Youth Update

With the first team in action at the same time I was unable to take in this week’s league game away to Inverness CT at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall.Very brief details below, I don’t know all subs and who, if any were used.

Inverness CT 0 Rangers 1

The only goal of the game came when Robbie Crawford lobbed the keeper from the edge of the  18 yard box on the hour mark.

Rangers:- Gary Inglis, Ewan McNeil, Robbie McIntrye, Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Adam Hunter, Andy Mitchell, Gregor Fotheringham, Christiano Kisuka, Robbie Crawford, Anthony Marenghi.

Subs:- Alan Smith (GK), Steven Hetherington, Sam McMahon, Darren Ramsay, Kal Naismith

On Sunday morning I took the opportunity to take in the Under 17’s Development League game at Murray Park against Raith Rovers.

The Kirkcaldy side were first to threaten after only four minutes, Blair Currie playing his first game for seven months after sustaining a leg break against St. Johnstone, got down at his right hand post to save a shot from the left hand angle of the penalty area. On fifteen minutes Darren Ramsay played the ball to Callum Gallagher on the right hand angle of the area and his shot took a deflection to beat the keeper.

Goal mouth incidents were the few and far between until a couple of minutes before the break. Raith had a corner on the left and it broke for the central defender inside the box, his first effort was blocked but the ball came straight back to him and he shot through a crowd of players past Currie. Rangers went straight to the other end and a Matty Clarke solo run took him past several defenders and deep into the penalty area where his shot came back of the post. The visitors then broke down the right and when the ball was cutback Currie had to look sharp to tip the effort on goal over.

Five minutes into the second-half  Sam McMahon went down under a challenge inside the box for a rather soft penalty, he stepped up to find the net despite the Raith keeper getting a hand to it. Just before the hour the keeper produced a fine save, Ramsay’s cross broke of McMahon to Marc Dyer at the edge of the box with the keeper diving to turn his shot wide.

On 65 minutes George Scott sent a cross in from the right which the defender headed up into the air, Lee Cochrane was on hand to volley past the keeper from just inside the box. Seven minutes later Sam George was called into action, stretching to turn a 35 yard free-kick over.

Two minutes later Andy Murdoch sent Charlie Telfer down the right, he went past the defender and hit the byline, his cutback giving Callum Wyllie a simple task of netting from close range. With the Raith Rovers youngsters tiring chances were coming at regular intervals, Scott played the ball inside and the keeper dived to deny Ramsay from the edge of the box.

A minute later the keeper produced a double save, first parrying from Wyllie, then denying Freddy Espling from the rebound.  The keeper contiuned to deny Rangers, saving from Wylie after the chance was setup by Scott.

As the game entered the last ten minutes he  turned a Wyllie free-kick wide and right at the end a move involving Adel Gafaiti and Telfer created a chance for Ramsay and once again the keeper thwarted the Rangers midfielder.

Rangers:- Blair Currie (GK), Sam George (GK), Craig Halkett, Matty Clarke, Adel Gafaiti, Jordan Wilson, Andy Murdoch, Darren Ramsay, Marc Dyer, Sam McMahon, Freddy Espling, Callum Gallagher, George Scott, Callum Wyllie, Lee Cochrane, Charlie Telfer.

Nike Premier Cup

Rangers Under 15’s squad set off to take part in the prestigious Nike Premier Cup this week in Warwick.

Teams – The participating teams are as follows: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham City , Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City , Chelsea , Everton, Fulham, Rangers, Leeds Utd, Man City , Middlesbrough, Newcastle Utd, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspurs, West Brom , West Ham Utd, Wolves.

Opening Ceremony – The opening ceremony will take place on Sunday at 7.30pm in Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre.  The draw for the initial group stages will be made at this ceremony.

Format & Tournament Duration – There will be five teams in the group and therefore the players will be guaranteed 4 matches (matches will last 2 x 20 minutes) on the Monday and Tuesday.  12 teams will depart i.e. bottom 3 in the four groups on the Tuesday evening.  The remaining 8 teams will play quarter-final matches on the Wednesday morning with four departing at lunch time.  The remaining four teams will play a semi final on Wednesday afternoon with the two losing teams heading home afterwards.  The two winning semi finalists will play in the final on Thursday morning.

I believe the squad taking part is as follows, apologies if I have missed anyone:-

Liam Kelly, Andy Biddulph, Danny Stoney, Dylan Dykes, Gloady Ntumba, Greg Pascazio, Jamie Mills, Johnny Bradley, Kjeld McIntyre, Lewis Martin, Lewis Morgan, Luke Hammond, Robert McLardie, Ross Kellock, Ryan Sinnamon, Scott Roberts, Tom Walsh.

**Update**

Rangers have been drawn in a group with West Brom, Aston Villa, Spurs and Everton.

Rangers lost their first game 1-0 to Aston Villa this morning (Monday).

A Lewis Martin goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Everton this afternoon.

Close of play Monday, all team in the group on 3 points having played 2 games.

Tuesday Morning:- Rangers 2 West Brom 1, goals from Kjeld McIntyre and Gloady Ntumba secure a second win for the boys.

A 3-0 loss to Spurs in their final game meant the youngsters missed on qualification on goal difference. I am sure it was a great experience for the boys and hopefully help in their development.

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