Archive for July, 2009

Under 17’s Take On Estonians

July 31, 2009

Rangers under’s continued their pre-season build up with a game against the youth side from current Estonian champions Levadia Tallinn at Murray Park this afternoon.

Rangers 3 Levadia Tallinn 1

170px-RangersLevadia

Rangers were first to create when a cross field pass from Anthony Marenghi saw Steven Hetherington touch the ball first time to Trialist No.10 who’s shot was diverted for a corner with a fine save from the keeper. The goal was only delayed until the 5th minute when Rangers took the lead with an excellent strike. Mark Taylor made progress down the right and his cross to the back post was met on the volley by Steven Hetherington to give the keeper no chance and put Rangers ahead.

The visitors then had a chance a few minutes later when a headed clearance was picked up and the midfielder fired just wide from the edge of the box. Straight to the other end and a powerful strike from distance by Mark Taylor brought out a fine save with the keeper diving to tip over. The keeper was in action again a minute later in the 10th minute when a Nicky Main free kick was headed goalwards by Scott Rumsby and again it was tipped over.

Rangers were creating lots of chances and the Trialist No 10 came close twice in the next five minutes. First he controlled a long pass from Adam Hunter on his chest and shot just wide. Then he combined with Taylor but sent his effort narrowly past the same post. A few minutes later he was involved again, Hetherington sent him clear on the left and his pass inside gave new signing Zane Powell a chance but the keeper saved well.

On 25 minutes Rangers had a great chance to double their lead. Main and Trialist No.10 combined to feed Taylor on the right, as he cut inside the box he was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot. The Trialist took the spot kick but the Lavadia keeper made a fine save diving to his left and touching the ball on to the post, and getting back to his feet to deny Powell from the rebound. A couple of minutes later the visitors failed to clear a ball into the box and Trialist No. 10’s shot was deflected on to the bar and cleared.

With 5 minutes to the break the Baltic side got an unlikely equaliser. There were awarded a free kick just outside the box and the shot took a wicked deflection off the defensive wall giving Blair Currie no chance. Rangers replied when good play on the left between Hetherington and Frankie Owens saw the latter’s cross was headed weakly straight at the keeper by the Trialist N0.10. Just before the break the visitors broke down the right wing and from the cut back a powerful shot saw Currie make a fine diving save to his right.

Half Time:- Rangers 1 Levadia Tallinn 1

Ten minutes into the second half saw Rangers come close, Powell cutting in from the left and forcing a save from the keeper. In the 60th minute Hetherington set up a chance for Christiano Kisuka but he shot just wide. Two minutes later Rangers were back in front, Kisuka won the ball on the halfway line and his powerful run to the edge of the box gave Steven Hetherington a chance, his first effort was blocked but when the ball came back to him and another great strike left the keeper stranded.

The Estonian side was still a threat on occasions and 67 minutes Currie saved an effort from the right hand side of the penalty area. Then a Currie clearance sent Kisuka clear, his attempted lob had the keeper stretching and he just managed to get a touch to prevent a certain goal. With 15 minutes remaining Kisuka advanced on the left and his low cross was thundered against the crossbar by Powell.

The recent signing from Dunfermline was not to be denied and a minute later the Levadia keeper made a fine save to deny Hetherington but Zane Powell was on hand to net the rebound from close range. He had another opportunity just a minute later, provide by a great Taylor run and pass but this time he shot just wide.

Again Powell threatened, this time chasing a long ball and holding off a defender to get his shot in, which the keeper saved at the expense of a corner. From Taylor’s set piece Scott Rumsby powered in a header which the keeper blocked on the line.  The final chance with 5 minutes remaining  saw the keeper deny Rangers again. Adam Hunter miss hit his shot but the ball landed at the feet of Christiano Kisuka and his effort saw the keeper dive high to his left and touch the ball wide.

Full Time:- Rangers 3 Levadia Tallinn 1

Rangers:- Blair Currie ( Trialist GK 76mins); Adam Hunter, Scott Rumsby, Kyle McAusland ( Michael Mosson 46mins), Frankie Owens; Mark Taylor, Anthony Marenghi (Darren Ramsay 76mins), Nicky Main, Steven Hetherington; Trialist No.10 (Christiano Kisuka 46mins), Zane Powell.

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Dublin Boys Club Visit Murray Park

July 30, 2009

A Rangers side made up of under 15’s and 16’s took on an under 17 side  from Dublin side Belvedere Boys Club at Murray Park on Wednesday afternoon.  The game was played over three 30 minute periods and it was  who Rangers were first to threaten when a poor clearance from the keeper gave Lee Cochrane a chance, but the keeper recovered to touch past for a corner. The visitors then had Blair Currie tipping over from an effort from the edge of the box a few minutes later.

