Archive for August, 2011

Youth Friendlies

August 30, 2011

Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 1

The first of two friendlies took place at Murray Park this afternoon, I would have liked to have been in attendance but as I can’t drive for the next week I was dependant on others who may attend giving me a lift. I did get details of the team and scorers but a five-minute detour would have meant I could have been there rather being stuck at home with Bargain Hunt and At The Races.

Goals from Callum Gallagher & Barrie McKay was enough to secure a 2-1 win.

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Adel Gafaiti, Tom Skogsrud, Jordan Wilson, Kyle McAusland, Kamil Wiktorski, Barrie McKay, Aaron McGregor, Callum Gallagher (Jamie Burrows), Ants Marenghi, Robbie McIntyre (Glody Ntumba).

Rangers 4 East Stirling 1

The second game was tonight and again at Murray Park, fortunately someone remembered that despite two cars outside the house driving isn’t an option for the next week and he duly arrived to take me to Murray Park, and I didn’t have to watch Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday.

I didn’t have to wait long for a goal when after only two minutes Sam McMahon picked the ball up on the left hand side of the box and sent a shot high over the keeper into the top corner. McMahon looked certain to double his tally on eighteen minutes, the East Stirling keeper dived to his right to parry Adam Hunter’s 25 yarder, the big striker latched on to the rebound only for the keeper to make a fantastic block at point-blank range to divert the ball over the crossbar.

Ranger did increase their lead eight minutes later, Danny O’Rourke sent Jack Werndly clear on the right with a superb pass, he turned inside as defender before firing into the far corner. Five minutes later the same players combined again, this time O’Rourke switched play from right to left and Werndly went past a defender before bringing out a fine save from the keeper at his near post.

Rangers grabbed a third five minutes later, Hunter rolled a free-kick from out on the left touch-line inside to Callum Wyllie who sent a shot from all of thirty yards into the bottom corner. Four minutes before the break Hunter’s cross from the right saw East Stirling’s centre-half slice his clearance past his own keeper for an Own Goal.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 East Stirling 0

Ten minutes after the break a great passing move ended when McMahon’s shot was touched on to his right hand post by the visitor’s keeper. The keeper was again in action this time diverting Matty Clarke’s effort for a corner after the full-back’s run took his past a couple of defenders. Midway through the half McMahon set off on a run before feeding Freddy Espling on the right, from his pass across the box Werndly looked certain to score but his effort from around eight yards clipped the crossbar on the way over.

With just under 20 minutes remaining East Stirling pulled a goal back, a free-kick from wide on the right had Sam George stretching and the linesman judged the ball had crossed the line as the Rangers keeper clutched it under his crossbar.On 75 minutes Espling’s cutback from the byline on right gave McMahon a great chance and only a last-ditch challenge from a defender diverted the ball wide.

With seven minutes left on the clock the visitors came close again, this time a free-kick from the right has George stretching again and the ball rebounded off the bar to safety.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 East Stirling 1

Rangers:- Liam Kelly (Sam George 67mins); Andy Murdoch (Kris Gibson 61mins), Gregor Fotherinham, Luca Gasparotto (Freddy Espling 61mins), Matty Clarke; Danny O’Rourke, Callum Wyllie, Adam Hunter, Marc Dyer; Sam McMahon, Jack Werndly.

Luca Gasparotto commits to Glasgow Rangers

Performance Sports Group are pleased to announce that Luca Gasparotto has agreed a three-year deal with Glasgow Rangers.

A product of several Canadian Youth Soccer clubs (Ajax SC, SC Toronto), Luca will begin in late August and will be a member of the U17 Academy squad.

Hard work, belief and a commitment to try and improve has been Luca’s trademark.

Luca Gaparotto with Fraser Aird

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Youths Lose To Hearts

August 27, 2011

Rangers 0 Hearts 2

Rangers Under 19’s lost to Hearts at Murray Park this afternoon, in truth the home side rarely threatened and it was a deserved win for the Edinburgh side. They came close after ten minutes when Chris Tobin broke forward from midfield and shot just wide of Alan Smith’s right hand post.

