Archive for July, 2011

Reserves/Youths Update

July 30, 2011

There were two games at Murray Park today with a youth side taking on Sunderland at 1pm and a reserve side meeting Bulgaria’s Under 19 side at 3pm. With the first team at Perth I was not able to attend either game.

Rangers 2 Sunderland 2

In the early game Rangers youngsters lost a 2-0 half-time lead to draw 2-2, with Rangers goals coming from Adam Hunter & Ants Marenghi.

Rangers:- Blair Currie, Gregor Fotheringham, Matty Clarke, Stuart Urquhart, Adel Gafaiti, Robbie Crawford, Adam Hunter, Aaron McGregor, Sam McMahon, Ants Marenghi, Ewan McNeil.

Subs:- Fraser Aird, Darren Ramsay, Andy Murdoch, Jordan Wilson, Marc Dyer, Freddy Espling

Rangers 1 Bulgaria Under 19’s 1

The second game also finished all square with Rangers goal coming from Callum Gallagher.

Rangers:- Alan Smith, Kyle McAusland, Tom Skogsrud, Kim Skogsrud, Darren Cole, Kamil Wiktorski, Lewis McLeod, Rhys McCabe, Callum Gallagher, Jack Werndly, Kal Naismith.

Subs:- Barrie McKay, Josh Robinson, Robbie McIntyre, Adam Hunter, Gregor Fotheringham

Youths Take On Hristo Stoichkov Academy

July 28, 2011

Rangers 4 Chavdar Football Academy 0

A Rangers under 18 side took on their counter parts from the Chavdar Football Academy at Murray Park this afternoon. The Academy is run by legendary Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov and they were recently awarded the silver award for its youth development practice by the Association of European Professional Football Leagues. The gold award was grabbed by the Russian Lokomotiv Moscow’s youth academy.

The visitors were first to threaten after only three minutes when following a corner from the right a net bound shot was cleared from the line.  Immediately the Rangers youngsters went straight up the park and took the lead, the Trialist N0 7 played a through ball to Jamie Burrows he shot past the keeper only to see the ball hit the post and roll along the goal line but the striker from Jersey was quick to follow-up and knock the ball into the net.

The post came to Rangers rescue just after ten minutes when a shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off a defender and left Blair Currie wrong footed but the ball bounced off his right hand post and into his arms. On eighteen minutes the visitors keeper denied Jordan Wilson after he got his head to a Callum Wyllie corner from the right.

Wyllie then tried his luck from a free-kick on the left hand angle off the box with the keeper stretching to touch the ball over. Just After the half-hour Rangers should have extended their lead, good play in midfield from Barrie McKay saw him feed Burrows in the inside left channel, the striker went past a defender inside the box and hit the byline  his cutback left Barrie McKay with the goal at his mercy but he knocked the ball tamely wide from inside the six yard box.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Chavdar Football Academy 0

It too Rangers only four minutes of the second half to extend their lead, McKay sent Wilson overlapping on the left and his driven cross was controlled on the chest by Fraser Aird before shooting past the keeper. Aird was the creator of the third goal with a mazy run along the byline on the left and  Glody Ntumba was well placed to convert his low cross.

With twelve minutes remaining the Ibrox youngsters scored again, Darren Ramsay breaking forward from midfield played the ball to McKay on the left hand side of the box, his pass inside was controlled by Glody Ntumba and his shot from inside the box beat the keeper with the aid of a deflection. Rangers had a couple of chances to extend their lead before the final whistle. First a great run on the left from Aird set up McKay who was thwarted by a great double save from the Bulgarians keeper. And the final chance came from another run from Aird, this time on the right he cut inside before firing at goal with the keeper turning the ball over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Chavdar Football Academy 0

Rangers:- Blair Currie (Trialist 70mins); Andy Murdoch, Trialist No.5, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson; Trialist No.7 (Glody Ntumba 56mins), Aaron McGregor (Kris Gibson 63mins), Darren Ramsay, Callum Wyllie (Fraser Aird 46mins); Freddy Espling (Barrie McKay 12mins), Jamie Burrows.

Ásgeir Sigurvinsson – One That Got Away

July 25, 2011

I know you are probably reading this and saying who ? Well let me explain !!

Friday 24th November 1972 Rangers reserves secure a 5-1 win over Dumbarton at Boghead. Listed as N0 11 in the Rangers lineup is “Newman”, who is in fact 17-year-old Icelandic trialist Ásgeir Sigurvinsson. Former Ranger Albert Gudmundsson contacted his one time teammate Willie Waddell and gave him a heads up on the youngster, and he was invited to Ibrox for a months trial.