On 12 minutes Mark Taylor made his way along the byline and the keeper blocked from close range at the expense of a corner. From the flag kick  the ball found its way to Darren Ramsay and again the keeper blocked and his defence scrambled clear.  Five minutes before the end of the first period the Belvedere midfielder picked the ball up at the halfway line, advanced to the edge of the box and shot just wide.

The last chance of the period came when a Blar Currie goal kick released Lee Cochrane who played in Mark Taylor but he had to settle for a corner when the keeper saved again.

First Period:- Rangers 0 Belvedere Boys Club 0

Five minutes into the second period Rangers took the lead, Darren McGill the ball up and drove forward, he then played Lee Cochrane through and he knocked the ball over the advancing keeper. Less than five minutes later the home side doubled their lead and again Darren McGill was involved. This time he play the ball up to Calum McConnell who’s neat lay off setup Darren Ramsay who made no mistake.

On 46 minutes the visitors pulled a goal back, it looked like their striker had lost his chance when he delayed his shot, but he turned back inside and beat Currie from close range. Rangers replied when McConnell and Ramsay combined, the latter’s shot looked to be going wide, but Cochrane stretched to connect and his effort rebounded from the post to Taylor to net only to be ruled offside.

Just before the end of the second period Currie kept the home side’s lead intact. A goal kick was misjudged by Jordan Wilson and his header sent the Belvedere striker clear, Blair Currie came rushing from his line to make a fine save.

Second Period:- Rangers 2 Belvedere Boys Club 1

The combination of McGill, Ramsay and McConnell almost produced a goal at the start of the final period, with the keeper saving Ramsay’s shot. At the other end a good passing move created a chance but the effort at goal was just wide. With minutes remaining the game was all square, the Rangers defence failed to clear allowing the visitor’s striker to net from close range.

The Belvedere lads had now found new confidence and energy and only Blair Currie’s foot denied them a goal from a close range effort. In the final. their striker was through and tried to lob the advancing Currie who made another fine save. With seconds remaining a long throw down the left caught the Rangers defence napping, the Belvedere player got to the byline and his cut back was knocked home from close range to snatch victory.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 Belvedere Boys Club 3

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Frankie Owens, Kieran McKenna, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson; Mark Taylor, Darren Ramsay, Darren McGill (Andy Murdoch 68mins), Michael Mosson; Lee Cochrane, Calum McConnell (Willie McCall 75mins).


Development Teams Round Up

July 28, 2009

With various teams starting their pre-season games last weekend I thought it would be a good opportunity to take in a couple of games and report on the younger age groups.

Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 1

The under 17’s took on their counterparts from Hampden at Murray Park on Sunday morning. With Adam Hunter, Michael Noble, Kyle McAusland, Nicky Main and Dylan McGeough away on international duty both sides agreed  that a couple of over age players could be included in each side. The Queen’s Park youngsters were looking to complete an Old Firm double having defeated Celtic 2-1 at Lennoxtown a couple of days earlier.

Rangers were first to threaten when new signing from Hartlepool Steven Hetherington set up Christiano Kisuka and the Queen’s Park keeper made a save low to his left. At the other end a good move down the right gave the visitor’s a chance and Blair Currie made a similar save low to his right.

A poor kick from a pass back gave Rhys McCabe a chance but the keeper recovered to save his shot from the edge of the box at the expense of a corner.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 Queen’s Park 0

Soon after half time only a goal line clearance prevented Rangers from taking the lead. An Anthony Marenghi corner from the right was met by the head of Christiano Kisuka with the keeper beaten the defender cleared of the line. Around the hour mark the visitor’s keeper made a fine save after a good run and shot from Mark Taylor.

A few minutes later Queen’s Park took the lead, a long clearance sent them clear down the left and the Queen’s player advanced into the box to knock the ball past the advancing Blair Currie to put them ahead, despite a valiant attempt by Frankie Owens to clear on the line.

With 10 minutes remaining Lee Cochrane was sent clear only to be hauled back by the Queen’s Park defender, unfortunately the referee failed to spot it and the danger was cleared. This seemed to spur the Rangers youngsters on and a Marenghi shot from distance was deflected wide.

From the corner taken by the same player the ball was headed out to the edge of the box and the keeper had to pull of a fine save from Mark Taylor’s powerful shot. The goal was only delayed, Marenghi sending Rhys McCabe clear, the midfielder kept his cool and slotted it past the keeper.

