Archive for February, 2012

Rangers Youths Represent Scotland

February 28, 2012

Scotland 1 Serbia 1

With several Rangers players in the squad I decided to taken in Scotland’s Under 17’s friendly against Serbia at Somerset Park tonight. The game was preparation for next month’s Euro qualifiers when Scotland host Elite Round Group 6, with Denmark, Lithuania and Iceland. Tonights game was played over two halfs of forty minutes.

The visitors were first to threaten when the impressive Filip Jankovic picked the ball up in midfield and broke towards the Scots penalty box and Lionel Stone did well to block. The host were soon threatening at the other end, Craig Sibbald won the ball on the left hand angle of the box and fed Denny Johnstone who brought out a save from Predrag Rajkovic in the Serbs goal.

On thirteen minutes Serbia took the lead, their seemed little danger when Milan Spremo picked the ball up just outside the right hand angle of the box until he curled a superb shot beyond Ryan Crump into the top left hand corner of the net. Scotland tried to respond when Charlie Telfer  and Cameron Smith combined in midfield with the later’s shot deflected narrowly wide.

Craig Sibbald was next to test Rajkovic in the Serb goal, with the keeper stretching to hold his shot from the edge of the box under the bar. Scotland were pushing for an equaliser and some superb play between Cameron Smith and Craig Sibbald created a chance for the former but his shot lacked power and Rajkovic saved comfortably.

Just after the half-hour Scotland were level, Stefan Milosevic’s pass to Sasa Zdjelar was short,  Cameron Smith was alert and dispossesed the central defender before passing inside to Denny Johnstone who advanced into the box to shoot past Rajkovic.

Half-Time:- Scotland 1 Serbia 1

The second half was a disjointed affair with multiple substitutions from both sides, Scotland’s best effort  came with just under ten minutes remaining, Darren Ramsay exchanged passes with Scott Smith before testing Rajkovic from twenty-five yards. Chances were few and any efforts on goal came from distance without troubling either keeper.

Full-Time:- Scotland 1 Serbia 1

Scotland:- Ryan Crump (Liverpool); Kyle Turnbull (Falkirk), Lionel Stone (Brentford), Stuart Urquhart (Rangers), Jordan Wilson (Rangers); Cameron Smith (Aberdeen), Charlie Telfer (Rangers), Darren Petrie (Dundee United), Lewis Kidd (Celtic), Craig Sibbald (Falkirk); Denny Johnstone (Celtic)

Subs:- H/T Stuart Findlay (Celtic) for Urquhart, Jamie Lindsay (Celtic) for Petrie, Scott Smith (Dundee United) for Kidd, Fraser Aird (Rangers) for Johnstone, 55 Mins Jordan Hart (Celtic) for Crump, Mark Shankland (Ayr United) for Smith, Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) for Sibbald, 60 Mins Darren Ramsay (Rangers) for Telfer.

Not Used:- Lawrence Shankland (Queen’s Park), Liam Kelly (Rangers)

Serbia:- Predrag Rajkovic (Jagodina); Nemanja Jaksic (Red Star), Branko Jovanovic (Red Star), Sasa Zdjelar (OFK Belgrade), Stefan Milosevic (Partizan); Milan Spremo(Vojvodina), Milan Jokic (Partizan), Nikola Sakic (Red Star), Filip Jankovic (Red Star), Veljko Simic (Red Star), Nikola Ivkovic(Rad).

Subs:- H/T Milos Veljvovic (Tottenham) for Jovanovic, Vasilije Janjic (Partizan) for Ivkovic, 60 Mins Andrija Zivkovic (Partizan) for Simic, Nikola Lekovic (Partizan) for Jankovic, 75 Mins Nikola Karaklajic (Red Star) for Spremo.

Not Used:- Marko Jovicic (Red Star), Bogdan Tepic (CSK Celarevo), Aleksa Bajic (Vojvodina).

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Glasgow Cup Win Over Celtic

February 21, 2012

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Alan Kernaghan’s Under 17 overcame Celtic in a close encounter at Murray Park  tonight. The visitors head the better of the early period of the first-half with Rangers coming back strongly. Rangers edged the second period until Celtic pushed for an equaliser late on.