Reserve coach Stan Anderson’s comments after that game he said “Ásgeir Sigurvinsson had a good debut, but he trained before the game and looks a fair prospect”. I am almost certain I saw him play in a reserve game at Ibrox but his stay at Rangers was short-lived and he returned to is club IBV. So what happened to the young Sigurvinsson ? Well read on.

In 1973 he moved to Belgian club Standard Liege, where he made over 300 appearances, culminating in a Belgian Cup win in 1981 when Standard beat KSC Lokeren in the final.  His performances there resulted in a move to Bayern Munich. He had at difficult season at the Bundesliga giants and after only one season moved to VfB Stuttgart where he really took off.

He established himself as a regular in the side and in season 1983-84 he played a prominent role when VfB Stuttgart clinched the championship for the first time in 32 years, with Sigurvinsson contributing 12 goals in his 31 appearances. He was voted the Bundesliga midfield player of the year that season. With the previous winner being Felix Magath and his successor being Lothar Matthäus, it gives an indication of his quality.

He also featured in both legs of the 1989 Uefa Cup Final when VfB Stuttgart lost 5-4 on aggregate to a Diego Maradona inspired Napoli.

Coming from a small country like Iceland his opportunities to shine at international level were limited. He did gain 45 caps for his country and I remember  a frustrated Wales manager Mike England’s post match interview in 1981. With Wales sitting in a great position in the group qualifiers for Spain ’82, they had just played Iceland in the penultimate qualifying game at home. He was describing how he warned his players about the “world-class” talent in the Iceland side, Ásgeir Sigurvinsson has just scored both Iceland’s goals in a 2-2 draw and the Welsh failed to qualify.

He went on to manage the national side from 2003 to 2005 and to celebrate UEFA’s 50th anniversary in 2004 each of its member associations was asked by UEFA to choose one of its own players as the single most outstanding player of the past 50 years (1954–2003). The 52 players were known as the Golden Players. Of course  the selection of the Icelandic FA was Ásgeir Sigurvinsson.

Garry Lynch Memorial Trophy – Match Report

July 24, 2011

Cambuslang Rangers 1 Rangers 4

A strong Rangers side ran out comfortable winners in to today’s game for the Garry Lynch Memorial Trophy at Sommerville Park this afternoon.  Rangers took the lead after thirteen minutes, Adam Hunter swung over a corner from the right and Kal Naismith rose to head past the home keeper.

The keeper then denied Kane Hemmings, standing up to parry his powerful shot after John Fleck and Kyle Hutton combined to create the chance. The home side went straight to the other end and when No.7 played in No.9 a fine challenge from Darren Cole meant his effort was weak and easily saved by Grant Adam.

The equaliser was only delayed three minutes, a corner from the right was delivered deep to the back post and when it was returned No.4 was on hand to head past Adam. At the other end Thomas Kind Bendiksen came close when he curled a free-kick just over.  Rangers regained the lead just after the half-hour, a great exchange of passes on the left between Salim Kerkar and Kal Naismith saw Rangers break forward, from the Kerkar’s ball into the box Hemmings looked likely to score but the ‘Lang’s left-back knocked it past his own keeper while trying to clear.

A minute later Naismith and Fleck combined with the latter playing the ball through for Bendiksen but the keeper was quick from his line to save at the midfielder’s feet. Just before the break a superb piece of skill from Bendiksen gave Hemmings a chance, he knocked it past the advancing keeper on to see it bounce clear from the left hand post.

Half-Time :- Cambuslang 1 Rangers 2

Five minutes after the break the home side were denied an equaliser by the width of a post, from a ball in from the right No.9 had time and space to control the ball and shoot with Adam beaten the ball came back of his left hand post. The home side were to rue that miss four minutes later when Rangers extended their lead, Hunter hit the byline on the right and his low cross evaded everyone till it reached Kal Naismith at the back post who had a simple task to shoot home.

Just after the hour the home keeper was tested from distance, getting down to his left to parry Rhys McCabe’s effort. He surpassed that three minutes later, a move on the right involving Barry McKay and Rhys McCabe released Tom Oakes inside the box, his pass in side to McKay looked a certain goal but the keeper dived to his right to block the winger’s effort at point-blank range.

With twelve minutes remaining the keeper was left helpless, Tom Oakes passed the ball to Barrie McKay at the edge of the box, he sidestepped the defender and shot across the keeper from just inside the right hand angle of the box into the bottom corner. Two minutes later and the keeper was in action again, when McKay screwed a shot across the box it landed at the feet of Tom Oakes who laid it back to Aaron McGregor and the keeper produced a fine save to tip over.

