Archive for March, 2009

Youths Cruise Into Final

March 28, 2009

Rangers 6 Inverness Caley Thistle 2

Billy Kirkwood fielded the same side that started against Hibs in the recent league game. The Inverness side included Andrew Shinnie’s brother Graeme and former Rangers player Shaun Porter was on the bench.

The Ibrox youngsters got of to the perfect start when they took the lead in the 4th minute, Kal Naismith fed Jamie Ness at the left hand angle of the box and he shot across keeper Allison into the corner of the net. Rangers continued to press and Naismith released Archie Campbell on the left, he made his way into the box and laid the ball back into the path of Stephen Stirling who shot wide.

On 26 minutes keeper Kyle Allison then had to look smart to cut out a low Jamie Ness cross after he got to the byline from a Stirling pass. The second goal was only delayed a minute however, Danny Wilson rising to powerfully head a Naismith corner past Allison.  Inverness were dealt a further blow a minute later when keeper Kyle Allison was stretchered off, Archie Campell’s pass sent Kane Hemmings clear and he collided with the keeper although was marginally offside. Unfortunately the keeper was carried from the field and replaced by Keiran Wilson.

Ten minutes later Gregg Wylde went on a run that took him past three defenders only to be brought down 25 yards from goal, Stephen Stirling had an effort from the free kick that keeper Wilson managed to scramble round the post. The next chance for the home side came on 42 minutes, Darren Cole and Kyle Hutton combined on the right and from the latter’s low Archie Campbell shot wide. Rangers were looking to kill the tie, and when Inverness failed to clear a ball from the left, keeper Wilson denied his namesake Danny at the expense of a corner.

From the set play the tie was effectively over, another corner from Naismith was met at the near post by Kyle Hutton and his flicked header found the net.  Then in first half injury time Rangers added a fourth, Stephen Stirling picked up a clearance at the edge of the box and his shot evaded keeper Wilson to finish the tie as a contest.

Half Time:- Rangers 4 Inverness Caley Thistle 0

Kyle Hutton scored his second and Rangers fifth on 57 minutes, neat inter passing down the left between  Naismith and Campbell set up an easy chance for the Rangers midfielder to net from close range. Substitute Isa Bagci almost added another two minutes later, he won the physical battle to collect Vaiculis’s clearance but shot wide.

With 25 minutes remaining the visitors started to threaten the Rangers goal, Nicky Ross picked up a Shane Sutherland flick on and his effort was blocked by the leg of Arturs Vailculis. Then Sutherland’s cross from the left was deflected high to the back post where Stuart Leslie headed straight at Vailculis. Rangers were still looking to add to their tally and Kane Hemmings sent Archie Campbell away, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

The goal of the game came on 73 mins, Isa Bagci picked the ball up 40 yards from goal on the right hand touchline, his run inside took him past two defenders and his left foot shot from 25 yards gave keeper Wilson no chance. The youngsters from Inverness didn’t let their heads go down and were very unfortunate not to pull a goal back two minutes later. A quick free kick set Leslie free on the right, his cutback found Ross near the penalty spot but his effort came crashing back off the crossbar.

Having used their substitutes Rangers played the final 10 minutes with 10 ment when Kal Naismith picked up a knock and had to go off. In closing stages the vistors managed to pull a couple of goals back and give then something to show for their efforts. On 83 minutes Stuart Leslie worked an opening at the edge of the box and shot passed Vailculis. With three minutes remaining Nicky Ross went by Darren Cole and as he made his way into the box he was fouled by Ross Perry, Gavin Morrison stepped up to convert from the spot and complete the scoring.

Full Time :- Rangers 6 Inverness Caley Thistle 2

Rangers :- Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde (Steven Forbes 50 mins); Kyle Hutton (Isa Bagci 58mins), Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness (Gordon Dick 46 mins), Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings.

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie.

Inverness CT:- Kyle Allison (Keiran Wilson 28 mins); Struan Scott-Woodhouse, Danny Welsh, Michael Finnis, Graeme Shinnie; Stuart Leslie, Connor Rennie (Kevin Fraser 46mins), Gavin Morrison, Matthew Hemsley (Shaun Carrol 74mins), Nicky Ross; Shane Sutherland.

