Archive for March, 2011

17’s Top Glasgow Cup Group

March 30, 2011

Partick Thistle 1 Rangers 2

Rangers Under 17’s had to come from behind to secure the win that ensures they will finish top of the group after the round robin stage. The Firhill pitch was showing the effects of their ground share with the Glasgow Warriors, so it was never going to a night for silky soccer.

Rangers came close to taking the lead in the very first minute, Marc Dyer’s corner from the right was headed goalwards by Greg Pascazio but David Brown was well placed to head off the line. Seven minutes later and a great piece of skill saw Dyer go past three defenders at the left hand angle of the box, but he dragged his shot across goal and wide.

The Jags took the lead on twenty-five minutes, Michael Mosson’s ball over the Rangers defence released Callum McArthur and his ball across the penalty area was volleyed past Liam Kelly by Jordan McGrotty.

Rangers came close three minutes before the break when Dyer’s free-kick from the right was headed narrowly over by Scott Rumsby. The equaliser was only delayed sixty seconds, George Scott broke forward and fed Dyer on the left, his cross into the box was headed up into the air by Michael Gould just as keeper Blair Lochead was coming off his line and Callum Gallagher had the simple task to knock the ball into the empty net.

Half-Tme:- Partick Thistle 1 Rangers 1

Rangers took the lead on the hour mark, Dyer’s corner from the right somehow evaded everyone and dropped right on the goal line where Lee Cochrane fired it into the net.

It wasn’t until the final ten minutes when either goal was threatened again.Darren McGill won the ball in midfield and passed to Gallagher who sent Cochrane clear on the right, his ball across the box looked a certain goal when it reached Marc Dyer at the back post, but he was denied by a fine Lochead block at close range. Lochead thwarted Dyer again in the final minute with a save low at his right hand post after McGill’s pass gave the midfielder the shooting chance.

Full-Time:- Partick Thistle 1 Rangers 2

Partick Thistle:- Blair Lochead; David Brown, Michael Gould, ????? ????, Malky McLean; Kieran Melville, Michael Mosson, Chris McInnes, Callum McArthur (Juluvi Karenzi 46mins); Jordan McGrotty, Ryan ????? (????? ???? 67mins)

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Craig Halkett (Charlie Telfer 73mins), Scott Rumsby, Greg Pascazio, Jordan Wilson; Callum Gallagher, Gregor Fotheringham (Darren McGill 63mins), George Scott, Marc Dyer; Freddy Espling (Lee Cochrane 51mins), Sam McMahon.

Not Used :- Sam George (GK)

Footnote:- Rangers will meet Celtic in the final, despite the Parkhead side’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Queens Park at Lesser Hampden tonight.

P W D L F A Pts
Rangers 8 7 0 1 22 5 21
Celtic 7 4 1 2 12 5 13
Queen’s Park 8 4 1 3 15 20 13
Clyde 7 2 0 5 12 22 6
Partick Thistle 8 1 0 7 13 22 3


Youths Progress To Fifth Consecutive Final

March 26, 2011

Rangers 1 Hibernian 0

Chris Hegarty’s first half strike was enough to take Rangers under 19’s to their fifth consecutive Youth Cup Final in a close encounter at Ibrox this afternoon.

Rangers took the lead with what was the first real chance of the match in the thirteenth minute. A corner from the right was headed back across goalby Darrebn Cole and his central defensive partner Chris Hegarty was on hand to volley past Callum Artell from the edge of the six yard box. Three minutes later a powerful run down the right by Christiano Kisuka saw him go past a defender and into the box before shooting straight at Artell.

The visitors replied  when Lewis Horner’s shot from arround 25 yards was just wide of Wayne Drummond’s left hand post. Midway through the half David Crawford and Ross Caldwell combined to set up a shooting chance for Danny Handling inside the box and he was denied by a great Cole block at the expense of a corner.