The opening goal was delayed three minutes, Fraser Mullen’s free-kick broke of the Rangers wall and landed kindly for Kevin McHattie to shoot past Smith from inside the box. The visitors continued to be in control until the final fifteen minutes of the half when Rangers came into the game. Their first notable effort on goal came six minutes before the break, Callum Gallagher won the ball at the edge of the box and played it to Adam Hunter on the right, his cross found the head of Jack Werndly but is effort went wide of the far post.

Right on half-time a great run from Kamil Wiktorsi was halted by a crude challenge, Adam Hunter’s effort beat the wall but was comfortably saved by Jack Hamilton in the Hearts goal.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hearts 1

The second-half started on a similar pattern with Hearts David Smith breaking forward with Smith saving his shot from the edge of the box. Midway through the half keeper Alan Smith kept Rangers in the match, Mullen and substitute Ryan Stewart combined on the right, from the latter’s low cross Jason Holt had a fresh air swipe, the ball found its way to  Callum Paterson, his shot saw Smith dive to his left to parry but only as far as Billy King and with the goal at his mercy he screwed his shot wide.  A minute later a similar low cross by Mullen from the byline on the right was turned towards his own goal by Kyle McAusland, as it rolled towards the goal line Smith got back to gather.

As the final quarter-hour approached Rangers came close when Darren Ramsay’s free-kick from the left was flicked narrowly over by Barrie McKay. A minute later and McAusland perhaps should have done better he found himself in space at the back post and on the end of another Ramsay free-kick, but miscued the ball wide.

Going into the final ten minutes Rangers had their best chance of the match when Wiktorski’s cross from the right was met by the head of Kim Skogsrud but it was straight at Hamilton and the keeper gathered on his line at the second attempt. At the other end Smith produced another fine save when he dived to his left to turn the ball wide  after Paterson cut in from the left and shot for goal.

With Rangers trying to push forward for an equaliser Hearts substitute Stewart fond himself free on the right hand side of the box but his shot could only find the side netting. In the final minute a clearance down the right found King, the ball was moved across the edge of the box via David Smith to Callum Paterson who found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Hearts 2

Rangers:- Alan Smith; Gregor Fotheringham, Kyle McAusland, Kim Skogsrud, Tom Skogsrud; Adam Hunter (Darren Ramsay 56mins), Nikolaj Kohlert, Kamil Wiktorski, Lewis McLeod, Jack Werndly (Barrie McKay 46mins), Callum Gallagher (Ewan McNeil 73mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie (GK), Robbie McIntyre, Josh Robinson, Robbie Crawford.

Hearts:- Jack Hamilton; Fraser Mullen, Chris Kane, Brad McKay, Kevin McHattie; Callum Patterson, Chris Tobin, David Smith, Jason Holt, Billy King; Dale Carrick (Ryan Stewart 56mins).

Not Used:- Blair Carswell (GK), Dale O’Hara, Michael Thomson, George Scott, Adam King.

Youths Meet Queen’s Park Again

August 16, 2011

Rangers 4 Queen’s Park 1

To complete the set of fixtures against Queen’s Park over the weekend  a Rangers side made up of mainly Under 18 players took on the visitors from Hampden at Murray Park tonight. Less than two minutes were on the clock when Rangers took the lead, good work on the right by Ewan McNeil and when his cross came into the box Sam McMahon got across the defender to knock the ball past the keeper.

Queen’s park drew level ten minutes later, Andy Murdoch lost possession in the right-back position and the ball was worked across the edge of the box from left to right and from just inside the penalty area the shot across Blair Currie found the bottom corner. In reply Andy Murdoch broke forward from full-back and shot narrowly over from around 25 yards.

The visitors keeper then produced a fine save high to his right to keep out an Ants Marenghi free-kick from the left hand side of the box. Just before the hour mark Ants Marenghi was fouled in a similar position just outside the box, this time his free-kick left the keeper stranded as it found the top corner.