Celtic started better and had an early chance in the third minute when Paul McMullen was sent clear, as Liam Kelly advanced from his goal the striker’s shot lacked any power and Stuart Urquhart got back to clear comfortably. Fraser Aird had Rangers first effort four minutes later, cutting in from the left past two defenders  his shot failed to trouble Jordan Hart in the Celtic goal.

On fourteen minutes Darren Ramsay played the ball up to Danny Stoney and a superb turn took him clear of Stuart Findlay with Jordan Hart saving his effort low to his left. Celtic took the lead on seventeen minutes, Lewis Kidd passed to Paul McMullen at the edge of the box and his return pass sent the midfielder clear to shoot past Liam Kelly.

Midway through the half Darren Ramsay tried his luck from long-range but Jordan Hart in the Celtic goal saved easily. Rangers had started to get a hold in the game and grabbed an equaliser from the penalty spot on thirty-two minutes, Jamie Burrows gained possession near the corner flag on the left and went past Adam Brown and Paul Hindley as he made his way along the byline before being upended by Eoghan O’Connell for a clear penalty, Charlie Telfer stepped up to beat Jordan Hart from the spot.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 1

On fifty-One minutes Celtic threatened from a free-kick at the left hand angle of the box, Paul Hindley took the kick and Liam Kelly dived to touch the ball wide of his right hand post. Five minutes later Rangers took the lead, Darren Ramsay fed Fraser Aird  on the right, he turned Stuart Findlay inside before going past him on the outside and found the net from a tight angle via the leg of keeper Jordan Hart.

Rangers were comfortable for most of the remainder of the second half without threatening to extend their lead, then with six minutes remaining Charlie Telfer sent the ball through to Jamie Burrows, a great touch took him clear of Stuart Findlay but he shot over. Two minutes later Celtic missed a great chance to equalise, a cross from the right gave substitute Luke Donnelly a clear sight of goal but he headed straight at Liam Kelly.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Kris Gibson (Ryan Sinnamon 46mins), Craig Halkett, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson; Charlie Telfer, Andy Murdoch, Darren Ramsay, Fraser Aird (Tom Walsh 76mins); Jamie Burrows, Danny Stoney (Jamie Mills 80mins)

Not Used:- Sam George (Gk), Dylan Dykes, Gloady Ntumba

Celtic:- Jordan Hart; Paul Hindley ( Callum Watters 77mins), Eoghan O’Connell, Stuart Findlay, Ross Madden; Adam Brown (Liam Henderson 66mins), Lewis Kidd, Tim Mjallby, Jamie Lindsay, Jack Kirwan (Luke Donnelly 58mins); Paul McMullen.

Youths Beat Pars

February 18, 2012

Rangers 2 Dunfermline 0

A goal in each half gave Rangers youths a comfortable win over Dunfermline at Murray Park this morning.  In difficult conditions there was little to report in the early stages other than a hail storm that made taking any notes a bit os a challenge. There was just over twenty-five minutes gone before there was a chance of any note, Jamie Burrows playing in Barrie McKay but the Rangers striker miss hit his shot and it allowed Jordan Brown to clear.

Three minutes later Rangers took the lead, Matty Clarke’s wind assisted corner from the right looked to be to going out and the Dunfermline defence assumed that to be the case but Josh Robinson hadn’t given it up and netted at the back post from a tight angle at close range. Two minutes later only a good save from Stephen Mayne prevented a second Rangers goal, turning a Lewis McLeod shot round his left hand post after Barrie McKay setup the chance.

The Pars keeper was again in action on the stroke of half-time, Darren Ramsay won the ball on the halfway line and advanced on the right before finding Jamie Burrows inside the box, a superb touch took him clear, keeper Mayne making a fine block with the Rangers striker firing wide from the rebound when a pass across goal with several colleagues waiting would have surely resulted in a goal.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Dunfermline Athletic 0

In the first minutes of the second half Darren Ramsay passed to Jamie Burrows on the right hand side of the box and a great turn created a shooting chance but he shot wide. Six minutes later the visitors had a chance when Shaun Byrne latched on to a clearance with keeper Alan Smith saving his shot from the edge of the box.

