Archive for May, 2010

Ibrox Double Header For Development Teams

May 16, 2010

Yesterday was a good opportunity to take in a couple of games when two of the development teams played at Ibrox. With the under 17’s taking on Dundee United in the morning and the under 15’s playing St.Mirren in the early afternoon. The results were mixed with the games ending in a victory and a defeat.

Under 17’s

Rangers 4 Dundee United 2

Rangers started brightly and had a ew chances in the first quarter of an hour. First chance came when Steven Hetherington fed Anthony Marenghi and he cut in from the left and shot across the keeper and narrowly wide of the far post. Then the United keeper, Phillip Anderson, who was with Rangers last season made a fine save to deny Lewis McLeod. From the resultant corner keeper Anderson blocked Scott Rumsby’s point-blank header. Right on the 15 minute marked he was again in action, tipping over a Ewan McNeil shot from around 25 yards.

Just before the half hour mark Rangers took the lead, Kyle McAusland chased the ball down the left channel and played it back to Anthony Marenghi who shot across the keeper and into the net. The visitors were soon level when a free kick from just outside the box was deflected into the United player’s path and he scored from close range.

Only a great challenge from Scott Rumsby prevented United taking the lead, this proved vital with Rangers scoring a couple of minutes later. Gregor Fotheringham played the ball out to McLeod on the right, his cross was flicked on by McAusland and Lee Cocharne was on hand to knock the ball into the net.

Rangers scored again soon after the break, good play involving Marenghi, Cochrane and McAusland, with the keeper parrying the latter’s shot Robbie Crawford had a simple tap in. Within a couple of minutes United pulled a goal back when Rangers failed to clear a cross from the right their striker netted from close range.

Robbie Crawford scored his second when Dundee United had several attempts to clear the danger, the ball eventually falling to Robbie and he scored from the edge of the box. Rangers then missed a few more chances in the final ten minutes. Lewis McLeod shot across goal after being played in by George Scott. Fotheringham played the ball out to Mark Taylor on the left and after cutting inside he was denied by the keeper. Then the final chance came when McLeod sent Callum Wylie clear on goal but he just wide.

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil (Abdul Abdulagay46 mins), Scott Rumsby, Adam Hunter, Michael Noble (Frankie Owens 46mins); Lewis McLeod, Gregor Fotheringham, Steven Hetherington (Robbie Crawford 46mins), Anthony Marenghi (Mark Taylor 52mins); Kyle McAusland (George Scott 52mins), Lee Cochrane (Callum Wylie 52mins).

Under 15’s

Rangers 2 St.Mirren 4

St.Mirren’s impressive front two were the difference between the teams as the younger Rangers side fell to defeat. On a more positive note no fewer than five under 14’s were in the Rangers squad.

The Paisley side took an early lead when their front two combined and the No. 10 curled a shot past Sam George. An it was the Rangers keeper who made a fine block to deny the visitors a few minutes later. Rangers first opportunity came when a move involving, Ciaran Summers, Darren Ramsey, Darren McGill and Charlie Telfer end with Ramsay’s shot being deflected just wide.

The goal was only delayed a few minutes when Ramsey fed Callum McConnell  he was tripped as he went past the defender inside the box and Charlie Telfer stepped up to score from the spot. The same player almost scored again when Jack Donaldson’s cross was helped on McConnell, Charlie Telfer was denied at close range by the Saints keeper.

St. Mirren then had a great chance when their right full-back was through but shot wide from a good position. Right on half-time the Rangers defence were caught out by a cross from the right and the Saints played headed home at the far post.

St. Mirren score again early in the second half when a shot deflected in to the path of their No. 9 to score from close range. Rangers replied with a great run from Ramsey who fed Danny Stoney, his cut back was met by Tom Walsh which brought out a fine point-blank save. Just before the hour Rangers got a goal back, Ramsey picked out Stoney and when his shot was saved Craig Halkett was on hand to score.

The visitors extended their lead soon after, their impressive front two combined again, a great pass from No 10 sending No 9 clear and he cut inside Stuart Urquhart to shoot past Liam Kelly. Rangers pressed to get back into the game and when Greg Pascazio’s cross found its way to Blair Spittal he shot across goal. Halkett then had another shot across goal when Ramsay and Spittal set him up.