Right on the half-time whistle Rangers broke forward through Rhys McCabe,  he linked with Dylan McGeough to set up a 25 yarder from Gordon Dick that Artell tipped over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hibernian 0

Five minutes after the break Artel was scrambling across goal and was relieved to see Kamil Wiktorski’s 25 yard effort deflect narrowly wide of his left hand post. Two minutes later Hibs worked the ball out to Callum Burns on the right and Drummond did well to gather his low cross into the box.

The visitors created another chance just before the hour mark Dean Horribine combined with Caldwell to feed Crawford on the right hand side of the box and his shot flashed across goal and wide. On the hour mark Rangers should have doubled their lead, a quick break saw McGeough pass to McCabe who’s run took him towards the Hibs box, a superb reverse pass sent Kal Naismith clear to go round Artell, but the angle was too tight and his shot went across goal and wide.

With just under twenty minutes on the clock Hibs had their best chance, Burns cross from the right was headed down by Horrobine inside the box to Crawford with Hegarty blocking his shot as it looked net bound.  A couple of minutes later McCabe’s pass inside from the left found Ewan McNeil and his shot from distance was scooped wide by Artell.

With seven minutes remaining Rangers looked certain to make the game safe, Kyle McAusland and Naismith combined on the right and when McAusland’s low cross found Robbie Crawford right in front of goal he seemed certain to score but Artell somehow got a touch to divert the ball wide. Rangers saw out the final minutes to book a Hampden date with the winners o tomorrow’s Semi-Final between Celtic and Livingston.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hibernian 0

Rangers:- Wayne Drummond; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty (Andy Mitchell 77mins), Darren Cole, Steven Hetherington; Gordon Dick, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe, Dylan McGeough (Robbie Crawford 69mins); Christiano Kisuka (Ewan McNeil 68mins), Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Gary Inglis (GK), Adam Hunter

Hibernian:- Callum Artell; Callum Burns, Jordan Forster, Jack Verth, Scott Smith; David Crawford, Lewis Horner (David Gold 88mins), Harry Monaghan (Mark Lancaster 87mins), Danny Handling, Dean Horrobine; Ross Caldwell (Phil Addison 64mins).

Not Used:- Paul Grant (GK), Jamie Doris

Glasgow Cup Romp For Youngsters

March 23, 2011

Rangers 8 Clyde 1

Rangers Under 17’s coasted to victory in what was a dead rubber at Murray Park tonight. With Rangers and Celtic already qualified for the final the remaining fixtures cannot affect the top two placings. One incredible stat from tonight was that all but one of the goals came in the first-half.

Rangers took the lead as early as the fifth minute, Sam McMahon picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, a step over took him past a defender before sending an unstoppable shot past the keeper. Three minutes later and Rangers doubled their lead, a free-kick from Darren Ramsay broke off Freddy Espling inside the box and rolled straight to Scott Rumsby who netted from close range.

A similar period had passed when a solo effort from Marc Dyer produced number three, running form midfield he dribbled past two defenders into the box before slipping it past the keeper. There was only seventeen minutes on the clock when Ramsay’s through ball sent Freddy Espling clear to notch the fourth.

Five minutes later and it was a great strike from a free-kick 25 yards out from Darren Ramsay that left the keeper stranded. To their credit Clyde pulled a goal back four minutes later, a left wing cross saw the striker get between Greg Pascazio and Liam Kelly to nod home.

On the half-hour mark another Ramsay free-kick from the edge of the box was parried by the keeper, unfortunately for him it went straight to Gregor Fotheringham just outside the box who found the net via the keeper’s right hand post. Five minutes later a pass found Ramsay clear inside the penalty area, his shot rebounding back off the crossbar where Callum Gallagher was on hand to knock the ball into the empty net.

A spirited second half showing by The Bully Wee meant we had to wait until the final minute before Rangers could add to their tally. A clever Ramsay free kick from just outside the area saw him find Callum Gallgher with a low pass inside the box and he beat the keeper from close range.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Craig Halkett (George Scott 62mins), Scott Rumsby, Greg Pascazio, Jordan Wilson; Callum Gallagher, Gregor Fotheringham, Darren Ramsay, Marc Dyer; Freddy Espling (Lee Cochrane 67mins), Sam McMahon (Charlie Telfer 67mins).

