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).