Youths Edge Out Killie

Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 2

A Kane Hemmings double was enough to secure the points at Kilwinning Sports Club this morning. In a game that Rangers were in control once they had taken the lead, they had to survive an injury time scare to hold on for the win.

The windy conditions made it difficult for both teams and there was little goalmouth action in the early period of the first-half. It was midway through the half before either defence was tested, Kal Naismith went past two defenders on the right and his cross broke to Kane Hemmings but the Killie defence blocked out his attempt. A minute later and the big striker should have put Rangers ahead, Christiano Kisuka played the ball inside to Dylan McGeough and his lob sent Hemmings clear, he looked certain to score but miss hit his shot and it bounced wide.

On 27 minutes the home side missed a great chance, a long ball down the right from Callum McCluskey sent Rory McKenzie clear and as Wayne Drummond advanced he lobbed the Rangers keeper but his effort just cleared the bar. On the half-hour Ewan McNeil produced a powerful run down the right and his swirling cross came back of the Killie crossbar.

Four minutes later and a long ball caught out Darren Cole and Rory McKenzie seemed likely to score but he delayed his shot and Darren Cole got back to block. Four minutes before the break Rangers took the lead, Kane Hemmings broke down the left from the halfway line and when he cut inside the penalty box he was tripped by Ross Fisher and the referee pointed to the spot, the Rangers striker stepped up to send keeper Chris Treacy the wrong way from the spot.

Half-Time:- Kilmarnock 0 Rangers 1

The half started with Hemmings charging down a Treacy clearance, but the keeper recovered. Five minutes in and a great run and cross from McNeil saw Ross Fisher apply enough pressure on Naismith to allow Treacy to save at the back post.

A minute later and only the post prevented Rangers increasing their lead, Kisuka and McNeil combined on the right and Hemmings was there to meet McNeil’s low cross only to see it bounce clear off the keeper’s left hand post. Four minutes later and Treacy dived low to his left to touch a McGeough effort round the post after he was sent up by Michael Noble.

Kilmarnock were not out of things and missed a great chance two minutes later, when the ball was played down the left Reid Brown out muscled Chris Hegarty and was through on goal, but his shot went across goal and wide of the far post.  Straight to the other end, Max Wright played the ball out to Kisuka and he fed the overlapping McNeil who’s driven cross was parried by Treacy.

A minute later and Noble cut in from the left and passed to Kisuka who’s effort went just wide.  Rangers were dominating but were only that one goal ahead and on 64 minutes Alan Cairns sent a 25 yard effort just over. Rangers were soon back on the attack and on 73 minutes Treacy dived to his left to touch substitute Gordon Dick’s shot wide.

With ten minutes left Rangers looked to have made the points save when Kane Hemmings grabbed his second, Kamil Wiktorski send the ball out wide to Ewan McNeil and his cross was perfect for Hemmings to volley home from close range. What looked like a comfortable victory was anything but that when Kilmarnock pulled a goal back with two minutes remaining, the ball was played up to the edge of the box and McKenzie laid it back into the path of Reid Brown who gave Drummond no chance with a great strike.

This seemed to spread panic through the Rangers side and they had to survive a scare in injury time, with the Rangers defence failing to clear the ball broke to Killie’s trialist substitute and he was denied by a fine save from Drummond, the danger still wasn’t cleared and bobbled around the box before Hegarty eventually cleared from just in front of goal.

Full-Time:- Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 2

Kilmarnock:- Chris Treacy; Ross Fisher, Callum McCluskey, Lee Ashcroft, Greig Thorburn (Trialist No 12 68mins); Rory McKenzie, Ross Davidson ( Ross Lindsay 73mins), Gary Fisher, Alan Cairns (Trialist No 14 68mins), Joe Slattery; Reid Brown

Not Used:- Russell Caldwell (GK), Matthew Kennedy

Rangers:- Wayne Drummond; Ewan McNeil, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Michael Noble; Christiano Kisuka (Gordon Dick 71mins), Kamil Wiktorski, Dylan McGeough, Max Wright, Kal Naismith; Kane Hemmings

Not Used:- Gary Inglis (GK), Steven Hetherington, Kyle McAusland, Robbie Crawford


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