Not Used:- Sam George (GK), Mark Taylor

Youth Cup Semi Final Preview

March 23, 2011

Rangers -v- Hibernian, Saturday 26th March 2011

Ibrox Stadium, Kick-Off 2pm.

Billy Kirkwood’s under 19’s take on Hibernian at Ibrox on Saturday in the Scottish Youth Cup Semi Final. The Ibrox youngsters are aiming to make it to their fifth consecutive final, having won the trophy in 2007 and 2008 with victories of Celtic in both finals.

Where as Rangers will go into this game as favourites it will not be an easy match as this season’s league meetings have been close. The first game at Murray Park in October ended in a 1-1 draw, in a game Rangers dominated they fell behind to a freak free-kick from Scott Smith and the now departed Max Wright equalised in the second half.

In the recent meeting at Hibs Training Centre the young Gers ran out 4-1 winners, although the game was closer than the scoreline suggests. Two of Kal Naismith’s goals in his hat-trick coming in the final ten minutes. Rangers opener that day came from Christiano Kisuka with Callum Burns levelling for the Easter Road side.

So who are you likley to see if you go along on Saturday ? In recent weeks Gary Inglis has been between the sticks, Gary started the season as third choice but with injuries to Wayne Drummond and Alan Smith, Gary grabbed his chance. With first choice Wayne Drummond fit again there is a decision to be made there.

The likely back four will be Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole & Robbie McIntyre. The most familiar to the supporters is of course Darren Cole, who made his first team debut in Turkey. A regular at centre-back for the youths he has formed a good partnership with Northern Irish youth international Chris Hegarty. Chris joined in the summer from Millwall, not the biggest central defender I have been impressed with his distribution from the back.

Kyle came to the club as a striker from Ayr United and has grown into the full-back role this season.  Left-back Robbie has made great progress, last season he was playing boys club football with Tynecastle Boys Club. Not only has he pushed into the youth team, he has also established himself in the Scotland under 17’s.

Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe, Dylan McGeough and Gordon Dick are probably going to make up the midfield. One drawback is that they all would prefer to play central. Polish youth international Kamil is likely to be the more defensive of the four and will be joined by one of the others in the middle, with the other two being expected to provide width.
There has been much speculation over Dylan McGeough, who is arguably the best player at this level in the country. At the moment he is still a Rangers player and may see that this would be the best place to develop his career. Rhys has just signed a new two year contract and has been a regular for a few years now, his incredible “Tim Cahill” type spring makes him a threat in the air. Gordon has been in and out the side, but seems to have established himself in recent weeks in the side and provides drive from midfield.

Up front would almost certainly be Kal Naismith and Kane Hemmings, but Kane appeared to pull a hamstring at the weekend and must be a doubt. Both have been performing at the top of their game in recent weeks. Kane has power, pace and goals, while Kal is either sublime or frustrating. A real talent but sometimes he has his own ideas on how to play. If Kane doesn’t make it his likely replacement would be Christiano Kisuka, it depends which Christiano turns up, unplayable against Celtic or subbed at half-time against Aberdeen.
Others that could feature are Northern Irish midfielder Andy Mitchell and fellow midfielder Robbie Crawford. Adam Hunter, Ewan McNeil and Steven Hetherington who are comfortbale in either defence or midfield and Anthony Marenghi who can play up front or in midfield.

Players to look out for in the visitors side include defender and captain Scott Smith who has been a regular at youth international level. Striker Ross Caldwell is another who has been called into the Scotland under 19 setup.At the younger level Danny Handling has been recognised at under 17’s.

In recent seasons Hibs have had an informal tie with the famous North East England  side Wallsend Boys Club, and Lewis Horner is the latest recruit from that source. Central defender Jordan Forster was previously with Celtic.

In the recent game full-back Callum Burns and midfielders Harry Monaghan and Dean Horrobine also impressed.