Not Used:- Shaun Porter, David Chambers.

In the other Semi Final, Hibs beat Falkirk 3-0 at the new Falkirk Stadium on Sunday 29th March.

Youngsters Overcome Norwegian Visitors

March 27, 2009

Rangers 3 Viking Stavanger 1

A young Rangers side took on their counterparts from Norwegian side Viking Stavanger at Murray Park tonight. Two goals from Rhys McCabe and one from Dylan McGeough saw the home side run out comfortable winners.

Rangers took an early lead after the Norwegian keeper made a fine save from Cristiano Kisuka to concede a corner. From Dylan McGeough’s resultant corner Rhys McCabe headed past the keeper to make it 1-0 with only 3 minutes on the clock.

Ten minutes later some good work saw the vistors through on Gary Inglis, the Rangers keeper made an excellent save to parry the striker’s shot, the ball broke to another of the visitors and only a fantastic goal line clearance from Nicky Main prevented them drawing level.

On 20 minutes Gregor Fotheringham lost possession at the edge of the box, Scott Rumsby managed to block the strikers shot at the expense of a corner. At the other end a sweeping move involving McCabe and McGeough fed Ewan McNeil on the right, he cut inside and shot across the keeper and just past the far post.

Rangers doubled their lead on 33 minutes, after the ball was cleared to the halfway line. Dylan McGeough robbed the central defender and raced clear. After rounding the keeper he slipped and looked to have lost his chance, but recovered to score from a tight angle.

Five miuntes later the visitors pulled a goal back, Scott Rumsby was caught underneath a long ball and the striker rant through to shoot past Inglis. The two goal advantage was restored a couple of minutes later. Rhys McCabe was fouled at the edge of the Viking box, and the same player scored from the free kick, although the keeper should have done better.

Half Time :- Rangers 3 Viking Stavanger 1

The first opportunity of the second half came on 57 minutes to Lee Cochrane but he was denied by the Norwegian’s substitute keeper who made a fine save. Next effort ten minutes later saw McCabe shoot just wide.

The keeper then denied Rangers on three seperate occasions in the last 15 minutes. Making fine saves from Lee Cochrane (twice) and Mark Taylor. Not to be out done with a couple of minutes left on the clock, a free kick from the right was missed by everyone inside the Rangers box and Blair Currie made a good save low to his right, touching the ball behind for a corner.

Full Time:- Rangers 3 Viking Stavanger 1

Rangers Lineup:- Gary Inglis (Blair Currie 60mins); Scott Durie (Lee Cochrane 46mins), Scott Rumsby, Chris Scott (Mark Taylor 46mins), Gregor Fotheringham; Ewan McNeil, Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough, Rhys McCabe; Cristiano Kisuka, Anthony Meringhi (Frankie Owens 55mins).

Footnote:- Three Rangers youngsters have been representing Scotland in the EUFA Under’s 17’s qualifiers this week. Unfortunately Scotland lost all their games, 1-0 to Georgia, 3-1 to Italy and 2-0 to Austria. Darren Cole, Gordon Dick and Max Wright were involved in all three games, Max Wright scoring Scotland’s only goal.

The First Youth Cup Final

March 23, 2009

In the week leading up to the Youth Cup Semi-Final against Inverness Caley Thistle at Ibrox on Saturday, I thought it would be interesting to look at the first Youth Cup Final, which was played 25 years ago. Its always good to watch the youngsters being successful, but sometimes you have take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

So as well as the looking back on the game, I’ve  looked into what the players from the squads that evening went on to achieve in the game, then it opens another debate about which club benefited most.