Full-Time:- Cambuslang Rangers 1 Rangers 4

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Jordan McMillan, Darren Cole, Salim Kerkar (Adel Gafaiti 80 mins); Adam Hunter (Barrie McKay 56 mins), Thomas Kind Bendiksen (Aaron McGregor 72 mins), Kyle Hutton (Jack Werndly 82mins), John Fleck, Kal Naismith (Ants Marenghi 63 mins); Kane Hemmings (Tom Oakes 63 mins)

Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 2

On Saturday morning an under 18’s side took on Queen’s Park at Murray Park, with the Ibrox youngsters winning with the odd goal in five. Rangers goals coming from Callum Wyllie, Darren Ramsay and Trialist No.19.

Rangers:- Trialist; Adel Gafaiti, Trialist No.2, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson; Fraser Aird, Gregor Fotheringham, Darren Ramsay, Matty Clarke; Callum Wyllie, Marc Dyer.

Subs All Used:- Liam Kelly (GK), Jamie Burrows, Freddy Espling, Glody Ntumba, Charlie Telfer, Darren McGill, Kris Gibson, Trialist No.19.

Rangers 6 Cumbernauld United 2

On Saturday afternoon Rangers under 19’s ran out comfortable winners against Junior side Cumbernauld United. The game was due to be played at Guy’s Meadow but was switched to Murray Park . Rangers scorers were Jack Werndly (2), Callum Gallagher (2), Kim Skogsrud and Ants Marenghi.

Rangers:- Alan Smith (Blair Currie); Kyle McAusland, Trialist, Kim Skogsrud, Tom Sgoksrud;Ewan McNeill (Aaron McGregor) , Lewis McLeod (Adam Hunter) , Kamil Wiktorski, Robbie McIntyre (Ants Marenghi); Callum Gallagher Jack Werndly (Barrie McKay)

Penalty Miss Costs Youngsters

July 15, 2011

Rangers 0 Wigan Athletic 1

A missed penalty denied Rangers youngsters a draw which was the least they deserved in a game where they dominated possession at Murray Park this afternoon. Goal scoring chances were limited in a first half and the more than a quarter of an hour had gone when Callum Wyllie’s ball into the box from the left was cleared only as far as Matty Clarke who’s shot flashed across goal and past the far post.

Rangers came close five minutes before the break, after a bit of pressure following a corner Fraser Aird gathered the ball on the right cut inside past the full back and his powerful shot from around ten yards was parried for a corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Wigan Athletic 0

Just before the hour mark Rangers were denied by the woodwork, Callum Gallagher and Fraser Aird worked a short corner on the right and from the latter’s cross Adel Gafaiti’s header came back of the keeper’s left hand post. The visitors had carried more of a threat in the second-half and took the lead with their only real chance of the match, Rangers lost possession in the midfield which allowed a break down the left and when the ball came into the box Abubakar Sheego was allowed time and space to turn and shoot past Blair Currie.

Rangers were soon back on the attack and Marc Dyer cutting in from the left brought out a fine save from the keeper low down at his right hand post. Rangers then had a great opportunity to level, Callum Gallagher made progress on the right from his ball into the box Jamie Burrows attempted shot struck the arm of a defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Adel Gafaiti won the argument to take the kick but was too casual and the keeper save easily.

Full- Time:- Rangers 0 Wigan Athletic 1

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Andy Murdoch, Adel Gafaiti, Stuart Urquhart, Matty Clarke; Fraser Aird (Charlie Telfer 72mins), Darren Ramsay (Kris Gibson 51mins), Lewis McLeod (Callum Gallagher 46mins), Marc Dyer; Aaron Spear (Gloady Ntumba 58mins), Callum Wyllie (Jamie Burrows 46mins)

McCabe Nets Late Winner

July 13, 2011

Stirling Albion 0 Rangers 1

A speculative thirty yarder from Rhys McCabe that the trialist keeper let slip under his body was enough to secure a win at Forthbank last night.

In a tame first half there were only two efforts of note, in the twelfth minute the home side came close when Gary Brass laid the ball back to Sean Fagan and his shot brought out a fine save from Alan Smith high to his left. Six minutes later  from a Rhys McCabe free-kick on the left hand angle of the box Kyle McAusland headed narrowly over.

Half-Time:- Stirling Albion 0 Rangers 0

With less than ten minutes of the second half gone the home side were denied by the woodwork, Scott Davidson curled a free-kick over the wall only to see it come back off Smith’s right hand post. Just after the hour mark a poor clearance from Devon Jacobs was met at the edge of the box by Andy Mitchell and his effort saw keeper Sam Filler dive to his left to turn the ball round the post.

