Youths Through To Semi Finals

Ayr United 2 Rangers 6

Rangers youngsters over came a first-half blip before comfortably progressing  through to the SFA Youth Cup Semi-Final  at Somerset Park today.

The Murray Park  boys got off to a great start when they took the lead after only seven minutes. The ball moved across midfield from left to right via Dylan McGeough and Rhys McCabe to Andy Mitchell, as soon as the ball left the Northern Irishman’s foot it was destined for the net to give Rangers the lead. In Ayr’s first attack Dale Moore got a chance from the edge of the box with Darren Cole blocking his effort.

Rangers were soon back on the attack ,  McGeough and Kal Naismith combined before the later was fouled just outside the box. Naismith then curled a low free-kick round the wall and home keeper Darryl Jones dived to his right to parry.  Midway through the halfway Rangers were shocked when the home side grabbed a leveler. The Rangers defence failed to clear a corner from the right, Ian Aitken’s initial shot was blocked but when it reached Sean Kelly at the edge of the box his effort was deflected to leave Gary Inglis stranded.

On 28 minutes the home side took a shock lead, again the Rangers defence failed to clear their lines and when Moore played the ball back into the box Ian Aitken turned Cole before firing past Inglis. Unfortunately for the home side their lead was to only last a couple of minutes. Kane Hemmings went up to challenge for Gordon Dick’s cross inside the box and the ball broke for Kal Naismith to poke it passed Jones.

Jones was in action again a minute later  saving Andy Mitchell’s shot low to his right, and when the corner was cleared outside the box Mitchell had another effort this time Jones diving to his left to save.

The home keeper was to surpass that just before the break with two stunning saves inside a minute. Hemmings controlled Kyle McAusland’s cross from the right on his chest inside the six yard box, the big striker looked certain to score but was denied by Jones at point-blank range. With ball then being cleared out to the left, Darren Cole’s cross found his defensive partner Chris Hegarty inside the box and his header looked a certain goal until Jones produced another point-blank save.

The Ayr keeper was finally beaten on the stroke of half-time. The home defence cleared the ball from their penalty area, but only as far as Dylan McGeough who curled a shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Ayr United 2 Rangers 3

Rangers first effort after the break came five minutes in when Mitchell broke forward and shot just wide. Five minutes later  Ayr had a chance on the break following a Rangers corner, Roddy Paterson ran from the halfway line on the left, continued into the box before shooting across Inglis and wide of the far post.

Rangers then contrived to miss three glorious chances in as many minutes just  before the hour mark. A superb McGeough pass created a chance for Hemmings with Jones quick off his line to block.  McGeough them played in the overlapping McAusland, his shot beat the advancing Jones but was cleared of the line by Alan Murdoch. Almost immediately McGeough was again the creator setting up Hemmings,who looked certain to score, this time JJ Hawkshaw was on the line to block.

A couple of minutes after the hour Rangers attained the two goal lead they had been searching. Hemmings turned Hawkshaw out on the left and headed for the byline, his cutback  found Andy Mitchell arriving inside the box to blast past Jones.  With fifteen minutes left on the clock Hemmings had another run down the left, this time Jones blocked his shot from a narrow angle at his near post.

Just over a minute later Rangers increased their lead, good work on the left by McCabe and a superb cross found Kyle McAusland at the back post and his looping header found the net. A Rhys McCabe solo effort completed the scoring in the final minute, picking the ball up at the halfway line near the left hand touch-line he strode forward before cutting in past a defender and shooting past Jones from the edge of the box.

Ayr United 2 Rangers 6

Pictures from today’s game at the link below:-

Ayr United:- Darryl Jones; Gareth Armstrong, JJ Hawkshaw, Alan Murdoch, Kieren MacIntyre; Robbie Crawford (Stuart Milligan 60mins), Dale Moore, Cammy Marlow (Darren Baird 60mins), Sean Kelly; Roddy Paterson, Ian Aitken (Lee Lockhart 70mins).

Not Used:- Daryl Matthews (GK)

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Robbie McIntyre; Andy Mitchell (Robbie Crawford 81mins), Dylan McGeough (Kamil Wiktorski 67mins), Rhys McCabe, Christiano Kisuka (Gordon Dick 27mins); Kane Hemmings, Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (GK), Lewis McLeod.


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