Archive for March, 2012

Youths Hit ‘Well For Six

March 30, 2012

Rangers 6 Motherwell 1

What looked like a tough game for the youths on paper turned out to be a comfortable win for the Ibrox Youngsters at Murray Park this afternoon. Rangers threw up a surprise in their lineup, starting with a 3-5-2 formation with Josh Robinson lining up in an unfamiliar striking role along side Barrie McKay and was a productive afternoon for the Northern Irish youngster, grabbing a hat-trick.

The visitors were first to threaten with Kieran McGachie breaking through the inside right channel before being brought down by Adel Gafaiti, the referee  awarded a free-kick and the Rangers defender was yellow carded, which I think was probably the correct decision despite Motherwell calling for a red card. On eleven minutes Rangers took the lead and Motherwell were reduced to ten men, Robbie Crawford’s pass sent Tom Skogsrud clear inside the box where he was felled by Adam Ashgar. It was a clear penalty and the referee had little option in showing the red card. Makeshift striker Josh Robinson stepped up to blast the spotkick past Ross Stewart.

The game the developed in to a tousy battle with few chances and the tackles flying in as both sides battle to control the midfield. A good run down the left from Josh Watt created a chance for the visitor’s but he shot into the side netting. Rangers doubled their lead four minutes before the break with a great strike, Robbie Crawford touched on Matty Clarke’s cross from the left, and Josh Robinson sent a looping shot over Stewart into the top corner.

Right on the half-time whistle a Steven Hetherington corner from the right had Alan Smith under pressure and the Rangers keeper did well to turn the ball over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Motherwell 0

A glaring error from keeper Stewart in the opening minute gifted Rangers a third goal and presented Josh Robinson with his hat-trick, the keeper came from his goal to make what looked a routine clearance but his fresh air swipe left the Rangers striker the simple task of knocking the ball into the empty net. Rangers then went further ahead just before the hour mark, the Motherwell defence failed to deal with Matty Clarke’s free-kick from the right and the ball found its way to the back post where Adel Gafaiti was well placed to net from close range.

Four minutes later Rangers scored a fifth that had both a touch of brilliance and a touch of luck. A superb piece of control on the edge of the box by Robbie Crawford was followed by a great strike which beat Stewart all ends up, rebounded of the crossbar and off the back of the stranded keeper and rolled the line. The home side were looking for more goals and when Gregor Fotheringham’s cross from the left was cleared to the edge of the box, keeper Stewart saved Robbie Crawford’s shot low to his left.

With six minutes remaining Rangers scored a sixth, another slip from keeper Stewart, this time failing to gather Barrie McKay’s free-kick from the left and when the ball bounced Jamie Burrows hooked the ball goalwards and it crossed the line before a ‘Well defender booted clear. Before the final whistle the visitor’s notched a consolation goal, from a cross from the right Adam Cummins header bounced off the crossbar and was cleared out to the right touchline, when the ball was delivered back into the box and knocked back across goal Kim Skogsrud bundled over Euan Murray for a penalty,striker Lee Erwin stepped up to beat Alan Smith from the spot to complete the scoring.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Motherwell 1

Rangers:- Alan Smith; Kyle McAusland, Adel Gafaiti (Andy Murdoch 69mins), Kim Skogsrud; Gregor Fotheringham, Kamil Wiktorski, Robbie Crawford, Tom Skogsrud (Aaron McGregor 74mins), Matty Clark; Barrie McKay, Josh Robinson (Jamie Burrows 55mins)

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (Gk), Darren Ramsay, Stuart Urquhart, Fraser Aird.

Motherwell:- Ross Stewart; Nicky Devlin, Euan Murray, Adam Cummins, Zane Francis Angol;Josh Watt (Darren Brownlie 74mins), Adam Ashgar, Steven Hetherington, Herman Mbo Mekonga (Kieran McDonald 62mins); Kieran McGachie (Craig Moore 58mins), Lee Erwin.

Not Used:- Reece Murray, Jack Leitch, Dominic Thomas

Does Playing In Scotland Hinder Youth Development ?

March 28, 2012

When Rangers recently played Dundee United at Tannadice manager Ally McCoist came in for some criticism when he decided to name only five substitutes. “There must be a couple of youth players worth a place on the bench”, was the cry from many quarters. Of course Rangers still met their obligation of having three under 21 players in the squad.

