg Wylde advanced down the left and his cross was headed powerfully home by Kyle Hutton. Rangers increased their lead on the half-hour mark, keeper Coutts and defender Page failed to deal with a a long free-kick and when the ball fell to Danny Wilson he fired the ball back accross goal and it cannoned of Shaun Hutchinson and into the net.

Half-Time:- Motherwell 0 Rangers 2

In the early minutes of the second half Stephen Stirling almost extended Rangers lead from a free-kick.  On 57 minutes Motherwell were back in the tie, a long hopeful punt from David McAullife was chased by Calum Hendrie, as he jumped to challenge Vaiculis the ball appeared to rebound off him and into the net.

Five minutes later the tie was level, Cole bundled Robert  McHugh to the ground inside the box, and the same player converted from the spot. With 15 minutes remaining Motherwell took the lead, Robert McHugh scrambling the ball over the line from a corner.

With five minutes to go Vaiculis picked up a pass back from Darren Cole, but redeemed himself with a fine save from McHugh’s effort. Rangers then counter attacked from a Motherwell corner, with Kal Naismith breaking from the halfway line he was brought down by Steven Meechan. With the Motherwell player already booked the referee had no option to show him a second yellow and subsequent red card.

Just when it looked like the young  Gers three year cup run was coming to an end, Kal Naismith picked the ball at the edge of the box and firing home with his left foot with a minute remaining. Incredibly Archie Campbell had one last chance to win it in normal time,  clean through and with Coutts narrowing the angle he saw his effort come back of the base of the post.

90 Minutes: Motherwell 3 Rangers 3

With both sides feeling the effects of a hard 90 minutes, chances in extra time were few and the decisive strike came with 4 minutes remining. Kyle Hutton’s cross from the right found Kal Naismith who made no mistake, tucking the ball high into the net.

Full Time:- Motherwell 3 Rangers 4

Motherwell Lineup:- Steven Coutts; Steven Saunders, Shaun Hutchinson, Johnathan Page, David McAullife,Nicky Gallagher ( Steven Lawless 117 mins), Paul Slane, Patrick McPake (Jamie Pollok 18 mins), Robert McHugh, Steven Meechan, Ryan Martin ( Calum Hendrie 57 mins(.

Not Used:- Seb Kosiorowski, Jordan Halsman

Rangers Lineup:- Arturs Vaiculis, Darren Cole, Scott Durie (Gordon Dick), Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde, Jamie Ness, Steven Forbes (Kal Naismith), Stephen Stirling, Archie Campbell, Kyle Hutton, Kane Hemmings (Isa Bagci).

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Max Wright.

Garry Lynch RIP

February 11, 2009

Its with great sadness I report the premature death of Garry “Gadger” Lynch.

Garry suffered a brain haemorrhage on Tuesday night and was taken to Hairmyres hospital.

Earlier today his family had to take the difficult decision to turn off the life support system and he passed away shortly thereafter.

Garry was a great supporter of the youth team over the years so I felt it was appropriate to post the sad news on this blog.

I have known “Gadger” for over 30 years, and would be proud to call him a good friend. I shared a car with him to many youth games and obscure friendlies, nearly always with Garry driving as Garry wasn’t really a passenger.

So whether it was a first team game, european trip, reserve/youth game or one of the many quiz nights we attended over the years, I always had a great time in Garry’s company.

Although I usually saw Garry most weeks at one game or another, the last time i really had a night with him, was that the “Winkie” memorial quiz in East Kilbride. That was an emotional night for Garry, as he was great friends with “Winkie” and I was really pleased when his team emerged as winners, because I knew it meant a lot to him.

At this sad time my thoughts are with Elaine, Garry and Angela.

RIP “Gadger”

Garry’s funeral service will be held next Tuesday in Kirkhill Old Parish Church, Cairns Road, Cambuslang at 2pm.
Colours to be worn.

Cremation will be at 3pm in Daldowie Crematorium.

Afterwards a reception will be held in Cambuslang Masonic.