Youths Hit Four

Rangers 4 Falkirk 0

With Jamie Ness injured and Kyle Hutton suspended there were two changes to the team that clinched their place in the Youth Cup Final. Steven Forbes came in wide on the right of midfield and Gordon Dick took over in centre midfield.

The visitors had the first chance of the game in the 3rd minute when a long ball from defence found Paul Sludden in space and with Arturs Vailculus off his line he tried the lob, but it lacked height and the Rangers keeper saved. Rangers first effort came 10 minutes later after Kal Naismith was fouled at the edge of the box, Stephen Stirling’s effort from the free kick just cleared the bar.

Real goal scoring chances were few and the next three half chances fell to Falkirk. Jay Lang shot over on 18 minutes, Paul Sludden’s long range effort 10 minutes later was easily saved then on the half hour mark Ashley Young’s cross was missed by Ross Perry, Sludden failed to connect properly with his header and again it was an easy save for Vailculis.

A couple of minutes later Archie Campbell broke down the right and his excellent low cross along the six yard box found no takers. On 35 minutes Rangers then hit Falkirk with two goals in as many minutes. Gordon Dick opened the scoring with a shot from just outside the box that Michael Andrews got a hand to but failed to keep it out the net. Then a long ball from Danny Wilson should have been dealt with by Kieran Duffie, Kane Hemmings capitalised on his hesitation to shoot past Andrews.

With 5 minutes remaning in the first half Rangers almost added a third, a great move down the left involving Hemmings, Wylde and Naismith, the latter’s cross found Dick arriving late into the box but his shot just went past.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Falkirk 0

A great start after the break saw Rangers add a third in the first minute, good play by Campbell on the left and an excellent deep cross to the back post found Steven Forbes who side footed past Andrews. Falkirk threatened on 54 minutes when Lang’s 25 yard effort was tipped over by Vailculis.  On 59 minutes a clearance following a Rangers corner found Sludden running clear from the halfway line, as he advanced into the box under pressure from Forbes he shot weakly at Vailculis.

At the other end 5 minutes later Stirling strode forward in the centre of the park and his shot was straight at Andrews. With 20 minutes reamining Falkirk had a couple of efforts at reducing the deficit, Lang fed Sludden in the box and Vailculis saved then the keeper saved Lang’s long range effort.

On 71 minutes Rangers added a fourth, Kane Hemmings chased down a passback and blocked Andrews attempted clearance then had the easy task of walking the ball into the net. Falkirk the had a chance  at the other end through substitute Blair Young, but a great challenge from Danny Wilson forced him to screw his shot wide. With 13 minutes remaining summer signing from Norwich City, Tom Miller came on for his first competitive appearance, a serious injury in pre-season training has saw him on the sidelines for eight months.

With five minutes left Hemmings almost got his third, an Naismith corner was met by the head of Ross Perry, keeper Andrews made a fine one handed save, Hemmings at full stretch could only knock the ball overfrom close range. Unfortunately the game ended on a sour note in the final minute. Hemmings who had an excellent game made a crazy two footed challenge on Falkirk’s ,Young inside the visitor’s penalty area. The referee had no alternative  but to produce a straight red card and fortunately the Falkirk player appeared to avoid serious injury.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Falkirk 0

Rangers Team:- Arturs Vailcuis; Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde (Dylan McGeough 65mins); Steven Forbes, Gordon Dick (Tom Miller 77mins), Stephen Stirling, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell (Max Wright 73mins), Kane Hemmings.

Not Used:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Isa Bagci, Cristiano Kisuka.

Falkirk Team:- Michael Andrews; Eric Schultz-Eklund (Wayne Sproule 42mins), Kieran Duffie, Paul McLean, Euen Grant; Aashley Young, Jay Lang, Kieran Stallard, Stewart Murdoch (Lyall Shaw 77mins); Scott Davidson (Blair Young 48mins), Paul Sludden.

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