Youth football is back and I managed to take in two games at Murray Park today. In the morning Alan Kernaghan’s Under 17’s took on Belfast’s Crusaders and later in the day the Under 14’s were host to a side from Ayr United’s Academy.
Rangers 4 Crusaders 1
The game was played over three thirty minute periods and with Rangers using almost a completely different squad after the first period so I have split the lineups. Rangers had the bulk of possession during this first period but clear-cut chances were few until Charlie Telfer broke forward on twenty-two minutes before firing narrowly over.
The midfielder was instrumental when Rangers took the lead just before the end of the period, he made progress on the left and made his way to the byline, when he cut the ball back Darren Ramsay was on hand to net from around eight yards. There was still time for the visitor’s to threaten the Rangers goal when a break from midfield saw the effort go narrowly passed Liam Kelly’s left hand post.
Rangers extended their lead five minutes into the second period, the goal again came from the left hand side with Tom Walsh being the architect, taking on the defender and creating space to get his cross in and Scott Roberts came in at the back post to head across the keeper and into the net. The home side then came close to netting a third, Greg Pascazio rose to power Kjeld McIntyre’s corner goalwards but a slight deflection diverted it on to the crossbar and the danger was cleared.
As the game entered the third period Tom Walsh tested the Crusader’s keeper from 25 yards. A minute later a superb piece of skill saw Danny Stoney grab a third, when the ball was played up to him at the edge of the box a turn and neat footwork took him past two defenders and setup a cool finish past the keeper. Rangers fourth came after the turn round in the final period, some neat passing down the left involving Jamie Mills, Ross Kellock and Tom Walsh ended with the later’s cross into the box where Dylan Dykes arrived to knock the ball past the keeper.
The same player then forced a good save from the keeper after cutting in from the left and trying his luck from the edge of the box. The Belfast side got their consolation goal near the end, a free-kick from the left was headed goalwards, Ryan Dunsmuir produced a superb save to turn the ball onto the crossbar but was helpless when the rebound was knocked home from almost on the goal line.
Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Crusdaers 1
Rangers 1st Period:- Liam Kelly; Andy Murdoch, Luca Gasparotto ( Kris Gibson 10mins), Stuart Urquhart; Jordan Wilson; Danny Stoney, Darren Ramsay, Fraser Aird, Luke Hammond, Charlie Telfer, Jamie Burrows.
Rangers Squad remainder:- Ryan Dunsmuir (GK), Conner Thomson, Jamie Mills, Kris Gibson, Greg Pascazio, Dean Briggs, Dylan Dykes, Scott Roberts, Tom Walsh, Luke Hammond, Charlie Telfer, Kjeld McIntyre, Scott Lochrie, Danny Stoney, Ross Kellock.
Rangers 6 Ayr United 0
In the afternoon Rangers Under 14’s had a comfortable win over an Ayr United side made up of Under 14’s/U15’s. It was the Ayr side that threatened first in the opening minutes with a break through the inside right channel but the shot was straight at Robbie McCrorie who saved comfortably. The home side took the lead just after the midpoint of the first period, Jamie Barjonas sent Ross McCrorie clear overlapping on the right and when his cross came in it was deflected past the keeper for and Own Goal.
Barely sixty seconds had passed when Rangers increased their lead, Gary McGriesh and Josh Jeffries worked the ball in from the left to Ross Lyon who gave the keeper no chance from around 25 yards. The visitors tried to hit back at the start of the second period with a break from halfway, when the ball was played into the right side of the box it took a good save from Robbie McCrorie low to his left to keep his goal intact.
Rangers were soon back on the attack and Josh Jeffries combined with Greg Taylor to set up a shooting chance for Gary McGreish which the keeper dived to his left to turn wide. With just less than ten minutes of the second period remaining Rangers scored again, Jamie Brandon won the ball near the byline on the right, went past a defender before centering for Ross Lyon who’s shot was blocked but landed nicely for John Cunningham to force home.
The home side grabbed a fourth before the end of the second period, Jamie Brandon and Josh Jeffries combined of the left and from the cross Ross Lyon shot past the keeper from around the penalty spot. Rangers continued to create chances and when Greg Taylor and Josh Jeffries exchanged passes the later looked certain to score until a superb challenge from an Ayr defender deflected the ball over.
Next a Greg Taylor shot landed kindly for John Cunningham inside the six yard box and the visitors keeper produced a great save at point blank range. The goal was only delayed, Josh Jeffries broke from midfield and passed to John Cunningham who’s unselfish return pass setup the midfielder to score.
The home side got their final goal when Ross Lyon played the ball forward to Jamie Barjonas on the right and his cross was headed past the keeper by John Cunningham. Ayr United had a chance to get a consolation goal with a break through the middle, but Robbie McCrorie stayed tall to make the block.
Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Ayr United 0
Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie (GK), Ross McCrorie, Lewis White, Reagan Milne, Jason Krones, Jamie Barjonas, Jack ?????, Ross Lyon, Gary McGreish, Greg Taylor, Josh Jeffries, Jamie Brandon, Cameron Price, John Cunningham.