Points Dropped In Perth

March 19, 2011

St.Johnstone 1 Rangers 1

Rangers Youth dropped two vital points against St.Johnstone at Tulloch Park this afternoon, the tight bumpy pitch meant it was never going to be a game of silky football and the home side matched Rangers in a battle for a share of the points.

Yet Rangers got off to perfect start when they were gifted a goal after only two minutes, Mark Durnan’s pass back gave Zander Clark problems on the bumpy pitch and the keeper’s fresh air swipe saw the ball roll into the empty net. Five minutes later the home side had their first opportunity, Clark’s long clearance which were to give Rangers problems in the first-half wasn’t dealt with by the defence and Stephen Reynonlds volleyed wide.

Just atfter the quarter hour mark Kane Hemmings went past Durnan on the halfway line and broke into the box, with Dylan McGeough and Kal Naismith in the middle the striker shot across goal. The home side replied eight minutes later when Ryan Hutchinson’s effort from the edge of the box was narrowly wide.

Rangers then  missed a glorious chance just after the half-hour, Robbie McIntyre’s throw was flicked on by Naismith and Kane Hemmings was clear inside the penalty area but his shot was straight and keeper Clark who blocked with his legs. A couple of minutes before the break good play on the right between Rhys McCabe and Kane Hemmings  created a crossing opportunity for the later to find Naismith arriving inside the box,  but could only knock it straight at Clark.

Right on the stroke of half-time the home side grabbed a leveller, Scott Gray’s free-kick from the left found Jack Clisby unmarked aand his header looped over Gary Inglis into the net.

Half Time:- St.Johnstone 1 Rangers 1

The second half started  as battle for supremcy with ball spending most time up in the air as the surface made retaining possession difficult and it was twenty minutes before any goal was threatened. Hemmings cutting in from the right and his deflected shot looped towards the back post where McCabe leapt to head across goal and just wide. Rangers were then dealt their second injury blow when Hemmings pulled up with a hamstring injury and joined McGeough on the sidelines who was replaced five minutes earlier. Substitute Christiano Kisuka was involved immediately when he played Andy Mitchell’s throw in back to him and the Ulsterman’s cross found McCabe arrive at full stretch but he could only knock the ball just over.

Rangers next effort tested Clark when Naismith shot from the edge of the box and the keeper dived to his left to parry then gather. The home side were not out of it and when Reynolds crossed from the right Clisby had a chance but volleyed well wide. Then with only four minutes remaining Rikki McIntosh broke into the box and shot across goal.

Rangers almost grabbed a winner in the final minute, a great run across on the right from Ewan McNeill was met by the on rushing Naismith with keeper Clark in the right palce to keep the ball out without knowing too much about it.

Full-Time:- St.Johnstone 1 Rangers 1

St.Johnstone:- Zander Clark; Chris Moffat, Mark Durnan, Johnny Lindsay, Gareth Rodger; Scott Gray Ryan Hutchinson, Rikki McIntosh, Aiden Hendry; Jack Clisby (Callum McConnell 79mins), Stephen Reynolds.

Not Used:- Tom Paterson (GK), Andy Steeves, Kieran Stewart

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland. Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Robbie McIntyre; Gordon Dick (Ewan McNeill 77mins), Kamil Wiktorski, Dylan McGeough (Andy Mitchell 61mins), Rhys McCabe; Kal Naismith, Kane Hemmings (Christiano Kisuka 66mins).

Not Used:- Wayne Drummond (GK), Robbie Crawford, Adam Hunter, Anthony Marenghi


Trialists Feature In Friendly Win

March 15, 2011

Rangers 3 Queen’s Park o

Rangers took the opportunity to give game time to some of the Under 19’s squad that haven’t featured recently and also have a look at a few trialists. Under 15’s keeper Liam Kelly was between the sticks and lined up against his brother Sean who was in the Queen’s Park defence.

The first real chance of the game came after thirteen minutes when Trialist No.9 got a flick on to a long ball and presented a chance for Anthony Marenghi who elected to square to Robbie Crawford and his attempted chip lacked a wee bit of height and the keeper saved. In a closely contested first-half the next effort came just after the half-hour when a Marenghi free-kick from all of thirty yards was turned wide of his left hand post by the Queen’s keeper.

