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