It was on 8th May 1984 when the youth teams of Rangers and Celtic took to the field at Parkhead to contest the first ever Scottish Youth Cup Final. Rangers had to overcome Motherwell, Clydebank and Hearts, while Celtic’s route saw them eliminate Clyde, Aberdeen and Dundee United.

derek_fergsuon A misconception from that final was that Derek Ferguson played, but he was carried off in a reserve game at Love Street a week or so before and was ruled out of the final. Although he did of course play in the earlier rounds.  In a first half where both sides had chances, Celtic took the lead when Owen Archdeacon sent John McLindon clear to make it 1-0 at half time. Rangers hopes of a comeback were dashed a couple of minutes in to the second half when Sandy Fraser, broke from the halfway line to add a second, with Rangers players claiming handball when he broke through. From then on the Ibrox youngsters never looked likely to retrieve the situation and Celtic ran out comfortable winners.

Looking at both squads you can put them into three categories, those that achieved full international recognition, those that had a decent senior career, and the others that never made an impact in the senior game.

ian_durrantThere were five players from the squads that went on to play at full international level for Scotland. Ian Durrant who gained 20 caps and played over 300 games for Rangers and Kilmarnock. As we all know he would have achieved much more if he hadn’t suffered such a horrendous injury.

The afore mentioned Derek Ferguson who gained 2 caps, in another injury hampered career that saw him turnout for Hearts, Sunderland, Falkirk, Dunfermline Athletic, Partick Thistle and a few others as well as Rangers. The third player from the Rangers squad to achieve International status was Robert Fleck.  A career with Rangers, Norwich City and Chelsea, saw him command transfer fees in excess of £3,000,000 as well as 4 caps.

From the Celtic side their captain that night was Peter Grant, over 350 games for Celtic and brief spells at Norwich City and Reading and 2 caps. Gaining 10 more caps was central defender Derek Whyte who of course had spells at Middlesborough and Aberdeen after he left Celtic.

robert_fleck_220snsIn the second category from the Rangers side and possibly the one that may have made it into the first category was Scott Nisbet. Over 100 games for Rangers and just as he was establishing himself injury cut his career short at the age of 25. Captain on the night was Hugh Burns, who went on to play for Hearts, Dunfermline Athletic and Hamilton Accies.

Two others that had senior careers were Davie McFarlane, who after a few first team appearances was sold to Kilmarnock for £100,000 and later has a short spell at Partick Thistle. And substitute John Davies, brother of Billy, who played for Motherwell, Ayr United, Airdrie, St. Johnstone and Clydebank.

From the Celtic side, John Traynor over 200 appearances for Ayr United. Lex Baillie over 30 first team appearances, the brief spells at St. Mirren and Dunfermline Athletic. Tony Shepherd 28 first team appearances, then it was on to Carlisle United and briefly Motherwell.

Owen Archdeacon was probably the pick of the Celtic players in the 2nd category, making over 400 appearances in a career that included Barnsley,  Carlisle United and Morton as well as Celtic.  Dougie McGuire managed 2 top team apperances at Celtic and 4 at Coventry City and then it was on to Cumnock.  Stevie Kean’s playing career has been unspectacular, but a spell at Swansea City saw him forge a friendship with Chris Coleman. He has been assistant manager to Chris at Fulham, Real Sociadad and now Coventry City.

The others that played for Rangers that night and as far as I know did not make an impact in the senior game were goalkeeper John Thomson, Ian Halliday, Willie Watson, Gordon Moore, Ian McDougall (not to be confused with Ian McDougall from the 1970’s), David Williamson and Derek Gibson.

And from Celtic, keeper John Thompson, Barney McGhee, John McLindon, Sandy Fraser (very highly rated at the time), Derek Mills and Dom Schiavone.

I apologise if I haven’t done any of  them justice, but I am sure someone will tell me.

Youths Friendly Win Over Hearts

March 21, 2009

Rangers 2 Hearts 1

With their league games being postponed due to Scotland  call ups, Rangers and Hearts took the opportunity to play a friendly at Murray Park this morning. It was a a young Rangers side that started the match with only keeper Arturs Vailculis being too old to play at this level next season.

It was Hearts that threatened first, with Arvydas Novikovas cutting in from the right and his powrful shot testing Vailculus. Five minutes later at the other end, Gregg Wylde and Kane Hemmings set up Kal Naismith who’s shot from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide.

