Youths Hit Six

Rangers 6 St.Johnstone 1

Rangers Under 19’s continued their climb up the table by hitting St. Johnstone for six at Murray Park this morning. A heavy overnight frost saw the youth pitch unplayable, but with the under soil heating on the professional pitch the game went ahead, even though it meant the kick-off was delayed for almost an hour. Billy Kirkwood gave the side that won against Aberdeen last week the nod, while the Saints side included Zander Clark, Sean Porter and Darren Kelly who were on Rangers books at younger age groups.

The Rangers youngsters got off to the perfect start taking the lead in the first minute. A free-kick from the right by Rhys McCabe was glanced on by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith was on hand to net from close range. The visitors then found themselves two down seven minutes later, Kyle Hutton and Max Wright combined in midfield to release Kane Hemmings in the inside left channel, he advanced to shoot across keeper Zander Clark into the corner of the net.

Within two minutes Rangers had another chance McCabe releasing Gordon Dick inside the box only to see his effort deflected wide. On 17 minutes Rangers went three up with a goal created by some great wing play by Naismith, he skinned full-back Ross Alexander on the left and his low cross was perfect for Archie Campbell who beat Clark from around eight yards.

Up to this point St, Johnstone had shown little in attack but midway through the half Rangers had an escape when the visitors had what looked strong penalty claims when Grant Adam appeared to bring down striker Rikki McIntosh inside the box. It looked like the Saints would be doubly punished when Campbell sent Hemmings clear and just when he looked certain to score he shot wide.

Rangers always looked likely to add to their lead and on 34 minutes a good passing move sent Dick to the byline and his low cross brought out a fine save from Clark. The Saints defence was breached again a minute later, Kal Naismith was fouled near the byline out on the left, Max Wright took the resultant free-kick and Chris Scott was on hand to power home a header. It also saw the last involvement for Gordon Dick who picked up an injury and was replaced by Dylan McGeough. Right on the stroke of half-time  a poor clearance was gathered by Campbell thirty yards out and he sent a shot narrowly wide.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 St.Johnstone 0

It didn’t take Rangers long to be creating chances in the second half. Hutton, Campbell and Darren Cole combined on the right and Hutton had a great chance when Campbell cut the ball back, but his shot was weak and Clark saved easily. The respite only lasted a minute and when McCabe sent Wright clear his cross into the box was a carbon copy of Naismith’s in the first half and the result was the same with Archie Campbell converting from around the same range.

Rangers then grabbed a sixth goal on the hour mark, great play from McGeough saw him cut inside to the edge of the box, keeper Clark seemed to have his shot covered only to fumble it from his grasp giving Kane Hemmings the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net. Campbell then had a chance to complete his hat-trick, chasing an Adam clearance he won the challenge with keeper Clark but was forced wide and his effort was cleared.

With four minutes remaining St. Johnstone grabbed a consolation goal, their substitute made progress on the right and his low cross found its was to former Ranger Darren Kelly who scored from close range. The game ended where it had started with Rangers on the attack and Kyle McAusland came close when his effort following a McGeough corner was deflected over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 St. Johnstone 1

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski (Kyle McAusland 72 mins), Darren Cole; Max Wright, Gordon Dick (Dylan McGeough 36mins), Kyle Hutton, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Christiano Kisuka 79mins)

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Scott Durie, Steven Forbes.

St.Johnstone:- Zander Clark; Ross Alexander (Chris Moffat 46  mins), Sean Porter, John Lindsay, Ryan Sullivan; Liam Caddis, Martyn Shields (Keiran O’Hear 46mins), Matt Helmsley, Darren Kelly; Steve May, Rikki McIntosh (Scott ????? 83mins)

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