Ten minutes before the break Rangers increased their lead, a great run from Fraser Aird saw him release his pass at just the right time to send Ewan McNeil through on goal and he advanced into the box to beat the keeper.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 1

On the hour mark Sam McMahon held off a defender on the left hand byline, his cutback found Marenghi who’s shot was saved by the Queen’s keeper. Seven minutes later Barrie McKay went on a run that took him past two defenders but his shot was weak and the keeper saved comfortably.

Rangers grabbed a fourth with six minutes remaining, Danny O’Rourke won the ball ou on the right and Barrie McKay was on hand to volley his cross past the keeper. There was still time for Queen’s Park to force Blair Currie to make a save after a break into the left hand side of the penalty area.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Queen’s Park 1

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Andy Murdoch (Danny O’Rourke 61mins), Josh Robinson, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson (Matty Clarke 61mins); Ewan McNeil, Aaron McGregor (Adel Gafaiti 61mins), Darren Ramsay (Callum Wyllie 61mins), Fraser Aird (Marc Dyer 61mins); Sam McMahon (Freddie Espling 61mins), Ants Marenghi (Barrie McKay 61mins).

Youth Round Up

August 14, 2011

Rangers 2 Kilmarnock 0

Rangers Under 19’s got their league campaign under way with a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Murray Park on Saturday morning. With the first team in action at Inverness I was unable to attend. After a goalless first-half Rangers took the lead through an own goal, with a Jack Werndly header from an Adam Hunter cross providing the second.

Rangers:-Alan Smith; Gregor Fotheringham, Kyle McAusland, Kim Skogsrud, Tom Skogsrud; Adam Hunter, Kamil Wiktorski, Nicolaj Kohlert (Robbie Crawford 62mins), Lewis McLeod; Callum Gallagher, Jack Werndly (Darren Ramsay 62mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Robbie McIntyre, Ewan McNeil, Josh Robinson

Kilmarnock:- Russell Caldwell; Mark Brown, Greig Thornburn, Andy Rankin (Michael McKitrick 45mins), Lee Ashcroft, Ross Fisher, Matthew Kennedy, Ross Davidson, Rory McKenzie, Ross Lindsay (????? McNeil 85mins), Chris Johnston (Mark Thomson 75mins).

Not Used:- Andy Hainey

Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 2

On Friday night an Rangers Under 17’s side had a similar win over Queen’s Park at Lesser Hampden with goals from Jamie Burrows and Danny Stoney. I didn’t know the game was on until after the event so I didn’t attend.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon (Luke Hammond), Darren McGill, Greg Pascazio, Craig Halkett, Dylan Dykes (Trialist), Fraser Aird, Tom Walsh (Kjeld McIntyre), Glody Ntumba (Andy Biddulph), Jamie Burrows (Charlie Telfer), Danny Stoney (Jamie Mills)

Rangers 6 Queen’s Park 0

On Sunday morning I managed to get along and watch the Under 14’s take on Queen’s park at Murray Park. The Rangers youngsters took the lead early in the first period with Josh Jeffries scoring from the edge of the box. Rangers extended their lead when Scott Moore met a goal kick  from the Queens keeper and headed on for John Cunningham to advance into the box and knock the ball over the keeper.

The visitors replied with a shot from the edge of the box and Robbie McCrorie had to get down to his right to turn the ball wide for a corner. John Cunningham then grabbed Rangers third before the end of the first period with a neat finish.

Rangers then hit the bar twice in quick succession, Moore advanced on the left and Robbie Crawford got his head to the cross only to see it come back off the crossbar, when it was cleared out of the box Josh Jeffries fired it straight back and again the crossbar came to Queens rescue. A superb pass from Max Ashmore sent Jeffries clear on the left and his low cross was turned past the keeper by John Cunningham.

Rangers got another goal at the start of the third period when the keeper picked up a pass back to concede a free-kick inside the box, with Max Ashmore rolling it sideways for Josh Jeffries to shoot past a packed defence. The final goal came when Crawford combined with Moore on the right, from Moore’s low cross Crawford’s effort was blocked by the keeper but only as far as John Cunningham who shot home.

