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.