Youths V Saints Match Report

Rangers 2 St.Johnstone 2

Following on from their 4-3 win at Beith Juniors on Saturday, Billy Kirkwood’s under 19’s, supplemented by Andy Little, continued their pre-season build up with a game against an experienced St. Johnstone side at Murray Park tonight. With St. Johnstone including first team squad players Euan McLean, Steven Anderson, Kevin Moon, Paul Sheerin and former Ranger Peter MacDonald it was a stiff test for the Murray Park youngsters.

The home side were first to threaten when Gregg Wylde was fouled on the left and Max Wright sent the free kick into the box where Andy Little made a near post run and touched the ball just wide. Two minutes later a great run from the halfway line by Wylde took him  past two defenders but his shot was just too straight and McLean saved comfortably.

Just after the quarter hour mark McLean had to look sharp to cut out a low cross into the box from Archie Campbell, after good play by Campbell and Wright down the right. A minuter later a long ball from Scott Durie sent Campbell clear but his attempted lob was just to high and cleared the bar.

St. Johnstone’s first attempt came from Peter MacDonald on 20 minutes, his long range effort going just over. A couple of minutes later another long range effort from Kevin Moon saw Grant Adam save to left. Adam was in action again  a few minutes later saving a header after a cross from the left.

The Wright/Campbell combination the set up Wylde and keeper McLean stood up well to block his powerful effort. At the other end MacDonald had a chance after Adam missed a free kick  from the left, but under pressure he could only knock the ball wide.

The first half chances came to a close with a couple of minutes remaining,  Campbell robbed the defender at the edge of the box but his effort flashed across goal.

Half Time:- Rangers 0 St. Johnstone 0

The second half started with a couple of chances for the visitors. First MacDonald shot wide, then a free kick from the right by Paul Sheerin saw Adam save at his near post. On 62 minutes the Perth men broke the dead lock, a good turn by the substitute David Heagney inside the box gave him the time and space to beat Adam.

Rangers replied with a Wylde free kick after  Anthony Marenghi was fouled, his powerful strike forcing Mclean to dive and tip over. With just under 20 minutes remaining St. Johnstone had a strong penalty claim when Kyle McAusland appeared to foul Mac Donald inside the box, but the referee waved play on.

Rangers capitalised on that let off with 11 minutes remaining. A cross-field pass from right to left saw Campbell pick out Anthony Marenghi who cut in from the wing and gave McLean no chance with a right foot shot.

Two minutes later and the young Gers were in front. Gregg Wylde intercepted a short pass back,  rounded the keeper and found the net from a tight angle.

The lead was short lived though, when Scott Durie barged David Heagney in the back and the referee correctly pointed to the spot and the St. Johnstone player netted his second beating Adam low to his right.

In the final minutes the visitors could have snatched a win. First a good run and shot by former Rangers youth player Darren Kelly was comfortably saved by Adam, then a long ball sent Heagney clear and only a fine Adam save denied him his hat-trick.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 St. Johnstone 2

Rangers :- Grant Adam; Kyle McAusland, Scott Durie, Andy Little (Anthony Marenghi 63 mins), Steven Forbes; Christiano Kisuka (Steven Hetherington 58 mins), Kyle Hutton (Zane Powell 69 mins), Jamie Ness (Dylan McGeough 58mins), Gregg Wylde; Archie Campbell, Max Wright.



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