Robbie McCrorie then had to dive full length to his right to clutch a shot from the right hand angle of the box and keep his clean sheet intact. Moore then won the ball midway inside the Queens half and broke clear but saw the keeper make a fine save.

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie (GK), Danny Kelly, Greig Taylor, Ross McCrorie, Reagan ?????, Max Ashmore, Jamie Brandon, Josh Jeffries, John Cunningham, Scott Moore, Robbie Crawford, Cameron Price, Kyle ?????

Queen’s Park 2 Rangers 3

In the afternoon I went along to Lesser Hampden to take in the Under 15’s game where Rangers came from 2-0 down to snatch a winner in the last-minute.

Queen’s Park took the lead after good play on the right and a pass inside saw a looping shot go over the keeper and into the net. Rangers were shocked again before the end of the first period when Scott Lochead lost possession in midfield and the Queens player found the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Rangers had a great chance to get back into the game before the period ended, Adam Wilson’s pass to Callum Shipcott saw the striker’s first time pass release Scott Lochead inside the box but the keeper made a fine save.

A superb passing move saw Rangers move the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and Wilson’s pass into the box from the left saw Shipcott turn the defender only to be denied by another fine save. A Ryan Hardie pass then sent Keir Whitefield down the left and the winger’s cross had the keeper stretching to claw the ball away from under his bar.

Queen’s Park were denied when Stephen Chatterton brought down the striker when he was breaking clear, from the resultant free-kick Max Currie produced a fine save to keep Rangers in the game. The Ibrox youngsters were to capitalise by reducing the deficit, Hardie made progress on the left and his cross from the byline was parried but only as far as Scott Lochead who shot high into the net.

The home side then came close following a short corner on the left, from the cross Max Currie punched under pressure and when the ball was fired goalwards it was cleared from the Rangers goal line. Owen ????? then sent Hardie clear on the left and his shot from a tight angle saw the keeper turn it wide for a corner. From the corner on the left Ben Reilly’s kick eluded everyone before finding the net off the far post.

With Rangers now pushing for the winner the Spiders keeper produced a fine save tipping Ryan Hardie’s shot over. With time almost up the ball was played ion from the right and Ryan Hardie found the top corner from around the penalty spot.

Rangers:- Jamie ????? (GK), Max Currie (GK), Ryan Currie, Sam Liddington, Stephen Chatterton, David ?????, Ryan Smith, Ben Reilly, Adam Wilson, Callum Shipcott, Scott Lochead, Keir Whitefield, Alex McEwan, Ryan Hardie, Owen ?????

Lisburn Distillery Visit Murray Park

August 7, 2011

Rangers 5 Lisburn Distillery 0

Following on from yesterday’s game at under 17’s Lisburn Distillery were at Murray Park with games at under 12’s, 13’s & 14’s this morning and Under 15’s in the afternoon. The game I took in this afternoon saw a Rangers side almost entirely made up of Under 17’s take on the Northern Irish side’s Under 18’s.

It took Rangers only three minutes to take the lead, Glody Ntumba broke down the right and showed good skill and strength to get past the defender and his cut back into the box found Freddy Espling who shot past the keeper. On the quarter-hour mark Fraser Aird sent Freddy Espling clear and he carried on into the box before finding the net for his second goal.

Midway through the half the visitor’s carved out a chance with a one-two at the right hand angle of the box with Rangers trialist keeper blocking with his legs then reacting quickly to save the rebound. Ten minutes before the break Darren Ramsay played a short free-kick to Fraser Aird who fired narrowly over.

Four minutes later Ntumba sent Espling clear this time the Distillery keeper diverted his shot on to his left hand post and wide. The corner was cleared to the edge of the box but only as far as Aird who sent a shot crashing off the underside of the bar with the keeper beaten. A minute later it was Darren McGill’s turn to be denied by the woodwork when his long-range shot came back off the keeper’s right hand post.