Vailculus again had to look smart a few minutes later, saving well from a deflected Paul Mulrooney shot. On the20 minute mark a mix up in the Hearts defence gave Rangers the lead. A long ball should have been dealt with by either Dylan McGowan or keeper Jack Hamilton, as they left it to each other Kane Hemmings nipped in to score.

Some great defensive play kept Rangers lead intact 15 minutes later. First Steven Forbes blocked an effort from Ryan Wallace and as the ball broke to Novikovas, Scott Durie threw himself in front of the shot to clear the danger.

The equaliser was only delayed a few minutes, Hearts scored when Arvydas Novikovas picked up a clearance at the edge of the box and fired low past Vailculus.  Hearts had another chance just before the break when Munrooney had an effort saved by Vailculis.

Half Time:- Rangers 1 Hearts 1

Rangers regained the lead 5 minutes into the second half. From a Dylan McGeough corner, keeper Hamilton failed to get any distance on his punch and the ball fell to Jamie Ness inside the box who he prodded home.

On the hour mark a great challenge by Kyle Hutton prevented an equaliser when Rocky Visconte had played in Novikovas.  The second half was pretty tame and only two half chances for Rangers in the last half hour, on 65 minuntes Isa Bagci cut in from the right and shot straight at the keeper. Then with 13 minutes remaining Kal Naismith set up Cristiano Kisuka who shot wide.

It was a good chance to keep things ticking over and give some game time at this level for some players who haven’t featured recently. Hearts may have felt worthy of a draw, both sides can now look to finish their league campaign with a flourish, and Rangers have next week’s youth cup semi final to look forwrd to..

Full-Time :- Rangers 2 Hearts 1

Rangers Lineup:- Arturs Vailculus; Rhys McCabe; Scott Durie, Chris Scott (Isa Bagci 46 mins), Steven Forbes (Christiano Kisuka 62 mins); Dylan McGeough, Kyle Hutton, Jamie Ness, Gregg Wylde; Kane Hemmings, Kal Naismith.

Hearts Lineup:- Jack Hamilton; Craig Thomson, Dylan McGowan, Conrad Balatoni, Michael Deland (Johnny Brown 46mins); Arvydas Novikovas, Jonathan Stewart (Steven Husband 46mins), Paul Mulrooney, Ross McKenzie (Elias Wagner 46 mins), Rocky Visconte; Ryan Wallace (David Love 73 mins).

Under 16’s In Friendly Win

March 17, 2009

Rangers 2 Motherwell o

With the development leagues at Under 15’s and Under 17’s the pro youth sides rarely get the chance to play and the Under 16 age group. Tonight Rangers and Motherwell took the opportunity to play a friendly at this level, Rangers running out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Chances were hardly in abundance and we had to wait until the 26th minute for the first real opportunity. Great play between Robbie Crawford and Lee Cochrane saw an exquisite back heel from Cochrane free George Scott inside the penalty area, the Motherwell keeper did well to block his shot but surpassed it with a fantastic save from his effort from the rebound.

In 34 mins Scott Rumsby broke forward from defence and his pass almost released Lee Cochrane but the Motherwell keeper was quick off his line to smother. A few minutes later Rangers should have taken the lead, Crawford sent Cohrane free on the right, he worked his way along the byline and his cutback found George Scott inside the six yard box but he knocked it wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Half-Time :- Rangers 0 Motherwell o

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Rangers in control but creating few clear cut chances. The break through finally came after 75 minutes. A Michael Noble throw in on the left found Dylan McGeough, his cross was headed into the top corner by substitute Frankie Owens. Rangers almost scored again a minute later, Ewan McNeil instantly controlled Michael Noble’s pass into the box, he then tried to poke it past the keeper as he came out to narrow the angle, but his effort lacked power and was saved.