The visitors keeper then made a decent double save from Halkett when a long pass from Andy Murdoch created the chance. He then touched a long-range Blair Spittal shot round the post. The final chance of the game came at the other end when only a save from Kelly denied the impressive No 10 after a fine solo run.

Rangers squad:- Sam George (GK), Liam Kelly (GK), Scott McAulay (GK), Ryan Sinnamon, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson, Ciaran Summers, Andy Murdoch, Jack Donaldson, Darren Ramsey, Darren McGill, Charlie Telfer, Callum McConnell, Tom Walsh, Danny Stoney, Craig Halkett, Greg Pascazio, Blair Spittal

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Four Released + The Hong Kong Sevens

May 13, 2010

Four Youth Players Released

Rangers have freed four players from last year’s youth squad, Goalkeeper Mark Weir, defender Scott Durie, defender/midfielder Steven Forbes and New Zealander Andrew Milne.

Mark shared the goalkeeping duties through the development leagues with Grant Adam. Last season with Grant Adam competing with Arturs Vacilius for the youth team spot, Mark had a successful loan spell at Kilmarnock. He was back at Murray Park this season as back up to Grant, with the latter being an ever present for the youths, his game time was limited to bounce games.

Scott Durie was a regular in the youth team this season, when fit. His time as full-timer at Murray Park seemed to be interrupted with niggling injuries. This season he featured at right back although he was probably more comfortable in the centre of defence. Not being the tallest to have played in that position it wasn’t going to be a real option for him to play at the top-level.

Stephen Forbes played regularly for the youths the season before last, with his appearances this season being limited. He probably suffered a bit from being moved about, featuring across midfield and both full-back roles. Like Scott Durie he played centre defence through the development groups, and as he moved up the age groups his height and stature became a disadvantage to playing there.

New Zealander Andrew Milne signed after a successful trial period. He featured in midfield for the under 17’s the season before last, and then had an excellent game in the Glasgow Cup Final at left back. He was off the radar for the first half of the season, being away first at a training camp then at the World Under 17’s Finals for New Zealand, where I believe he played as a striker. He didn’t feature for the youths on his return.

I am sure everyone would join me in wishing these lads all the best in their future careers and hopefully they will get fixed up with a club for next season.

Hong Kong Sevens

Rangers have once again sent a team over to compete in the Hong Kong Soccer 7’s. The tournament takes place this coming weekend.

Rangers have been drawn in a group with West Ham, Tuen Mum (local HK team) and the HKFC Captain’s Select (One of the two host club amatuer sides).

The Rangers Squad is as follows:-

Scott Gallacher, Rory Loy, Stephen Striling, Andrew Shinnie, Ross Perry, Rhys McCabe, Max Wright, Dylan McGeough, Andy Mitchell, Darren Cole.

Below is a link to the tournament’s website.
http://www.hksoccersevens.com/

Gers Retain Glasgow Cup

May 5, 2010

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Alan Kernaghan’s under 17’s retained the Glasgow Cup tonight with a deserved victory over Celtic at Broadwood, although a late goal made it a nervy last few minutes.

After a quiet opening period where neither side created any clear-cut opportunities Rangers took the lead on 27 minutes. An excellent Adam Hunter delivery from a free-kick wide on the left was missed by everyone and found the net via Robbie Thomson’s left hand post.

Rangers again threatened two minutes later when Dylan McGeough released Kyle McAusland, the big striker’s first touch made the angle tight and he flashed the ball across the Celtic goal, Anthony Marenghi  collected the ball on the byline and he played it back across goal again but there were no takers. Seven minutes before half-time Rangers went two up. A great move ended with McGeough playing the ball through for Kyle McAusland, in a challenge with keeper Thomson the ball broke back to the Rangers striker who shot past the two Celtic defenders on the line.

In a first-half were Celtic had their fair share of possession but without looking likely to score the  closest they came was a couple of minutes before half-time. A great piece of skill by Paul George took him past Ewan McNeil on the left, when his cutback gave Celtic a chance Chris Ketterer was on hand to deflect it wide for a corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 0

In the first minute of the second half Anthony Marenghi and Steven Hetherington combined on the left to create a shooting opportunity for McGeough and Thomson did well to hold his powerful shot just under the bar. Three minutes later and another chance created on the left, this time by Marenghi and Michael Noble again saw Thomson save McGeough’s shot.