A minute later Freddy Espling completed his hat trick and grabbed Rangers third, Ntumba’s turn and pass sent the Swedish striker clear and this time he made no mistake. From the trialist keeper’s goal kick Kris Gibson got a flick on to find Aird on the right, he cut inside and shot for goal with the keeper touching over. The corner was then played short to Aird on the left and from his cross Ntumba headed against the bar.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Lisburn Distillery 0

Rangers increased their lead after only two minutes of the second half, Aird sending Ntumba down the right, he held off the defender and his low cross found Danny O’Rourke arriving inside the box to turn the ball past the keeper. Distillery came close to pulling a goal back on 55 minutes, a corner from the left was headed goalwards but Andy Murdoch was well placed to head off the line.

On the hour mark Rangers scored again, Darren Ramsay’s shot from outside the box was deflected into the path of Sam McMahon and the big striker rolled the ball across the six yard box for Stuart Urquhart to knock the ball home. Rangers next chance came when Callum Wyllie turned a defender and raced clear with the keeper advancing from his line to block with his legs.

With quarter of an hour left on the clock a defender’s miscued header fell for Wyllie and his shot from the edge of the box brought out a fine save from the keeper diving to his left. At the other end Blair Currie had to stretch to tip over a long-range effort. Rangers were soon on the attack and McMahon laid the ball back into the path of Ramsay and the Distillery keeper saved low to his left. Right on the final whistle Distillery had a great chance when their player beat Currie to the ball as he came outside his area but he could only knock the ball wide of the empty net,

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Lisburn Distillery 0

Rangers:- Trialist (GK) (Blair Currie 64mins); Andy Murdoch, Greg Pascazio, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson; Fraser Aird, Darren Ramsay, Kris Gibson (Danny O’Rourke 46mins), Darren McGill; Glody Ntumba (Sam McMahon 58mins), Freddy Espling (Callum Wyllie 58mins)

Youths Beat Blackburn In Final Warm Up

August 6, 2011

Rangers 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

Rangers Under 19’s had a fine win over Blackburn Rovers in their final warm up match before starting their league campaign against Kilmarnock next Saturday. They survived an early scare when Filip Pivkovski appeared to be brought down as he burst into the box but the referee waved played on.

Rangers took the lead after eighteen minutes when Adam Hunter’s free-kick from the right saw Callum Gallagher challenge at the near post and when the ball bounced behind him, Kim Skogsrud was well placed to nod passed Christian Paulat-Brigg. Rangers came close to scoring an identical goal three minutes later, this time Kim Skogrud’s header from Hunter’s free-kick slipped narrowly past Paulat-Brigg’s right hand post. The goal was delayed only two minutes when Rangers increased their lead from a rather soft penalty. Adam Hunter went down under a challenge from Alex Hauge and the referee awarded a penalty, Jack Werndly scoring from the spot.

The referee awarded his second soft penalty of the match two minutes before the break, this time Josh Robinson was adjudged to have impeded Filip Pivkovski and Sean Cooke stepped up to beat Alan Smith from the spot.

Half-Time:-Rangers 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

Smith had to be on his toes two minutes after the break when Cooke cut in from the right and the Rangers keeper tipped over. Rangers then were under a bit of pressure without the visitors creating any clear-cut chances and with just over ten minutes remaining they made the game safe. Robbie Crawford kept the ball in play out on the left touch-line, his pass inside found Barrie McKay who’s superb pass inside the full-back sent Darren Ramsay clear inside the box and he shot across the keeper into the net.

Nikolaj Kohlert then had a great chance to add a fourth when through on goal but he shot past the keeper’s right hand post. In the final ten minutes Rovers called Blair Currie into action on a couple of occasions. First Cooke played in Danny Laverty with a pass from the right with Currie saving low to his right, then Laverty and Cooke combined to set up Ryan Humphreys who’s shot was parried by the Rangers keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

Rangers:- Alan Smith (Blair Currie 59mins); Kyle McAusland, Josh Robinson (Gregor Fotheringham 46mins), Kim Skogsrud, Tom Skogsrud; Adam Hunter (Darren Ramsay 66mins), Kamil Wiktorski (Robbie Crawford 66mins), Nikolaj Kohlert, Lewis McLeod (Robbie McIntyre 66mins); Jack Werndly ( Barrie McKay 54mins),Callum Gallagher.

