Archive for March, 2010

Youths Make It Four In A Row

March 28, 2010

St.Mirren 0 Rangers 1

The Ibrox youngsters made it to their fourth consecutive Youth Cup Final. In a close encounter at New St.Mirren park this afternoon,  an Archie Campbell strike in the second half separating the sides.

Scott Durie and Rhys McCabe returned from injury and took the place of Ewan McNeil and Max Wright who were on the bench. The home side were first to threaten in the second minute when Graeme Ramage won the ball on the edge of the box and shot narrowly wide.

A few minutes later and the Rangers defence struggled to clear their box and Grant Adam fumbled a deflected shot but Chris Scott was on hand to clear. At the other end a run and cross from Gregg Wylde had keeper Jake Cunningham stretching to tip away.

A couple on minutes later and a further raid down the left by Wylde gave Gordon Dick a shooting chance which brought out a save from Cunningham. Just before the quarter-hour mark a great cross from the left by Ally Love gave Kyle Faulds a chance but he headed narrowly over.

St. Mirren continued to have the better of the first half and on 35 minutes Rhys Devlin gathered a Darren Cole clearance and fired just over from 25 yards.

Half-Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers 0

In the first minute of the second half Jon McShane tried his luck from long-range and Adam saved comfortably. At the other end a few minutes later a long throw from Rhys McCabe was flicked on by Kamil Wiktorski, the ball eventually falling to Archie Campbell , he failed to connect properly and his shot looped wide of the post.

On 54 minutes St.Mirren were back on the attack and Sean Burns cross was chested into the path of Faulds by McShane and Adam saved the midfielder’s shot. A minute later and Kyle Hutton was close to giving Rangers lead when he just failed to connect to a Darren Cole free-kick.

Rangers goal was only delayed a few minutes, Gordon Dick won the ball on the halfway line and passed to Rhys McCabe, his forward pass split the St. Mirren defence and sent Archie Campbell clear, he advanced into the box and knocked the ball past keeper Cunningham.

Saints tried to reply on the hour mark and Burns ball into the box was met by Love to force a save from Adam.On 67 minutes McCabe and Kal Naismith carved out a chance which the former fired into the side netting. Five minutes later and an attempted cross from Devlin had Adam stretching to tip over.

A minute later and McCabe released the overlapping Wylde but his low cross along the six yard line found to takers and the St.Mirren defence cleared.  Rangers looked to have doubled their lead a couple of minutes later, Campbell won the ball at the left hand angle of the penalty area and his cross was headed into the net by Naismith only to be ruled out by a linesman’s flag.

St. Mirren were not making any impression on the Rangers defence and in the closing minutes it was the Ibrox youngsters that looked the likelier to score. Keeper Cunningham had to look sharp to save at the feet of Campbell after a one-two with Max Wright threatened to send him clear. With a couple of minutes remaining Max Wright’s low cross was collected by Naismith and a great piece of skill took him past two defenders only to be denied by a brave Cunningham save and his feet.

So it is the Ibrox youngsters who await the winners of Wednesday’s tie between Celtic and Livingston. With wins at Pittodrie, East End Park, Tyncastle and New St.Mirren Park they have certainly done it the hard way this year.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers 1

St.Mirren :- Jake Cunningham; Mark McLennan (Bradley Coyne 87mins), Iain Gray, Dominic Kennedy, Ally Love; Rhys Devlin, Kyle Faulds, Jamie McKernon, Sean Burns (Fraser Team 82mins); Graeme Ramage (Mark Lamont 84mins), Jon McShane.

Not Used:- Michael McKinven, Craig Little.

Rangers:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Gordon Dick (Max Wright 74mins), Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe, Archie Campbell, Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Michael Weir, Ewan McNeil, Dylan McGeough, Kyle McAusland.

19’s Overcome Hearts

March 20, 2010

Rangers 2 Hearts 0

The result was better than the performance as the youths overcame Hearts at Murray Park this morning. Second-half goals from last week’s scorers Gordon Dick and Archie Campbell, and a couple of vital saves from Grant Adam were the basis for today’s win. With injuries to Rhys McCabe and Scott Durie it meant two changes for Billy Kirkwood’s side, Gordon Dick coming in to midfield and Ewan McNeil from the Under 17’s slotting in at full-back.

Rangers were first to threaten after five minutes when Archie Campbell won the ball on the edge of the Hearts box and passed to Gordon Dick who in turn fed Max Wright coming in from the right hand side of the box and his effort brought out a fine save from Dean Lyness low to his right. At the other end Hearts threatened on 13 minutes when Jamie Walker cut in from the right and Grant Adam gathered at the second attempt.