Was this particular to McCoist and Rangers or was it reflected through the rest of the SPL. So I had a look at the last lineup of all 12 SPL clubs and of the 164 players used, only 3 could have played in their club’s youth league fixtures.  Clark Robertson of Aberdeen who has been pretty much a regular, and Motherwell duo Stewart Carswell and Adam Cummins, Carswell has made quite a few appearances while Cummins was making his debut.

The percentage of youth players in the SPL clubs lineups was 1.8%, a pretty low figure, or was it ? How does it compare to other European leagues ? To carry out a similar study of other leagues would be a mammoth task, where as I could tell with a glance at a SPL lineup who is a youth player, looking at any other league would require a more in-depth investigation. I decided by looking at recent Under 19 international squads it would give a snapshot and a wee insight.

I decided to look at countries based on their club coefficients, as some higher ranked countries players don’t developing through their domestic league, Republic of Ireland for example. Most of their youth players would be attached to English clubs. There are also other factors to consider, obviously it would be more difficult to break through at an English Premier League Side than one in the Finnish Veikkausliiga.

The validity of this also has to be qualified a wee bit, the availability of data is not uniform across all leagues and there may be one or two players playing above the under 19 squad (if you were looking at this last season, Jack Wilshere for example), although I can’t think of any at the moment.

There are a couple of other factors to  take on board, the reserve sides in Germany and Spain play inthe lower divisions in a pyramid structure and in England the youth leagues stop at a younger age, so when players across Europe are still playing for their club’s youth sides, English youngsters are playing reserve football or have gone out on loan.

The findings were pretty surprising and Scotland fared pretty well in comparison in my opinion. Across all countries they were some players that made only one or two top team appearances and these were generally late in games as a substitute, the best example of this being Inter Milan’s Lorenzo Crisetig who’s only top team appearance was as a last-minute substitute in Inter’s Champions League game against CSKA Moscow.

Looking at the big five countries, Spain comes top with a third of their squad having La Liga experience, with Athletico Bilbao’s Jonas Ramalho and Malaga’s Juanmi Jimanez making an impressive 23 appearances. Added to this are others who have been developing at a decent level through the clubs B teams.

One thing that England, France and Germany have in common is that their national youths squads have significant representation from clubs not in the top division. France and Germany have a similar profile in the spread of top team appearances with Markus Mendler of FC Nuremburg and Kurt Zouma of St.Etienne making the biggest impact. Outings in the top division from the England squad is rare, but players from the Championship have made the breakthrough and the loan system means that more that three quarters of the squad have played first team football in one of the four divisions.Italy’s squad is almost exclusively from Serie A clubs and selection for the first team at their clubs have been very limited with nobody making a real impact.

With Portugal ahead of France in the latest club rankings I was surprised that of two Sporting Lisbon players have managed to step up from under 19’s to first team at club level. Perhaps the fact that Brazilians can get easy access to the Portuguese league is a factor and it is significant that Benfica recently fielded a side in the Champions League without any Portuguese players.

Holland has always been associated with the development of young players and with more than half the squad with a top team appearance to their name you would think the trendy continues, but the top of the list, Ajax’s Davy Klaasen has only appeared six times.

So how does Scotland fare ? Well of the of the thirty top European Leagues the under 19 player with the most top team appearances by a long way is a Scot. Aberdeen’s Fraser Fyvie on 54 top team games, which is an incredible figure when you consider he was out with a cruciate injury for a long period. His nearest challenger being Harvard Nielsen of Valerenga in Norway who is a long way behind on 31.

With 44% of the Scotland 19’s having played in the top division, we come near the top, matching Greece and only behind Holland, Croatia, Norway and Finland. With Norway, Croatia and Greece having the most impressive stats when you look at the number of top division games across their squads.

As I say it is only a snapshot of the 19’s squads at that particular time and the overall figures across the leagues could be entirely different. The real picture of these squads will only appear in five or six years times, individuals develop at different rates, some of these will make full international level and most won’t, and others that were never even considered could emerge as the real talents.

In conclusion I don’t think Scotland is such a bad place for youngsters to progress and ultimately if they have the talent and dedication they will make it anyway.

Data spreadsheet below.


Late Leveller For Saints

March 24, 2012

St.Mirren 1 Rangers 1

A goal three minutes from time gave St.Mirren a deserved draw in this morning’s under 17 game at Ralston this morning. With seven second years unavailable due to International commitments and injury it was a young Rangers starting lineup. The St. Mirren side included former Rangers, Jack Donaldson and Jack Baird.