Blackburn Rovers:- Christian Paulat-Brigg; Brad Mason (Tom Paul 59mins), Hugo Fernandez (Johnny Spittle 59mins), Jack O’Connell, Alex Hauge (Will Beesley 46mins); Filip Pivkovski (Ryan Humphreys 70mins), Luke George, Sean Cooke, Callum Holden (Antoine Bolland 59mins), Jadan Hall (Danny Laverty 59mins; Curtis Haley.

Footnote:- At the same time a young Rangers under 17’s side were taking on Lisburn Distillery and ran out 3-0 winners with goals from Danny Stoney, Trialist No.4 & Dylan Dykes.

Rangers Squad:- Sam George (GK),Ryan Sinnamon, Trialist No. 4, Craig Halkett, Jamie Mills, Dylan Dykes, Kjeld McIntyre, Tom Walsh, Danny Stoney, Charlie Telfer, Luke Hammond, Kris Gibson, Jordan Wilson, Darren McGill, Glody Ntumba.

I just heard that Rangers have released 1st year under 17 Lewis Martin. I have to say I was surprised and I think he is player that could progress and have a career in the game. It is thought he is joining his local club Falkirk and I would like to take the opportunity to wish him all the best and I will watch his progress there with interest.

17’s Win First Pre-Season Friendly

August 1, 2011

Rangers 4 Hamilton Accies 2

Rangers 17’s opened their season at Murray Park on Sunday with a 4-2 in a friendly against Hamilton Accies. It was a side made up of mainly first year 17’s as all last year’s under 15’s have been retained.

Rangers created the first chance after seven minutes when Darren McGill on the left fed Tom Walsh as he broke into the box and the Accies keeper blocked with his legs. There were few chances in the first half and it wasn’t until four minutes before the break that the deadlock was broken. Dylan Dyes played the ball out to Danny Stoney on the left, his pass inside to Tom Walsh saw the Rangers midfielder beat the keeper with a looping shot from the edge of the box.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 0

The visitors came close to leveling two minutes into the second half, a corner from the right was headed goalwards but Ryan Sinnamon has well placed to head off the line. Although the equaliser was only delayed sixty seconds, the ball was played down the right and the Accies player held off Jamie Mills before shooting past Sam George.

Just before the hour mark Walsh sent Glody Ntumba down the left, his return pass found Walsh at the edge of the box and his shot clipped the keeper’s right hand post as it went wide. A minute later and Rangers were back in front, Ntumba’s pass sending Kjeld McIntyre through and calmly rounded the keeper before rolling the ball home.

Hamilton went straight to the other end and only a brilliant Sam George save kept Rangers leaded intact, the wide player went past Mills on the byline and his cutback was blasted goalwards from the edge of the six yard box, George dived to his right to turn the ball round the post. Rangers took advantage by extending their lead two minutes later, McIntyre’s pass saw Tom Walsh take a great first touch and lob the keeper from the edge of the box.

Ten minutes later the visitors pulled a goal back, George did well to parry a shot from a free-kick on the left hand angle of the box, but was exposed as an Accies player followed up to head home the rebound.  A couple of minutes later George got down low his right to keep out a long-range effort. With four minutes remaining Rangers made the game safe, Craig Halkett rising to bullet home Lewis Martin’s corner from the right.

Rangers 4 Hamilton Accies 2

Rangers:- Sam George; Ryan Sinnamon, Greg Pascazio (Craig Hallkett 76mins), Kris Gibson, Jamie Mills; Luke Hammond (Glody Ntumba 46mins), Dylan Dykes, Tom Walsh, Darren McGill; Kjeld McIntyre (Lewis Martin 74mins), Danny Stoney (Andy Biddulph 80mins)

Footnote:- Rangers 15’s also took on their Hamilton Accies counterparts, running out 6-3 winners with goals from Callum Shippcott 2, Scott Lochhead, Ben Reilly, Adam Wilson & Ryan Hardie