At the other end George released the overlapping Filip Twardzik who’s cross come shot drifted wide of Blair Currie’s left hand post. On 57 minutes Rangers keeper Currie produced a fine save, Patrik Twardzik tried to burst through at the edge of the box but his path was blocked by Hunter and Ketterer, the ball broke to Callum McGregor who’s effort saw the Rangers keeper save low to his left.

A minute later McAusland was fouled and keeper Thomson was stretching to hold on to Hunter’s rising shot from the free-kick. With fifteen minutes remaining Celtic were awarded a free kick just outside the box which Filip Twardzik struck powerfully but it lacked direction and Currie saved comfortably.

With ten minutes left Ewan McNeil missed a crossfield pass and it left George a clear run to the byline, were his cut back found Filip Twardzik who’s effort was well over the bar. With six minutes remaining Celtic struck the woodwork, a quick free-kick gave Patrick Twardzik a shooting chance and his shot from around 25 yards struck the crossbar.

A minute later another long-range effort this time from Liam Madden was just too high. With three minutes left Celtic pulled a goal back.  Another shot from distance from Madden was parried by the unsighted Currie and Curtis Jones netted the rebound from close range. Despite a few nervous moments the Rangers youngsters defender a couple of set plays well and saw the game out to clinch the trophy for the second year running.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil (Lee Cochrane 85mins), Chris Ketterer, Kamil Wiktorski, Michael Noble; Robbie Crawford (Lewis McLeod 46mins), Dylan McGeough, Adam Hunter, Steven Hetherington; Kyle McAusland, Anthony Marenghi.

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (GK), Gregor Fotheringham, Scott Rumsby, George Scott, Frankie Owens

Celtic:- Robbie Thomson, Marcus Fraser (Mo Yaqub 75mins), John Young, Curtis Jones, Filip Twardzik; John Herron, Liam Madden, Callum McGregor (Ryan Hutchinson 75mins), Patrik Twardzik, Liam Gormley, Paul George

Not Used:- Kames Wightman (GK), Michael Fulton, Michael Devlin, Joe Chalmers, Jordan Moffat

Youths Lose Final Game

May 3, 2010

St.Mirren 1 Rangers 0

It was a disappointing result and performance in the final youth league game at McKenna Park this afternoon. St. Mirren were the better team throughout and won the game with a goal 15 minutes from time.

The home side an early chance after 8 minutes when Ian Gray and Fraser Team combined on the right, Team’s cross broke to Mark McLennan around the penalty spot and his goal bound shot was deflected wide by Scott Durie.  Midway through the first half both Fraser Team and John McShane had chances that Grant Adam saved comfortably.

On the half-hour McShane turned at the edge of the box and Adam saved.  Next up Sean Burns had a great chance when McShane crossed from the left but he shot over. Seven minutes before half-time Rangers finally had a shot at goal when Kal Naismith tried his luck from distance but shot  just wide.Then just before the break Team cut inside past Gregg Wylde and shot just wide.

Half Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers 0

Five minutes after half-time Saints missed a great chance, Ally Love overlapped on the left and his low cross found team at the back post but he shot over. At the other end good individual play by Archie Campbell created a chance for himself to bring out a save from Jake Cunningham.

On the hour mark Adam had to look smart to punch clear a McLennan free-kick from the left. Ten minutes later the home side missed another great chance, Love played the ball up to McShane who layed it off to Burns and with thew goal gaping he shot over.

With quarter of an hour left on the clock St.Mirren took the lead, with Rangers struggling to clear their box Gregg Wylde’s header fell to John McShane shot past Adam from the edge of the box. Four minutes later McShane headed narrowly wide from Mark Lamont’s cross.

Rangers then came close when Kal Naismith’s in swinging free-kick from the right clipped the top of the bar with Cunningham beaten. The final chance game after good play on the right by Saints substitute Thomas Reilly, his low cross broke to McShane who was denied by Adam and his attempt from the rebound was deflected wide.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 0

St.Mirren:- Jake Donaldson; Ian Gray, Dominic Kennedy, Hashim Cole, Ally Love; Fraser Team, Rhys Devlin, Mark McLennan, Mark Lamont (Thomas Reilly 82mins); Sean Burns, John McShane

Not Used:- Craig Little, Bradley Coyne, Jason Naismith, Joel Kasubano

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Scott Durie, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Rhys McCabe (Christiano Kisuka 59mins), Kyle Hutton, Steven Forbes, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Max Wright.