Rangers had to make an early change when an attempted over head kick from a St.Mirren player caught Greg Pascazio full on the face and he had to be replaced by Scott Lochrie. The substitute then came close on twenty minutes, a free header from Dylan Dykes corner from the right was only just over. The home side  came close just before the half-hour from a long-range Barry Cuddy effort that just cleared the bar.

It was another long-range effort that tested Liam Kelly, this time from Jordan Stewart which the Rangers keeper saved low to his left. A quick break on thirty-two minutes saw Rangers take the lead, Jamie Mills breaking through the inside left channel into the box and shooting across Gary Whyte into the far corner.

Jordan Wilson the broke forward from defence before letting fly from thirty yards and was only just wide of Whyte’s right hand post. The theme of long-range efforts continued, this time at the other end from Connor Lynass which Liam Kelly save to his right. A superb chip from the right hand angle of the box from Kieran Woods looked netbound until Liam Kelly dived to his right and got the slightest touch to divert the ball wide.

At the other end Dylan Dykes passed to Gloady Ntumba on the left and the striker cut inside before forcing a save from Whyte low to his left.

Half-Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers 1

Chances after the break were few until the final fifteen minutes when the home side pushed for an equaliser, Jordan Wilson was hesitant allowing Chris Paton to break into the right hand side of the box and he was only denied by a great challenge from Craig Halkett. A couple of minutes later Barry Cuddy played the ball up to Chris Paton and his return pass sat up nicely for Barry Cuddy to shoot and the ball rebounded from the cross bar.

The home side drew level with three minutes remaining, a corner from the right was headed back across goal where Chris Paton was well placed to score from close range. Rangers tried to reply and when Dylan Dykes free-kick from the right hand touchline was cleared to the edge of the box, Robert McLardie’s effort was touched round his left hand post by keeper Whyte. The keeper was then well placed to save from Robert McLardie again when the defender got his head to Dylan Dykes corner.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 1

St.Mirren:- Gary Whyte; Jack Donaldson, Jack Baird (Josh McArthur), Mark Williams, Jordan Stewart; Adam Brown, Kieran Woods (Michael ?????), Barry Cuddy, Lewis ?????; Chris Paton, Connor Lynass (Paul ?????)

Rangers:- Liam Kelly (Sam George); Craig Halkett, Greg Pascazio (Scott Lochrie), Jordan Wilson, Ross Kellock (Luke Hammond); Kjled McIntyre (Robert McLardie), Tom Walsh, Dylan Dykes, Jamie Mills; Danny Stoney, Gloady Ntumba.

Scotland 17’s Open With A Win

March 20, 2012

Scotland 1 Lithuania 0

A header midway through the second half from Celtic’s Stuart Findlay was enough to give Scotland’s Under 17’s a win in their opening game in Group 6 of the UEFA Under 17 Championship Qualifiers Elite Round. It was no more than the youngsters deserved as they were pretty much in control for the eighty minutes.

The first effort on goal came on twelve minutes, following an attack down the left when the ball was cleared from the Lithuanian box Charlie Telfer fired a shot just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. A minute later Lewis Kidd broke into the left hand side of the box after a one-two with Islam Feruz, shot across the keeper and wide of the far post.

After a quarter hour’s play Scotland carved out a chance after good play down the left, Stephen Hendrie’s cross found Cameron Smith at the back post and his close range effort was deflected over. A superb passing move involving several of the Scotland team looked to have created the opener when Cameron Smith played in Islam Feruz but the Chelsea striker fired high and wide.

As the half hour approached the visitor’s defence struggled to clear and Lewis Kidd pounced to set up a chance for Islam Feruz who shot narrowly over.  Five minutes before the break the Lithuanians finally threatened the Scotland goal, Deimantas Petravicius free-kick from all of thirty-five yards had plenty power but was straight at Ryan Crump.

A few minutes later Skirmantas Rakauskas passed to Petravicius on the right and when he cut inside it spelled danger for the home side until Stuart Urquhart blocked his shot on goal. Right on the half-time whistle Lewis Kidd  passed to Islam Feruz on the left hand angle of the box, he went passed a defender before forcing a save from Marius Suvaizdis low to his left.

Half-Time:- Scotland 0 Lithuania 0

Scotland were still dominant territorially  without creating the same chances in the early stages of the second half and just after the hour the visitors created their best chance. Erikas Skripkinas made progress on the right and found Tadas Lekeckas inside the box, when he side stepped a defender a goal looked likely but Ryan Crump stood tall and made a fine block.