The visitor’s goal was now under siege as Rangers sought a winner. Good play down the left by Hetherington and his cut back set up Ewan McNeil who’s power shot beat the keeper only to be cleared off the line. The McNeil burst down the right and his cross into the box broke to Trialist No.16, again the keeper was beaten and again it was cleared of the line.

In the final minute Rangers had one final chance, Lee Cochrane made great progress down the right and his cross to the edge of the box was met on the volley by Rhys McCabe only to see the keeper pull of a stunning save tipping the ball onto the bar from where it rebounded clear.

Full Time:- Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 1

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil, Scott Rumsby, Trialist N0.4 (Mark Taylor 55mins), Frankie Owens; Lewis McLeod (Lee Cochrane 41mins), Trialist No.6 (Trialist No.16 50mins), Rhys McCabe, Steven Hetherington; Christiano Kisuka, Anthony Marenghi.

On Sunday afternoon the under 13’s and under 15’s had high scoring wins over Stirling Albion’s under 14’s and under 16’s. I took in the under 15’s game as there has been quite a change in this squad over the summer, so it was  a chance to have a look at the new players.

Central defender Stuart Urquhart was recruited from Hamilton Accies, midfielders Darren McGill and Jordan Wilson have joined from Kilmarnock and Falkirk respectively and striker Callum McConnell was signed from St.Johnstone. Full back/midfielder Gordon Young who was with Queen’s Park last season seem likely to be confirmed too.

There are also two new signings from boys club football, central defender Kieran McKenna and striker Willie McCall. All looked good additions but the real test will come against stronger opposition.

It was very comfortable win on the day, Stirling Albion competed well and were still in the game after the first 30 minute period. The longer the game went on the gap between the sides became apparent, with Stuart Urquhart, Darren Ramsay and Charlie Telfer being the standouts.

The Squad that took part was as follows

Liam Kelly, Dylan Dykes, Kieran McKenna, Stuart Urquhart, Andy Murdoch, Darren McGill, Darren Ramsay, Jordan Wilson, Calum McConnell, Charlie Telfer, Willie McCall, Gordon Young, Darren Lyon, Blair Munn, Craig Whyte, Ciaran Summers and Blair Spittal. This was augmented by one under 16 player Michael Mosson and an Australian trialist.

The under 14’s were also in action at Lesser Hampden where they took on Queen’s Park under 15’s, losing 4-3.

Blackburn Win Double Header

July 25, 2009

Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

With Grant Adam and Andy Little away with the first team squad in Germany there were two changes to the team that defeated Oxford United. Mark Weir took over in goal and trialist Gil Bluhmenstein partnered Lory Loy up front. The reserves were up against it going two goals behind in the opening six minutes.

In the opening minute the Blackburn central midfielder was allowed to stride forward, although his shot was blocked it deflected into the path of their left midfielder who beat Weir  in the race to the ball and stabbed the ball home. Worse was to follow when after good work down the left and a low cross, the visitors striker turned and fired past Weir from just outside the six yard box.

In 13 minutes Rangers got themselves back into the game, the Blackburn keeper handled outside the box and from the resultant free kick Gil Bluhmennstein curled the ball round the wall and into the net. On the twenty minute mark Jamie Ness and Steven Kinniburgh combined down the left and from the full back’s cut back Blumennstein’s shot was deflected wide. The remainder of the first half was fairly even without any real scoring chances at either end.

Half Time:- Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

The second half was evenly contested with goalmouth action pretty limited. Mark Weir produced a fine save on 63 minutes, diving to his left to parry a header following a corner from the left. Five minutes later a long ball from defence released Bluhmennstein but he shot weakly straight at the keeper.

With seven minutes remaining Jamie Ness won the ball in midfield and strode forward, but his shot from distance lacked power and the keeper saved easily.

Full Time:- Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

Rangers:- Mark Weir; Alan Lowing, Ross Perry, Jordan McMillan, Steven Kinniburgh; Stephen Stirling (Gregg Wylde 46 mins), Paul Emslie, Jamie Ness, Steven Lennon; Rory Loy, Gil Bluhmennstein.

Rangers 0 Blackburn Rovers 3

It was a disappointing performance and result from the youths in todays friendly. Although they were without several players for one reason or another, I am sure Billy Kirkwood would have expected a better performance from his young side.