With three minutes remaining Rangers got their second goal from the penalty spot. The Motherwell keeper flapped at a Michael Noble cross and when the ball broke to Robbie Crawford he was bundled to the ground by the keeper. Nicky Main stepped up to convert from the spot. Motherwell made it difficult and only lost out to two late goals, but they never troubled Blair Currie in the Rangers goal at any stage.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 Motherwell 0

Rangers Lineup:- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil, Scott Rumsby. Murray Wallace, Michael Noble; Robbie Crawford (Gregor Fotheringham), Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough, Anthony Meringi; George Scott (Frankie Owens), Lee Cochrane (Mark Taylor)

Poor First Half Proves Costly

March 13, 2009

Rangers 2 Hibs 3

A tremendous second half fight back just failed to salvage a point in today’s top of the table clash at Murray Park. In contrast the first half performance was disappointing and that is what ultimately cost the youths pole  position in the league race.

Straight from the kick off Hibs had a clear chance when Kurtis Byrne found himself clear inside the box but shot weakly and Arturs Vailculis save comfortably. We had to wait until the 18th minute before there was any further notable action when a sweeping move saw Kane Hemmings play a one-two with Stephen Stirling as Hemmings advanced into the box, Thomas Flynn saved bravely at the strikers feet.

A minute later good play down the left by Calum Booth saw his cross scrambled clear by the Rangers defence. Hibs then had a half chance when a deep corner from the right broke to Byrne in the box and his shot was deflected wide.

On the half hour mark Hibs struck with two goals in two minutes. First a great piece of skill by Kurtis Byrne on the right saw him skip past Gregg Wylde, his low cross went right across goal to be returned into the six yard box by Calum Booth,  finding David Wotherspoon unmarked to net from close range. Next a neat passing move on the left involving Booth and Wotherspoon saw Oliver Russell released inside the box to make it 2-0.

Hibs remained in control for the remainder of the first half without looking like adding to their lead, with Rangers struggling  Billy Kirkwood had a bit work to do during the break to try and get his side back into the game.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hibs 2

The start of the second half saw a different Rangers side and straight from the kick off the almost scored. Great inter play between Stephen Stirling and Jamie Ness  released Kal Naismith inside the box, his shot was blocked by keeper Flynn and cleared by the Hibs defence. A minute later the ball was played to Archie Campbell at the edge of the box, his lay back was powerfully struck by Kyle Hutton and was tipped over by Flynn for a corner.

Flynn then did well under pressure at a couple of Kal Naismith corners, punching clear under pressure. Rangers then suffered a killer blow on 52 minutes when Hibs went three up with their first attack of the second half.  Patrick Deane worked his way to the byline on the right, his low ball across the six yard box was converted by David Wotherspoon for his second of the game.

After 64 minutes Hibs missed a great chance to score a fourth, Kyle Hutton lost the ball in midfield, Sean Welsh advanced in to box to be denied by Vailculis with a brave save. A minute later Rangers pulled a goal back, a fantastic bit of skill by Kal Naismith saw him skin Booth on the right, as he made his way into the box he was brought down by Scott Smith for a clear penalty, he picked himself up and converted from the spot.

Ten minutes later Rangers were right back in the match, great play down the left by Gregg Wylde and a perfect low cross between keeper and defence saw Archie Campbell score at the back post. At this point Scott Smith who had earlier been booked at the penalty, picked up a stupid if slightly harsh second yellow card, for preventing the ball being returned to the halfway line for kick-off.

Rangers were now pushing for an equaliser and Jamie Ness headed narrowly over from a free kick. With 5 minutes remaining Gregg Wylde saw a long range effort flash past Flynn’s right hand post. Then in the final minute Rangers had a great chance to salvage a point. Naismith’s corner from the right was headed goalwards and was handled on the line by former Ranger Ally Park. A clear penalty and the referee had no option but to show the Hibs full back a red card. Up stepped Kal Naismith only to fire his spot kick high and wide of Flynn’s right hand post.

So its advantage Hibs with a 2 point lead with five games remaining, but with an Old Firm tie and two Edinburgh derbies to come (Hearts have an outside chance), the league race could go right down to the wire.

Rangers Lineup:- Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole (Max Wright 84mins), Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling (Dylan McGeough 57mins), Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Steven Forbes 57mins).

