Development Teams Take On Aussies

With the under 19’s league game against Falkirk at Stirling University postponed it gave me the opportunity to take in the games at Murray Park this afternoon. Rangers under 15’s and Under 17’s took on a touring side from Australia, TY Sports Academy. I’m not sure of the set up but the touring sides were made of a mix of Australians and Koreans. As I tried to keep an eye on both games the reports are a wee bit sketchy.

Under 17’s

Rangers 5 TY Sports Academy2

Rangers began the match with three trialists in the starting line up, a Polish goalkeeper and two strikers who I believe were a Scottish lad and a Finn. The first real threat came from the visitors when the trialist keeper has his attempted clearance charged down, although as the ball spun goalwards he had plenty time to get back and gather the ball. At the other end Anthony Marenghi brought out a fine save from a free kick just outside the box.

Midway through the half the tourists took the lead, the trialist keeper again had problems with his kicking, this time only clearing to the striker at the edge of the box who shot into the empty net. Within five minutes Rangers were level when the other trialists combined to great effect. Good play on the right by Trialist No. 9 (Scotland) saw him Cross for Trialist No. 10 (Finland) to head home.

After another five-minute gap Rangers took the lead, Lewis McLeod sending Trialist No. 10 clear and he calmly prodded the ball past the advancing keeper.  Rangers had the better of the play in the first half and missed a few chances, but only a great interception by Michael Noble kept them ahead as half time approached.

Half- Time:- Rangers 2 TY Sports Academy 1

Early in the second half Rangers increased their lead with a great solo goal from Anthony Marenghi, picking the ball up on the left he cut inside past two defenders and beat the keeper with a right foot shot from just outside the box. Just when it looked like Rangers would take command the visitors reduced the deficit with a powerful header from a corner from the right.

Rangers were then back on the attack and were denied by the keeper on a couple of occasions. They came closer still when Marenghi’s ball in from the left was flicked goalwards at the near post by Robbie Crawford only to see it come back off the post. When they did increase their lead it came from the penalty spot. Mark Taylor’s ball into the box was controlled by Trialist No. 10, who was impeded as he tried to turn and stepped up to blast the ball high into the net despite the best efforts of the visiting keeper and complete his hat-trick.

The scoring was complete when Nicky Main played him through again, this time his cutback allowed Lee Cochrane to score from close range via the keeper’s left hand post.

Full Time:- Rangers 5 TY Sports Academy 2

Rangers:- Trialist N0. 1 (Blair Currie); Ewan McNeil (Lee Cochrane), Kyle McAusland, Michael Noble, Steven Hetherington; Nicky Main, Lewis McLeod (Robbie Crawford), George Scott (Frankie Owens), Anthony Marenghi; Trialist No.9 (Mark Taylor), Trialist No. 10.

Under 15’s

Rangers 3 TY Sports Academy 0

This was played over three thirty minute periods, the visitors were successful in their previous games against Nottingham Forrest and Bolton Wanderers. The Rangers squad included a significant number of under 14’s.

The first period was goalless although Callum McConnell looked likely to score when played through by Blair Munn, but he knocked the ball over the advancing keeper and just wide. Ciaran Summers also came close, gathering a Dylan Dykes cross and shooting across goal and just past the far post. Just before the end of the period the visitors had a great chance and just when it looked a certain goal the ball was deflected over for a corner.

The second period was where the game was won, with all Rangers goals coming in the period. The first coming via the penalty spot, Callum McConnell was played through and the defender seemed to clear the ball for a corner but the referee deemed he had fouled the Rangers player and pointed to the spot, Blair Munn stepped up to confidently score from the spot.

The second came after good play on the left created a scoring opportunity and the keeper made a fine save, but was helpless as the rebound went straight to Blair Spittal who fired home. And it was Blair Spittal who grabbed the final goal, dispossessing the defender at the edge of the box and shooting past the keeper.

There was no further scoring in the final period, the highlights being a fine save low to his right by Liam Kelly when the striker was through, and an equally fine save at the other end after the ball broke to Stuart Urquhart inside the box following a corner, the tourists keeper turning his effort over the bar.

Rangers 3 TY Sports Academy 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Dylan Dykes, Greg Pescizio, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson (Tom Walsh); Blair Munn (Blair Spittal), Jack Donaldson (Andy Murdoch), Darren McGill (Scott Roberts), Ciaran Summers; Callum McConnell, Danny Hutchinson (Kjeld McIntyre)

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