Motherwell 0 Rangers 5
Rangers youths produced their best performance of the season at Creamery Park, Bathgate this morning. In contrast to the first team fixture later, it was a four goal blast in the first-half from Billy Kirkwood’s side that set up the win.
Rangers started well and a great passing move on the right between Kal Naismith, Max Wright and McAusland sent the latter towards the byline and Euan Murray had to look smart to clear the full-back’s dangerous cross. In the seventh minute Rangers were in front, Rhys McCabe’s pass inside to Max Wright, the striker shot from around 25 yards, ‘Well keeper Tom Bradley could only parry the ball up in the air and it dropped behind him and into the net.
Two minutes later the Ibrox youngsters doubled their lead, Rhys McCabe’s cross from the left was missed by Ross McKinnon and Gordon Dick was on hand to fire past Bradley. Rangers then suffered a blow when Kal Naismith had to be substituted with little more than ten minutes gone, Robbie Crawford coming on as his replacement.
Rangers continued to attack and a great run and cross from McAusland gave Wright another chance but he didn’t connect properly and Bradley saved easily. The home side finally threatened just before the twenty minute mark, Lee Erwin and Keiran McGachie combined to feed Josh Watt on the right, the midfielder cut inside and shot across goal and wide.
A minute later and McKinnon’s cross from the left found Watt at the back post with Steven Hetherington blocking the shot at the expense of a corner. From a Bradley clearance, McGachie out muscled Darren Cole to setup Watt but his shot was weak and Wayne Drummond saved easily.
A superb counter attack on twenty-five minutes resulted in Rangers going three up, a planned free-kick routine by the home side went wrong and when Erwin crossed the ball into the box Darren Cole headed clear to Rhys McCabe midway inside his own half, the Rangers midfielder carried the ball deep into the ‘Well half before releasing Gordon Dick on the right angle of the penalty box and he gave Bradley no chance from just inside the box. Ten minutes later and Hetherington played the ball forward to McCabe who shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Six minutes before half-time and Rangers scored a fourth, McAusland’s throw-in saw Dick turn past the defender and his low cross was fired past Bradley by Robbie Crawford from just outside the six-yard box. With three minutes of the half remaining Gordon Dick should have completed his hat-trick, great play on the left from Crawford, his cross found Dick right in front of goal no more then a couple of yards out, but a lapse in concentration saw him knock the ball tamely into the hands of Bradley.
Half-Time:- Motherwell 0 Rangers 4
It was inevitable that the second-half would be a bit less open as Motherwell would set out to limit the damage. Rangers did create a couple of opportunities just before the hour. First Dylan McCabe broke forward from midfield and shot just wide. Next up McGeough and Dick combined to set up a shooting chance for McCabe which Bradley saved.
On 67 minutes only the crossbar denied Rangers a fifth, McAusland progressed down the right and passed inside to Rhys McCabe, his shot from the edge of the box beat Bradley came back of the crossbar, hit the keeper and spun behind for a corner. From the corner, Dick’s dead ball was headed out but only to Robbie Crawford on the edge of the box and he shot through a crowded penalty area and into the net.
A fantastic Wayne Drummond save with fifteen minutes remaining denied the home side a consolation goal, Steven Howarth powered his was past Chris Hegarty and Darren Cole and into the box, the Rangers keeper coming off his line to save his shot at point-blank range.
Full-Time:- Motherwell 0 Rangers 5
Motherwell:- Tom Bradley; Liam Sloan, Euan Murray, Michael Lynch, Ross McKinnon; Josh Watt (Chris Connor), Stuart Carswell, Jamie Pollock, Steven Howarth; Lee Erwin, Keiran McGachie (Bradley Halsman 31mins)
Not Used:- Willie Muir
Rangers:- Wayne Drummond; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Steven Hetherington; Gordon Dick, Kamil Wiktorski, Dylan McGeough (Andy Mitchell 71mins); Kal Naismith (Robbie Crawford 11mins), Max Wright (Ewan McNeil 75mins)