Ten minutes before the break Rangers took the lead, Ewan McNeill played the ball up to Trialist No.9 wide on the left on the halfway line, his superb pass sent Anthony Marenghi clear to round the advancing keeper and roll the ball into the empty net. Two minutes later McNeill played the ball up to the edge of the box where it broke off Crawford into the path of Trialist No. 9 who saw his shot saved.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 0

Straight from the kick-off Crawford cut in from the left and sent a sublime chip over the keeper only to see it rebound clear off the keeper’ s left hand  post. Seven minutes in and Rangers doubled their lead, good play on the right between McNeil and Marenghi released McNeil and his low cross caused panic in the Queen’s Park defence allowing Freddy Espling shoot home.

Two minutes later it was Andy Mitchell’s pass that sent McNeil clear, another superb low cross was somehow kept out by a combination of keeper and defender as Espling tried to bundle the ball over the line. Queen’s then had their best chance of the match from a left wing cross deep to the back post, Liam Kelly coming out to block the close range effort.

Midway through the half another attack down the right produced Rangers third, Mitchell sending the overlapping McNeil clear and yet another superb low ball across the six yard box from the full-back was converted by Freddy Espling. The final chance of note almost produced a superb fourth, Adam Hunter sent a cross field pass out to Marenghi on the left and his superb chip had the Queen’s keeper clawing the ball away at full stretch.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ewan McNeil (Adel Gafaiti 77mins), Adam Hunter, Kim Skogsrud, Tom Skogsrud; Andy Mitchell (Fraser Aird 68mins), Gavin Stokes (Gregor Fotheringham 59mins), Michael Thomson ( Marc Dyer 61mins), Robbie Crawford; Anthony Marenghi, Trialist No.9 (Freddy Espling 41mins)

Win Over Dons For Youths

March 11, 2011

Rangers 2 Aberdeen 1

Rangers Under 19’s kept up their recent good run of form with a narrow win over Aberdeen at Murray Park this afternoon. With a deserved lead they had to survive a couple of late scares before securing the points.

The opening exchanges failed to produce any clear-cut chances and when the first chance did come after seventeen minutes. Rangers took the lead. Kal Naismith picked the ball up on the halfway line and headed straight for goal, beating two defenders before his shot from just inside the box found the bottom corner. Six minutes later and only the crossbar came between Rangers and a second goal, Dylan McGeough cut in from the left and teed up Kane Hemmings whose’ shot from right on the edge of the area came back of the bar with keeper Przemyslaw Lukasik beaten.

Right on the half-hour mark Aberdeen equalised, Nicky Low started the move in midfield feeding Callum McRobbie on the right and his cross was headed past Gary Inglis by Jordan Brown. Straight from the kick-off  Rangers won a free-kick which was quickly taken and Darren Cole played the ball to McGeough who’s 25 yarder looked a goal all the way till Lukasik dived to turn the ball over.

With ten minutes of the half remaining a good passing move ended with Hemmings passing to Christiano Kisuka on the right and his shot flashed across goal.  Five minutes later a Rhys McCabe effort from 25 yards had the power but was straight at Lukasik.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Aberdeen 1

Lukasik again came to the Dons rescue on 53 minutes, McCabe played the ball up to Hemmings and a superb turn left Joe Shaugnessy for dead with keeper Lukasik parrying the strikers powerful shot. The Rangers striker wasn’t to be denied and when McGeough’s run into the box past a couple of defenders, Kane Hemmings was on hand to score from close range from the midfielder’s pass.

The visitor’s thought they had levelled five minutes later, Cole headed a cross from the left out only as far as McRobbie and Dons midfielder’s shot found the net, but it had deflected of Nico Gibson who was in an offside position. As the game entered the later stages Aberdeen pushed for an equaliser and with six minutes left, the Rangers defence struggled to clear a Stephen O’Neill free-kick from the left and it broke to Shaugnessy inside the six yard box with Gary Inglis diverting his shot from point-blank range over the bar.