Only a great block from Adam prevented the visitors from taking the lead on 27 minutes, good work on the right by Walker saw him send Danny Thomson clear inside the box and his shot was blocked by the leg of Adam at close range. Five minutes later and Jason Holt fed Walker out on the right and his powerful shot took a deflection which had Adam at full stretch to tip over. Right on half time Rangers replaced the injured Max Wright with Dylan McGeough.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hearts 0

Right at the start of the second half Adam denied Hearts again, David Smith won the ball out on the left and his ball into the box setup Thomson who seemed certain to score only to be thwarted at point-blank range by a fine Adam block. From the corner the ball broke to Dylan McGowan who failed to hit the target from a good position.

Ten minutes into the second period and Adam made another decent save, this time from a long-range Denis Prychynenko free-kick, saving low to his right at the expense of a corner. Just after the hour mark Rangers took the lead against the run of play with a well worked goal. Ewan McNeil sent Campbell free down the right, his pass into the box was collected by Gordon Dick who sent a right foot shot past Lyness.

On 71 minutes Campbell won the ball on the byline and went past a defender to bring out a decent save from keeper Lyness from a tight angle. Rangers had a scare with eleven minutes left on the clock, what looked a harmless cross from Michael Deland on the left was dropped by Adam fortunately Chris Scott was on hand to clear from just in front of the line.

Rangers then made the points safe on 85 minutes, substitute Kyle McAusland won the ball midway inside the Hearts half and fed Archie Campbell wide right, the Rangers striker cut inside and his powerful strike took a slight deflection as it sped past Lyness. The final effort of the match came in injury time when Adam comfortably saved a long-range effort from Deland.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 Hearts 0

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Max Wright (Dylan McGeough 43mins), Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Gordon Dick; Kal Naismith (Kyle McAusland 57 mins), Archie Campbell

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Adam Hunter, Michael Noble, Anthony Marenghi, Steven Hetherington.

Hearts:- Dean Lyness; Fraser Mullen, Conrad Balatoni, Colin Hamilton, Michael Deland; Danny Thomson, Denis Prychynenko, Dylan McGowan, David Smith; Jamie Walker, Jason Holt

First Half Double Secures Points

March 13, 2010

Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2

Two first half goals were enough to secure the points at New Southcroft Park this morning, the cushion was required to resist a much improved second half performance from the home side. With Kane Hemmings out with a knee injury his place was taken Max Wright which was the only change from the side that was successful in last week’s Old Firm derby, while Accies were without the suspended duo Brian McQueen and Declan McAvoy following their red cards against St. Johnstone.

There was barely a minute on the clock when Rangers got off to the perfect start. Rhys McCabe sent Archie Campbell clear and he calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Darren Dolan and into the net. At the other end Kevin Komor tried his luck from a free-kick wide on the right, which Grant Adam saved comfortably at his near post.

On 22 minutes a good move down the Rangers left saw Gregg Wylde cut the ball back to Max Wright just inside the box and his effort was a routine save for Dolan.  Just after the half hour mark the home keeper’s ability was stretched a bit more, Kal Naismith winning the ball in midfield and his shot from 25 yards had Dolan diving low to his left to touch the ball clear.

Two minutes before half-time Rangers extended their lead. A long pass sent Wylde down the left and as Dolan came rushing from his line the Rangers full-back lobbed the ball over the keeper towards goal. Archie Campbell challenged Lee Kilday for the loose ball just in front of the unguarded net and it broke into the path of Gordon Dick who scored from close range. A minute later and the Ibrox youngsters should have gone further ahead. Max Wright played the ball to Kal Naismith at the edge of the box, he left two defenders in his wake as he made his way into the box and fed Archie Campbell  who looked certain to score but shot just wide with Dolan stranded.

In first half injury time the home side showed they were not out of it when Kyle Wilkie won the ball in midfield and played it forward to Grant Gillespie who shot narrowly over, although Grant Adam seemed to have his effort covered.

Half-Time:- Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 2

Five minutes after half-time Accies showed their determination to get back in to the game when Jordan Kirkpatrick played the ball out to David Hopkirk on the let he cut inside and tested Adam at his near post. Two minutes later and the Rangers defence failed to clear a long throw, which broke to Wilkie who shot into the side netting.

Just after the hour mark a great move looked certain to reduce the home side’s deficit. Gillespie broke forward from midfield and his ball into Chris Roxburgh at the edge of the box saw the perfect first time lay off send Hopkirk clear inside the box, he looked certain to score but dragged his shot wide.

On 77 minutes Hopkirk again had a chance when ghosted in from the left but shot wide. With five minutes remaining Rangers almost increased their lead with a rare second half chance, Kyle Hutton just failed to get enough of a touch on Kal Naismith’s free kick from the right and the ball bounced tamely into the arms of Dolan.