With only five minutes remaining Rhys McCabe tried his luck from all of thirty yards with Stirling’s Trialist substitute keeper allowing the ball to slip under his body and over the line.

Full Time:- Stirling Albion 0 Rangers 1

Stirling Albion:- Sam Filler (Trialist 73mins), Devon Jacobs (Danny Ashe 70 mins), Brian Allison, Gary Thom (Trialist 70mins), John Crawley; Dale McSorley, Sean Fagan (Trialist 54mins), Marc McCulloch, Lewis Bonnar (Andy Hunter 81mins); Gary Brass (Paul Scott 46mins), Scott Davidson.

Rangers:- Alan Smith; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty (Ewan McNeil 66mins), Kim Skogsrud, Tim Skogsrud; Andy Mitchell (Robbie McIntyre 71mins), Darren Cole ( Nicolas Kohlert 46mins), Rhys McCabe, Robbie Crawford (Gregor Fotheringham) ; Jack Wernly (Marc Dyer 63mins), Kal Naismith (Kamil Wiktorski 84mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Adam Hunter, Ants Marenghi

Rangers 2 Falkirk 4

Earlier in the day Rangers took on Falkirk at Murray Park, with Rangers changing all ten outfield players at half-time. The second half side coming out with a bit of credit after a poor first-half showing.

Yet it was Rangers that threatened first after three minutes, Aaron Spear’s cross from the right was cleared to the edge of the box and Kamil Wiktorski shot just wide of Graham Bowman’s left hand post. A minute later Falkirk had a great chance when Adam Hunter was judged to have pushed inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Blair Currie producing a brilliant parry from Ryan Miller’s powerfully struck shot with the Falkirk striker blazing the rebound over.

Seven Minutes later Craig Sibbald had a chance after a break down the right but shot weakly straight at Currie. Falkirk’s break through was only delayed and they took the lead just before the quarter-hour mark, good play on the right by Craig Sibbald and his pass inside gave Ryan Miller the opportunity to shoot past Currie.

The visitors continued to look the most likely to score and seven minutes later Connor McGrandles set up Sibbald at the edge of the box and he shot narrowly over. Just after the hour Falkirk doubled their lead a through ball from Kris Faulds caught out the home defence and Ryan Miller held off Hunter before shooting past Currie.

Two minutes later and it was three Hunter sent Miller crashing inside the box and Thomas Grant stepped up to beat Currie from the spot. Five minutes before the break Aaron Spear, Andy ?????  and Wiktorski combined to set up a chance for Darren Ramsay but his shot was wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

A minute before the break Rangers fell further behind, a long ball down the right sent Miller clear and his pass across goal was converted by Kris Faulds. Rangers had one last effort before the break when Ewan McNeil cut inside and Bowman saved low to his left.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Falkirk 4

With a complete change of outfield players Rangers were looking to respond after a very poor first half and seven minutes in they pulled one back, great play on the right from Andy Murdoch and his low cross was fired first time past Bowman by Callum Gallagher. With twenty minutes remaining Rangers reduced the deficit further, trialist Jamie Burrows nodding Matty Clarke’s free kick from the right past Bowman.

Five minutes later Callum Wyllie’s cross from the left was flicked on by Tom ????? and Gallgher at full stretch couldn’t quite reach the ball at the far post. Just inside the last ten minutes Rangers were denied a penalty, Fraser Aird switched play to Gallagher on the right and he appeared to be brought down as he went past Liam Dick but the referee waved play on. Rangers had one final chance when a short corner on the right saw Adel Gafaiti rise to head Aird’s cross narrowly wide.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Falkirk 4

Rangers 1st Half:- Blair Currie; Andy ?????, Adam Hunter, Stuart Urquhart, Robbie McIntyre; Ewan McNeil, Kamil Wiktorski, Gregor Fotheringham, Ants Marenghi; Aaron Spear, Darren Ramsay.

Rangers 2nd Half:- Blair Currie; Andy Murdoch, Adel Gafaiti, Jordan Wilson, Matty Clarke; Callum Gallagher, Fraser Aird, Aaron McGregor, Callum Wyllie; Tom ?????, Jamie Burrows.

Falkirk:- Graham Bowman, Liam Rowan, Murray Wallace ( Tyler Fulton 77mins), Kyle Turbull, Liam Dick; Connor McGrandles, Kris Faulds, Jay Fulton (Jamie Barclay 62mins), Craig Sibbald (Blair Munn 59mins); Thomas Grant, Ryan Miller (Stephen Brisbane 46ins)