A brilliant save midway through the half from Stephen Mayne prevented Rangers doubling their lead, Fraser Aird went on the outside of Jordan Brown and from his cutback Barrie McKay looked certain to score from just outside the six yard box but the keeper reacted brilliantly to turn the ball over. The home side made the points save with twelve minutes remaining, it was another Matty Clarke corner from the right this time to the near post and Jamie Burrows got the touch to knock the ball past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Dunfermline Athletic 0

Rangers:- Alan Smith; Josh Robinson, Adel Gafaiti, Stuart Urquhart, Matty Clarke; Darren Ramsay, Lewis McLeod (Gregor Fotheringham 88mins), Robbie Crawford, Fraser Aird; Barrie McKay, Jamie Burrows

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (Gk), Tom Skogsrud, Kim Skogsrud, Ewan McNeil, Kamil Wiktorski, Aaron McGregor

Dunfermline Athletic:- Stephen Mayne; Jordan Brown, Kerr Young, Grant Munro, Jack Bruce (Fraser Moncrief 68 mins); Chris Hackland (Scott Mercer 76mins), Shaun Byrne, Andy Ritchie, Ross Drummond; Alan Smith, Blair Henderson.

Not Used:- Steve Denholm (Gk), Calum Howie

Second Half Display Secures Win Over Hearts

February 12, 2012

Rangers 4 Hearts 1

After a first half where they were second best Rangers Under 17’s turned it around after the break and ran out comfortable winners. Hearts took the lead through former Rangers player Gary Oliver after thirteen minutes, taking the ball past Craig Halkett at the edge of the box before shooting past the trialist keeper. Fifteen minutes later only a brilliant save from the trialist keeper prevented the Edinburgh side doubling their lead, the Hearts player cut in from the left and the keeper dived to his left to touch the ball onto the post.

Ten minutes later Rangers created their first real chance, some great skill on the right hand byline by Danny Stoney setup a chance for Tom Walsh but he was denied by a brilliant defensive challenge. A minute later Rangers were level. Tom Walsh latched on to a poor passback to round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net.

Five minutes before the break Hearts threatened again with an attack through the inside left channel and the trialist keeper advanced from his line to make a fantastic block. The trialist keeper again excelled on the stroke of half-time, the Hearts attacker got a touch on a free-kick from the left with the keeper diving to his left to save at point blank range.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hearts 1

Two minutes into the second half Rangers took the lead, Danny Stoney was played through the inside left channel and with the keeper advancing from his goal he found the net with a superb lob. Rangers came close again four mintues later, Charlie Telfer was the creator on the right, Danny Stoney’s header from his cross came off the keeper’s left hand post before the keeper reacted to turn the ball over the bar.

Five minutes later Rangers increased their lead, Jordan Wilson was forward for a setplay and found himself out on the right,  his cross found Tom Walsh at the back post to head past the keeper. Two minutes later Danny Stoney latched onto a through ball and brought out a fine save from the Hearts keeper.

With just less than twenty minutes remaining Rangers scored again, Kjeld McIntyre sent Jamie Mills down the left and from his cross Luke Hammond’s superb volley gave the keeper no chance. The visitors then forced a couple of saves from Sam George in the final twelve minutes, first he dived to hold onto a free-kick from the edge of the box. Then when the ball was worked in from the right the Rangers keeper dived to his left to turn the ball wide for a corner.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Hearts 1

Rangers Squad:- Trialist (Gk), Sam George (Gk), Conner Thomson, Kris Gibson, Craig Halkett, Jordan Wilson, Charlie Telfer, Andy Murdoch, Dean Briggs, Tom Walsh, Dylan Dykes, Danny Stoney, Ryan Sinnamon, Jamie Mills, Scott Roberts, Gloady Ntumba, Ross Kellock, Kjeld McIntyre, Luke Hammond.

Footnote:- On SaturdayRangers under 19’s won 2-1 against Kilmarnock with goals from Robbie Crawford and Jamie Burrows.With the game clashing with the first team fixture at Dunfermline I was unable to attend. Official site report can be found here:- http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/football-news/article/2607801