They went behind in the 10th minute when when the visitors centre half got a free header from a corner form the right that looped over keeper Gary Inglis giving him no chance.  Rangers then threatened briefly and the Blackburn keeper had to look sharp, first racing from his line to collect a through ball from trialist No 8, then moving quickly to save at the feet of Kane Hemmings.

On the half hour mark Kal Naismith had an effort from a free-kick wide on the right forcing the keeper to save low to his left. In general play the visitors were on top and doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, their left midfield player finding the net with a long range shot, keeper Inglis looking slow to react.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 Blackburn Rovers 2

The second half continued in the same pattern with the English side well on top and Inglis made a fine save low to his left just before the hour mark. The goal was only delayed a few minutes and again the home keeper should possibly have done better. A high cross from the right saw Gary out jumped and out muscled by the big striker who forced the ball home.

The Rangers side was really struggling and only a fine close range save from Inglis prevented a further goal. Then with eight minutes reaming the Blackburn striker brushed aside Steven Forbes and Scott Durie and raced clear, Inglis came form his goal to make another fine save.

So it was a bad day for the youths and Billy Kirkwood will hope the return of keepers Grant Adam and Mark Weir along with Danny Wilson, Jamie Ness, Gregg Wylde, Darren Cole and Chris Scott and improved performances from the others will be seen in the coming weeks.

Full Time:- Rangers 0 Blackburn Rovers 3

Rangers :- Gary Inglis; Trialist No 2 (Christiano Kisuka 66mins), Kyle Hutton, Scott Durie, Sreven Forbes; Max Wight ( Rhys McCabe 62 mins), Trialist No 8 (Gordon Dick 46mins), Trialist No 6 (Trialist No 17 46mins), Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings

Youths Start Pre-Season With A Win

July 21, 2009

Rangers 5 Queen’s Park 1

The youths opened their pre-season fixtures with a comfortable win over Queen’s Park tonight at Murray Park. With Grant Adam, Jamie Ness, Darren Cole and Gregg Wylde involved in this afternoon’s 2-0 reserve win over Oxford United and the absence of Danny Wilson and John Fleck there were quite a few eligible players omitted and several trialists were involved.

In the early part of the game it was the visitors that threatened and had a great chance in the first minute when their striker was through but his attempted lob over Mark Weir was high and wide. Six minutes later a long ball from the Queen’s Park defence caught out Kyle Hutton and Mark Weir had to look sharp to block the striker’s effort.

Rangers took the lead on 28 minutes with their first real effort on goal. A great cross field pass from the Trialist No.8 found Kal Naismith on the right, the winger tricked his way to the byline and his cut back found Archie Campbell who fired home. Two minutes later Rangers doubled their lead, Gordon Dick and Kal Naismith combined in the centre of the park and Naismith’s through ball released Archie Campbell who made it 2-0.

Rangers added a third a minute before the break, Kal Naismith fed Kane Hemmings who sent Archie Campbell clear to round the keeper and and slot home.

Half Time Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0

A few minutes after the break two of the trialists involvement almost added another goal. A corner from the left by Trialist No 18 was cleared to the edge of the box where Trialist No 8 hit a powerful shot which the Queen’s keeper did well to block with his legs. On the hour mark Rhys McCabe’s cross from the left was headed out straight to Kal Naismith who shot just wide.

Only a great defensive block by Scott Durie denied the visitors five minutes later when he threw himself in front of the attempted shot at the expense of a corner. At the other end Max Wright brought out a fine save from the Queen’s Park keeper. With 15 minutes remaining Rangers added a fourth, Max Wright released Christiano Kisuka on the right and the big striker rolled the ball across the six yard box to give Trialist No. 18 a simple tap in.

Five minutes later The Spiders pulled a goal back, a free kick was crossed into the box from the right and no Rangers defender picked up the runner and who was allowed a free header to easily beat Mark Weir from close range. With a few minutes remaining Trialist No.18 grabbed his second and Rangers fifth. He brought down Rhys McCabe’s cross on his chest and thundered home from around the penalty spot to complete the scoring.

Full Time Rangers 5 Queen’s Park 1

Rangers :- Mark Weir; Steven Forbes, Scott Durie, Kyle Hutton, Trialist No3; Kal Naismith, Gordon Dick, Trialist No 8, Trialist No 11; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings.

Subs:- Trialist No 19 (For Trialist No 3 46mins), Trialist N0 20 (For Dick 46mins), Trialist No 18 (For Trialist No 11 46mins), Rhys McCabe (For Forbes 60 mins), Dylan McGeough ( For Trialist No 8 60 mins), Max Wright (For Campbell 60 mins), Christiano Kisuka (For Hemmings 60 mins).