Rangers 3 Hamilton Accies 2
Billy Kirkwood’s side edged past Hamilton Accies in entertaining game at Murray Park. The first half saw few chances with both teams battling for midfield supremecy, but really open up after the break.
A Rhys McCabe long throw gave Kane Hemmings a half chance just before the ten minute mark but the Accies defence blocked him out. Two minutes later and the home side took the lead from the penalty spot, Dylan McGeough’s ball over the top sent Kane Hemmings clear and he was sent crashing from Lee Kilday’s challenge for a clear penalty, Kane Hemmings stepped up to beat Andy Kennedy low to his left despite the keeper getting his hand to it.
The only other goalmouth action of the first half came four minutes before the break when Andy Ryan’s effort from 30 yards saw Gary Inglis produce a great save high to his left as the ball to a swerve in flight.
Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 0
Just after the break Jordan Kirkpatrick progressed down the left, cut inside and shot just wide of the far post. Rangers went straight up the other end and Kal Naismith released Hemmings who shot across goal from a tight angle. Ten minutes in and Christiano Kisuka went past Conner McGlinchey on the right and his shot was saved by Kennedy, next up came a Naismith shot from the edge of the box that Kennedy gathered at the second attempt.
Good play on the Hamilton left from Kirkpatrick just before the hour mark saw Inglis produce a decent save, almost immediately Kisuka broke from deep inside his own half to setup a chance for Hemmings who’s effort was deflected narrowly over. With twenty minutes of the half gone Hamilton drew level, Michael Devlin rising to head a corner from the left past Inglis.
Rangers were soon back on attack and Rhys McCabe tested Kennedy when he strode forward from midfield, the Accies keeper touching his shot wide for a corner. On 67 minutes Kisuka cut in from the right and was fouled right on the edge of the box by Kilday, the Rangers substitute couldn’t continue and was replaced by Andy Mitchell. From the resultant free-kick Rangers regained the lead, Naismith’s original effort rebounded from the wall to Max Wright who’s lob saw Kennedy at full stretch to touch the ball onto the bar, Kyle McAusland’s diving header from the rebound looked netbound, and Kane Hemmings was there just to make sure form a couple of yards.
Barely four minutes had elapsed when Rangers scored again, Andy Mitchell sent Hemmings clear on the right and his low cross found Max Wright on hand at the back post to net from close range. The visitors then made sure of a grand stand finish when they grabbed a second with twelve minutes remaining, again Devlin got his head to a corner, this time from the right and Andy Ryan forced the ball over the line.
Accies now sensed the possibility of forcing extra-time and came close when Kirkpatrick’s cross into the box was only cleared as far as Scott Pittman who shot just wide. Kirkpatrick again was the source on the left, this time Ryan was just too late to connect with his ball across the six-yard box. Their final chance game with four minutes remaining, following a free-kick on the right Kieran Millar played in Andy Ryan and Inglis was quick off his line to block, with the ball spinning high in the air Lee Kilday headed over under pressure from the Rangers defence.
Billy Kirkwood’s side will now travel to Somerset Park to face Ayr United in the Quarter Finals.
Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Hamilton Accies 2
Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Robbie McIntyre; Dylan McGeough, Gordon Dick (Max Wright 57mins), Rhys McCabe, Robbie Crawford (Christiano Kisuka 46mins (Andy Mitchell 67mins)); Kane Hemmings, Kal Naismith.
Not Used:- Liam Kelly (GK), Lewis McLeod
Hamilton Accies:- Andy Kennedy; Ziggy Gordon, Lee Kilday, Michael Devlin (Jordan McCue 82mins), Conner McGlinchey; Chris Roxburgh (Euan Lindsay 57mins), Scott Pittman, David Hopkirk, Kieran Millar, Jordan Kirkpatrick; Andy Ryan.
Not Used:- Darren Dolan (GK), Ryan Finnie, Gary Fraser
An added bonus was a game in the afternoon with Alan Kernaghan’s under 17’s taking on Queen’s Park in a friendly.
Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0
The game had a tame start and it was midway through the first half before any action of note, and it was the visitors that had Chris Johns under pressure from a free-kick out on the left, the Rangers keeper punching clear. A minute later Rangers looked certain to take the lead, Aaron McGregor played a one-two with Darren Ramsay and was in on the keeper but his shot was just wide.
In their next attack Rangers did take the lead when Lewis McLeod played in Gregor Fotheringham who shot past the keeper. On the half-hour mark Fotheringham tested the keeper with a long range effort that the keeper saved. The second goal was delayed a minute when a fine move carved out the second. McGregor sent the ball out to McLeod wide on the right and his low cross was converted by Freddy Espling at close range.
At the other end a great defensive challenge from Stuart Urquhart cleared the danger when a cross came in from the left. Rangers were soon back on attack and Aaron McGregor saw his long range effort saved by the Queen’s Park keeper.
Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Queens Park 0
A mixup between Urquhart and Johns gave the visitors a chance but the Rangers keeper recovered to touch wide. A great move from Rangers almost produced a third, McLeod’s crossfield pass saw Andy Murdoch control the ball instantly and cut back for Ramsay who was denied with a superb save from the Queens keeper.
The visitors then carved out a chance after a break down the left and with the striker through on goal Chris Johns produced a great block with his left foot. Midway through the half a superb turn and pass from McLeod created an opening for Ramsay which the keeper saved.
With three minutes remaining Rangers got a fortuitous third, Callum Gallagher played the ball inside to Darren McGill, his shot from just outside the box took a massive deflection of a Queen’s Park defender to leave the keeper stranded. Before the end Rangers substitute keeper Filip Nilsson had to stretch to tip over a long range effort.
Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0
Rangers:- Chris Johns (Filip Nilsson 55mins); Craig Halkett (Callum Wyllie 55mins), Jordan Wilson (Darren McGill 55mins), Stuart Urquhart, Matty Clarke; Andy Murdoch, Gregor Fotheringham, Aaron McGregor, Lewis McLeod; Darren Ramsay, Freddy Espling (Callum Gallagher 55mins)