The home side then survived another scare three minutes later, Low made space on the right and his cross found Brown unmarked but he sent his header wide with the goal gaping.

Full Time:- Rangers 2 Aberdeen 1

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Steven Hetherington; Christiano Kisuka ( Ewan McNeill 46 mins), Rhys McCabe, Gordon Dick (Kamil Wiktorski 68mins), Dylan McGeough, Kane Hemmings, Kal Naismith (Robbie Crawford 87mins).

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (GK), Andy Mitchell, Anthony Marenghi, Adam Hunter.

Aberdeen:- Przemyslaw Lukasik; Lewis Davidson, Joe Shaungessy, Clark Robertson, Dean Jarvis; Callum McRobbie ( Declan McManus 77mins), Jordan Brown, Stephen O’Neill, Nicky Low, Gilli Sorensen (Ryan Fraser 35mins); Nic0 Gibson (Michael Dunlop 89mins)

Naismith Hat-Trick Downs Hibs

March 5, 2011

Hibernian 1 Rangers 4

With Kane Hemmings called up for first team duty the partnership with Kal Naismith was on temporary hold, Christiano Kisuka was brought in to partner Kal and the pair stepped up to the plate scoring all four goals between them. The only other change saw Kamil Wiktorski come in for the injured Andy Mitchell.

It was the home side that threatened first after five minutes when Lewis Horner picked up a clearance from the Rangers defence and his effort from 25 yards clipped the top of the crossbar on the way over. Three minutes later Rangers took the lead and it was a disaster for home keeper Callum Artell. There seemed little danger when Dylan McGeough played the ball forward but the home keeper miss controlled the ball and it presented and open goal for Christiano Kisuka who made no mistake.

Just before the quarter-hour mark Darren Cole fouled Phil Addison just outside the box, Horner stepped up to send a shot round the wall which Gary Inglis saved comfortably. Five minutes later the home side were back on level terms, Callum Burns shot from wide on the right seemed to catch Inglis by surprise as it found the bottom corner.

Only a great save from Artell just after the half-hour prevented Rangers taking the lead, diving to his left he turned a Kal Naismith 25 yarder round the post for a corner.

Half Time:- Hibernian 1 Rangers 1

Again it was the home side that carried the early threat with Harry Monaghan shooting narrowly over after only four minutes of the second-half. Rangers looked certain to take the lead just after the hour, a great McGeough run took him past two defenders and his slip put Kisuka clear inside the box and he was thwarted when Artell blocked with his legs.

The goal was only delayed a couple of minutes, McGeough was blocked right on the edge of the box and from the resultant free-kick on the right hand angle of the penalty area Kal Naismith stepped up to fire over the wall and into the top corner of the net. Five minutes later Rhys McCabe broke forward and a Naismith dummy opened up the Hibs defence, McCabe being denied by Artell who touched wide.

With just under fifteen minutes on the clock the home side almost scored at the wrong end, Gordon Dick’s corner from the left was flicked on by Chris Hegarty and Jordan Forster sliced his attempted clearance which only just cleared his own cross-bar. A fantastic point-blank save from Gary Inglis kept Rangers lead intact, a corner from the right found its way to Ross Caldwell at the back post, with the Rangers keeper reacting to block his shot from only a couple of yards out.

Rangers then took advantage of that save by making the points safe with six minutes remaining. McGeough played the ball to Kyle McAusland on the right, the ball was then switched to Ewan McNeil on the left were he combined with Gordon Dick to set up a shooting opportunity for Kal Naismith and his deflected shot left Artell stranded.

The homes side almost grabbed a second when Caldwell’s flick on saw Jon Wright get there just before Inglis, with the Rangers keeper just getting enough on the attempted lob to divert it on to the bar and over. The corner saw Rangers break to grab an excellent fourth, the ball was cleared to the halfway line and a superb first time Kisuka pass set up Kal Naismith who’s step over took him past the last defender to shoot past Artell.