Just before the end of the ninety minutes only a fantastic goal line clearance kept the Rangers goal intact. Wilkie turned Darren Cole inside the box and when he rolled it across the six yard box it took Adam out the equation, substitute Gerald O’Connell was denied at point blank range by Gregg Wylde’s fantastic block on the line.

Deep into injury time Hamilton Accies got the consolation goal their second-half performance merited. Rhys McCabe was rather harshly adjudged to have impeded Wilkie inside the box and Jordan Kirkpatrick stepped up to send Adam the wrong way from the spot.

Full-Time:- Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2

Hamilton Accies:- Darren Dolan; Jordan McCue (Gerald O’Connell 76 mins), Lee Kilday, Ziggy Gordon, Kevin Komor; Chris Roxburgh, Kyle Wilkie, Grant Gillespie, David Hopkirk; Euan Lindsay (Connor McGlinchey H/T), Jordan Kirkpatrick.

Not Used:- Gary Inglis; Jojo Connolly, Kieran Millar.

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Scott Durie (Gordan Dick 24 mins), Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Max Wright (Kyle McAusland 81 mins), Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe; Archie Campbell, Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Dylan McGeough, Ewan McNeil, Michael Noble.

Old Firm Joy For Youths

March 7, 2010

Celtic 1 Rangers 2

Rangers went within a point of leaders Celtic with a victory at Barrowfield on Saturday. The Ibrox youngsters also have a game in hand over their rivals. Once again the game clashed with the first team fixture so only brief details as I was of course at Ibrox.

After a goalless first half Rangers took the lead through Archie Campbell and went further ahead with ten minutes remaining with a Kane Hemmings strike.  Celtic grabbed a consolation in the closing minutes through their recent signing Bahrudin Atajic.

Celtic:- Daniele Giordano; Richie Towell, Matty Hughes, Declan Gallagher, Jordan Lowden; Sean Fitzharris, Grant Gallagher, Filip Twardzik (Bahrudin Atajic), James Keatings; James Forrest, Patrik Twardzik (Greig Spence)
Rangers:- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe; Kal Naismith, Kane Hemmings, Archie Campbell (Gordon Dick).

Edinburgh City Visit Murray Park

March 3, 2010

Rangers 2 Edinburgh City 0

Rangers under 17’s took on their Edinburgh City counterparts at Murray Park tonight. The East of Scotland League side’s youth setup has been receiving high praise recently, and only last week took on Celtic at Lennoxtown losing 1-0.

Rangers first effort on goal came after ten minutes when Christiano Kisuka won the ball inside the Edinburgh City penalty area and played it back to Ewan McNeil at the edge of the box who shot just wide. Kisuka was involved again eight minutes later when  his cutback from the right gave Dylan McGeough a chance but the visitors keeper made a fine save.

The opening goal was only delayed a further two minutes, Anthony Marenghi winning the ball in midfield and thundering a shot from 25 yards into the net off the underside of the cross bar. A minute later and Dylan McGeough’s free-kick from the left was deflected and again the City keeper saved well.

Just after the half hour mark McGeough broke down the right and his cross to the back post found Kisuka in space, but he shot across goal and narrowly past the other post. The same combination should have produced a goal five minutes before half time, McGeough winning the ball on the halfway line and driving down the right before playing the ball low across goal where Kisuka shot over from six yards.

Just before half-time the visitors threatened with a shot from just outside the right hand side of the penalty area and the Rangers trialist keeper made a decent save low to his right.

Rangers 1 Edinburgh City 0

Right at the start of the second half Rangers missed a great chance to increase their lead, McGeough releasing Ewan McNeil who advanced into the box and was denied by a fine save.

The East of Scotland side came more in to the match and where having their best spell when they had a chance on the hour mark but the shot was straight at the Rangers keeper. Then a great delivery from a free kick on the left had the Rangers defence under pressure but there were no takers and the ball went out for a goal kick.

Five minutes later Rangers increased their lead, again McGeough was the architect, this time advancing down the left and his low cross was miss hit by Kisuka but fell kindly for George Scott to net from close range. With quarter of an hour remaining Kyle McAusland should have made it three when a McGeough free kick broke to him inside the box but he shot over.

On 81 minutes a great ball from Lewis McLeod sent McNeil clear and he was again foiled by the City keeper. It was the same player who almost scored with the last kick of the match, winning the race for a through ball just ahead of the keeper only to see the ball roll just wide.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Edinburgh City 0

Rangers:- Trialist; Trialist, Gregor Fotheringham, Kyle McAusland, Steven Hetherington; Ewan McNeil, Dylan McGeough, Robbie Crawford (Lewis McLeod 53mins), Anthony Marenghi; Lee Cochrane (Gerorge Scott 59mins), Christiano Kisuka (Frankie Owens 65mins).