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Rhys McCabe.

Hibs Lineup:- Thomas Flynn; Ally Park, Ewan Moyes, Scott Smith, Calum Booth; Kurtis Byrne (Darren Kelly 90mins), Olver Russell, Sean Welsh, Lee Currie, David Wotherspoon; Patrick Deane (Fergus Bell).

Not Used:- Lewis Graham, Scott Taggart, Keith Murray, David Crawford.

Remaining Fixtures


Celtic (H), Inverness CT (A), Falkirk (H), Motherwell (A), Aberdeen (H)


Kilmarnock (H), Hearts (A), St.Mirren (H), Hearts (H), Motherwell (A)


Dundee Utd (H), Aberdeen (A), Hibs (H), Kilmarnock (A), Hibs (A), Inverness CT (A), Falkirk (H)

Youths Slip Up

March 8, 2009

Dundee United 2 Rangers 0

The youth side’s lead at the top of the league was cut to a single point after a disappointing performance at Tannadice yesterday. With Gregg Wylde still suspended it was an unchanged team that took on Dundee United.

After a quiet opening period Rangers should have taken the lead in the 13th minute, a free kick from the right by Darren Cole fell to Ross Perry on the six yard line right in front of goal, but he failed to connect properly and could only hit keeper Connor Grant at point blank range. At the other end Darren Cole was caught out while trying to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick. He was robbed by Ryan Dow who’s cutback was scrambled clear by the Rangers defence.

A few minutes later Arturs Vailculis had to look sharp, coming well outside his penalty area to beat John Murray to a long through ball. The ball then went to Darren Cole on the right and keeper Grant was almost caught out when his cross came back of the crossbar. Jut after the half hour mark a great Rangers move almost produced a goal. A quick break from a free kick saw Stephen Stirling play the ball to Archie Campbell, an exquisite flick from Campbell sent Steven Forbes clear, as Grant advanced from goal he blocked Forbes shot which was a little too straight.

Five minutes before half time a long throw from Kane Hemmings was headed out to the edge of the box, from where it was volleyed narrowly over by Stephen Stirling.

Half Time:- Dundee United 0 Rangers 0

The first chance after the break came 10 minutes in, a turn in midfield by Stirling wrong footed the United midfield he then fed Kal Naismith on the left, he advanced towards the byline and back heeled the ball to Steven Forbes, Forbes cross was met by the head of Archie Campbell who headed tamely past.

On 63 minutes the home side took the lead, Gavin Stokes advanced through midfield, he hit a tremendous shot from 30 yards which came back of the bar. With Vailculis stranded, John Murray had a simple task to head home the rebound. Rangers almost replied straight away, a corner from the left by Stirling was flicked on at the near post by Isa Bagci but was cleared off the line.

United almost scored again on 73 minutes, Scott Allan took the ball from a short corner on the left, he cut inside beating two defenders and his shot went narrowly past the far post. The second goal was only delayed a few minutes, a quickly taken free kick saw Jamie Ness stop with his arm raised, presumably claiming offside, this  allowed Ryan Dow race clear. As he advanced into the box Vailculis blocked his first effort, but was helpless as he netted the rebound.

In the final 5 minutes Rangers put the United box under siege and came close an a number of occasions. First Kyle Hutton shot straight at Grant, next some great play by Dylan McGeough saw his shot deflected. just when it looked like going inside the post, Grant produced a fine save.

From the corner Ross Perry’s header was cleared off the line, then deep into injury time a long throw from Hemmings fell to Stephen Stirling who’s shot came back off the bar.

A disappointing performance and result, despite having the majority of possession they failed to create many clear cut chances. With Hibs comfortably overcoming Hamilton Accies the lead at the top is down to a single point. It has set up an exciting head to head next Friday morning at Murray Park.