Full-Time:- Hibernian 1 Rangers 4

Hibernian:- Callum Artell; Callum Burns, Jordan Forster, Jack Verth, Scott Smith; David Crawford, Lewis Horner, Harry Monaghan (Dean Horrobine 74mins), Marc Lancaster (Danny Handling 71mins); Ross Caldwell, Phil Addison (Jon Wright 79mins).

Not Used:- Paul Grant (GK), Jamie Doris, David Gold

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Robbie McIntyre ( Ewan McNeil 73mins); Dylan McGeough (Lewis McLeod 87mins), Kamil Wiktorski (Steven Hetherington 57mins), Rhys McCabe, Gordon Dick; Christiano Kisuka, Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Sam George (GK), Adam Hunter, Anthony Marenghi, Robbie Crawford.

Old Firm Win Takes 17’s Top

March 1, 2011

Rangers 1 Celtic 0

A bizarre goal from a Lewis McLeod free-kick took Rangers to the top of the Glasgow Cup group in a hard fought encounter at Murray Park tonight. It was a game of few chances and two second half red cards saw both sides finish with ten men.

Rangers almost took the lead after only six minutes, Darren Ramsay chased a through ball and charged down James Wightman’s clearance and as the ball rolled towards the open goal the Celtic defender won the race with Marc Dyer to clear for a corner. Seven minutes later Matty Clarke won the ball out on the left and played it inside to Lewis McLeod who cut in past a defender and shot narrowly wide from just outside the box.

Celtic had their first real chance midway through the half when Marcus Fraser broke forward on the right his shot come cross broke off a Rangers defender into the path of Islam Feruz, with Sam George saving his close range shot low to his left. Goalmouth incidents were at premium and a tousy first-half saw four bookings, Clarke and Dyer for the home side and Fraser and Kidd for the visitors.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Celtic 0

The second-half began in a similar fashion with few chances, almost an hour had gone and it was Celtic who threatened first, a cross from Joe Chalmers on the left was laid in the John Herron’s path by Fraser and the midfielder volleyed over. Rangers then took the lead on 70 minutes, Lewis McLeod’s free-kick ten yards inside the Celtic half saw keeper Wightman either lose it in the lights or he thought it was going over the bar as it dropped into the net. Almost immediately the visitors were reduced to ten men, Gregor Fotheringham bundled over Islam Feruz as they challenged for a long ball with the Celtic player aiming a kick at the Rangers midfielder in retaliation the referee had no alternative but to show a straight red.

Rangers came close to increasing their lead with just over ten minutes remaining, Marc Dyer broke forward and played in Callum Gallagher who’s effort from a narrow angle was parried by Wightman and cleared by the Celtic defence. Almost immediately Rangers were reduced to ten men, Darren Ramsay made a rash challenge on Paul George wide on the touchline midway inside the Celtic half. The referee deemed it worthy of a straight red, although it seemed more about restoring parity of numbers rather than the severity of the offence. The visitors had a few corners in the final ten minutes, but the Rangers youngsters held on comfortably to secure the win.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 0

Rangers:- Sam George; Andy Murdoch, Scott Rumsby, Jordan Wilson, Robbie McIntyre; Darren Ramsay, Lewis McLeod, Gregor Fotheringham, Marc Dyer (Mark Taylor 80mins), Matty Clarke (Lee Cochrane 62mins); Sam McMahon (Callum Gallagher 73mins).

Not Used:- Connor Shaw (GK), Callum Wyllie

Celtic:- James Wightman; Marcus Fraser, Paddy ????, Joe O’Brien, Joe Chalmers; Lewis Kidd, John Herron, Darnell Fisher (Jamie Lindsay 79mins), Paul George (Jack Kirwan 84mins); Islam Feruz, William Hook (Denny Johnstone 66mins).

P W D L F A Pts
Rangers 6 5 0 1 12 3 15
Celtic 6 4 1 1 11 3 13
Queens Park 6 2 1 3 10 17 7
Partick Thistle 6 1 0 5 10 17 3
Clyde 4 1 0 3 4 7 3