Not Used :- Mark Weir, Kamil Wiktorski, Lee Cochrane, Scott Rumsby.

Youths Bounce Back

May 1, 2010

Falkirk 0 Rangers 3

Rangers youths bounced back following Wednesday’s Youth Cup Final disappointment with a comfortable win over Falkirk at Stirling University this morning. Billy Kirkwood took the opportunity to bring in some of the younger players although it was a hat-trick from Wednesday’s unused sub Max Wright that secured the points,

Rangers took the lead on 12 minutes with the first real chance of the match. Adam Hunter’s corner from the left was headed back across goal by Kyle McAusland and Max Wright had the simple task to head home from close range. He almost scored a second a minute later, this time he was denied when home keeper Kevin Walker blocked with his legs.

His second goal was only delayed until the 22nd minute, a move started by a great challenge and forward pass from Kamil Wiktorski saw Wright lay off to Kal Naismith who’s shot was blocked by a home defender, but Max Wright was on hand to shot past Walker, who despite getting a touch failed to prevent the ball ending up in the net.

And it was Wright again who came close four minutes later, Ewan McNeil’s right wing cross broke into his path off a defender  and only a fine save low to his right by Walker prevented a goal. A few minutes before half-time it was Grant Adam at the other end who stopped an addition to the scoreline. When Darren Cole mis-controlled a low driven cross it broke to Scott Davidson who side-stepped Cole and brought a fine save from the Rangers keeper.

Half-Time:- Falkirk 0 Rangers 2

The home side came out in a determined mood in the second-half and five minutes in Ally Graham broke down the left to test Adam who saved comfortably. A few minutes later Scott Davidson an Stephen Kingsley combined to tee up Lewis Bonar who gave Adam a slightly sterner test. The home side continued to threat and a few minutes later had strong penalty claims when  Blair Aiston’s shot from the edge of the box appeared to strike the arm of Kal Naismith but the referee waved play on.

On 58 minutes Rangers were awarded a penalty when the referee indicated holding in the box following Adam Hunter’s corner. Up stepped Max Wright to beat Walker from the spot and complete his hat-trick.  Ten minutes later and Walker prevented Rangers from extending their lead. Stephen Forbes played the ball out to Naismith wide on the left and his shot from almost on the touch-line had Walker scrambling to touch the ball on to the bar and over.

Falkirk had not given up and twice with in the next ten minutes Davidson flashed the ball across the six yard box with no takers. They came closer still with seven minutes remaining when Blair Young’s lob bounced on the top of the bar on the way over.

Falkirk again came close to a consolation via a 25 yard effort from Aiston, with Adam saving low to his right at the expense of a corner. The resultant corner should have led to a goal, but at the other end, a lightning break from Rangers with several quick passes saw Archie Campbell clear inside the box, but he elected to try to find Wright instead of shooting , his pass being just ahead of his strike partner.

In the closing minutes Davidson and Aiston combined for the former to test Adam. Max Wright in a good shooting position tried to find Campbell instead and like his colleague a little earlier his pass was not accurate enough. With the final effort coming when  Jay Fulton flicked over a Davidson cross.

Full-Time:- Falkirk 0 Rangers 3

Falkirk:- Kevin Walker; Johnathan Cooper, Murray Wallace, Euen Grant, Stephen Kingsley; Scott Davidson, Dale Fulton, Blair Aiston, Ally Graham (Blair Young 77mins); Joe McCaffery (Connor ??? 84mins), Lewis Bonnar (Jay Fulton 84mins)

Not Used:- Grant Santi

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Adam Hunter, Kamil Wiktorski, Darren Cole, Rhys McCabe; Ewan McNeil, Dylan McGeough (Kyle Hutton 66 mins), Gordon Dick (Stephen Forbes 33mins), Kal Naismith; Kyle McAusland (Archie Campbell 79mins), Max Wright

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Christiano Kisuka, Steven Hetherington, Scott Rumsby