Full Time:- Dundee United 2 Rangers 0

Dundee United Lineup:- Connor Grant; Michael Lee, Cameron Howie (Chris Irvine 30 mins), Ross Smith, David Shaw; Lewis Swanson , Scott Allan, Gavin Stokes, Ross McCord, Ryan Dow; John Murray ( Robert Thomson 85 mins)

Rangers Lineup:- Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Steven Forbes (Max Wright 74mins); Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith (Isa Bagci 56mins); Archie Campbell (Dylan McGeough 67 mins), Kane Hemmings’

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie.

Comfortable Win For Youths

March 1, 2009

Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 4

With Gregg Wylde suspended and Jamie Ness returning from injury that was the only change in the youth side that took on Hamilton Accies at New Southcroft Park this afternoon. Steven Forbes moved to left back with Jamie Ness slotting into midfield and Archie Campbell taking up a more forward role in a dual stike force with Kane Hemmings.

Thr first chance of the game came in the 12th minute when Danny Wilson stooped to head a Kal Naismith corner just over. Four minutes later a clearance from Steven Forbes was chased down the left by Kane Hemmings his cross to the back post was met by Kyle Hutton who’s shot was deflected over.

A great cross field pass from Darren Cole set up the next chance, he found Kal Naismith wide on the left. Naismith went past the full back and just when it looked like Kyle Hutton would force the ball home it was gathered by keeper Gavin aMcLachlan. Hamilton had a rare attack into the Rangers box on 24 minutes, a free kick was headed to the edge of the box by Ross Perry where it was gathered by Ali Crawford who shot over. Joe Connolly then tried his luck from distance which was easily saved by Arturs Vailculis. At the other end a long throw from Kane Hemmings was cleared to the edge of the box to Stephen Stirling who shot was comfortably saved by McLachlan.

Rangers took the lead on the half hour mark, Kyle Hutton played the ball through the inside right channel, Archie Campbell outstripped the defence and his shot from just inside the penalty area found the far corner of the net. Rangers went two up from the penalty spot a minute later, Kyle Hutton played a one-two with Archie Campbell, as he made his way into the box he was sent crashing for a clear penalty, the same player got up to convert from the spot.

Rangers missed another two excellent chances before the break. On 35 minutes Kal Naismith sent Kane Hemmings clear, he had the option of squaring to Archie Campbell but elected to take the shot on as the keeper advanced but shot wide. Then with two minutes of the half remianing Kal Naismith beat two men at the edge of the box and slipped a pass to Jamies Ness who looked certain to score but shot wide.

Half Time:- Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 2

Five minutes into the second half Accies had to change their keeper, McLachlan who had taken a knock in the first half was replaced by Stephen Hall. Ten minutes later he had to look sharp to save at the feet of Kane Hemmings as he chased a long clearance from Arturs Vailculis. Almost immediately Jamie Ness strode through the centre and Stephen Hall did well to parry his powerful shot, but was helpless as Archie Campbell netted the rebound.

The Accies keeper then made further stops, on 69 minutes from Archie Campbell after he was played in by Jamie Ness. Then low to his right from a 25 yard effort from Kal Naismith. After a flurry of substitutions the next chance came when Kal Naismith was released by Jamie Ness but shot wide. 

With four minutes to go Hamilton missed their best chance of the match, Joe Connolly sent  a free kick from the right to the back post, Brian McQueen headed back across goal where substitute Liam Fagan looked certain to score, but at full stretch could only knock the ball over the bar. The scoring was completed in the final minute, Kal Naismith skinned the full-back on the left, his low coss eluded eveyone and was knocked home at the back post by Dylan McGeough.

Full Time:- Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 4

Hamilton Accies:- Gavin McLachlan (Stephen Hall 50mins); Padraic Ormsby, Brian McQueen, Grant Evans, Matt Sheridan; Ali Crawford, John Sullivan, Joe Connolly, Jordan Kirkpatrick, Chris Roxburgh (Fraser Team 74mins); Euan Lindsay (Liam Fagan 59mins).
Not Used:- Lee Kilday
Rangers:- Arturs Vailculis; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Steven Forbes; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling (Gordon Dick 68mins), Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell (Max Wright 81mins), Kane Hemmings (Dylan McGeough 75mins).
Not Used:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Rhys McCabe, Isa Bagci.