A few minutes later Scotland scored what proved to be the decisive goal, when the ball was cleared from the penalty area following a free-kick it was picked up on the left by Cameron Smith, he sent a cross back into the penalty area where Stuart Findlay sent a lopping header over Suvaizdis and into the net.

Full-Time:- Scotland 1 Lithuania 0

Scotland:- Ryan Crump (Liverpool); Ryan Finnie (Hamilton Accies),Stuart Urquhart (Rangers), Stuart Findlay (Celtic), Stephen Hendrie (Hamilton Accies); Cameron Smith (Aberdeen), Charlie Telfer (Rangers), Darren Petrie (Dundee United), Lewis Kidd (Celtic),Craig Sibbald (Falkirk); Islam Feruz (Chelsea)

Subs:- Jamie Lindsay (Celtic) (For Telfer 56mins), Fraser Aird (Rangers) (For Sibbald 62mins), Denny Johnstone(Celtic) (For Feruz 67mins).

Not Used:- Jordan Hart(Gk) (Celtic), Kyle Turnbull (Falkirk), Darren Ramsay(Rangers), Andy Murdoch (Rangers)

Lithuania:- Marius Suvaizdis (National Academy); Lukas Pangonis (National Academy), Edvinas Dambrauskas (National Academy), Julius Aleksandravicius (National Academy), Justas Raziunas (National Academy); Erikas Skripkinas (FM Kaunas), Gabrielius Judickas (National Academy), Tomas Dombrauskis (Leicester City), Deimantas Petravicius (Notts Forest); Skirmantas Rakauskas (National Academy), Simonas Stankevicius (Leicester City).

Subs:- Tadas Lekeckas (National Academy) (For Rakuaskas HT), Aivaras Meskinis (Panevezys Academy) (For Dambrauskas 53mins), Vykintas Slivka (Panevezys Academy) (For Skripkinas 69mins)

Not Used:- Edgaras Jonaitis (Gk) (National Academy), Rolandas Baravykas (FC Siauliai), Darius Kazubovicius (National Academy), Kevinas Pavlijus (Panevezys Academy)

17’s Crash At Lesser Hampden

March 19, 2012

Queen’s Park 3 Rangers 0

Rangers under 17’s turned in a poor performance at Lesser Hampden tonight, going down to an impressive Queen’s Park side, who were unfortunate not to win the reverse fixture at Murray Park earlier in the season.

The first incident of note came on fourteen minutes when Gloady Ntumba was brought down at the edge of the box, I’m not one to look for red cards in youth games but it was certainly a goal scoring opportunity and the referee did the Queen’s Park defender a favour by only showing a yellow card, Dylan Dykes took the resultant free-kick which deflected off the wall and over.

The home side took the lead not long after the half hour mark, the Rangers defence failed to clear a corner from the left and in the ensuing scramble the home side claimed the ball had crossed the line, the officials initially waved play on and but when the ball was knocked out of play the referee consulted his linesman and awarded a goal. Five minutes before the break a free kick midway inside the Rangers half was taken by former Ranger Blair Spittal and he found a colleague free inside the box who knocked the ball wide of Liam Kelly’s left hand post.

Rangers only reply was a long-range drive from Jordan Wilson which was only just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. A minute before the break Rangers gifted the home side a second, with little danger Jordan Wilson had possession in the left back position and elected to pass the ball back to his keeper but failed to notice the Queen’s Park striker lurking inside the box and he had the simple chance to poke the ball past the stranded Liam Kelly.

Half-Time:- Queen’s Park 2 Rangers 0

The second half started in the same fashion, with the home side in the ascendancy, from some neat play down the right a dangerous cross had Rangers keeper Liam Kelly scrambling to kick the ball clear. Ten minutes had passed  when the home side extended their lead, cutting in from the right the shot across Liam Kelly found the bottom corner.

Two minutes later another attack down the right and pass inside created a shooting chance from twenty-five yards which  bounced of Liam Kelly’s right hand post with the keeper beaten. Rangers were denied a goal on the hour mark, Danny Stoney broke towards the box and was brought down right on the 18 yard line, the ball fell kindly for Dylan Dykes who shot past the keeper into the net, but the referee pulled play back and awarded a free kick, which Tom Walsh fired high over.

As the game entered the final twenty minutes good play on the right from Danny Stoney created a good chance for Kjeld McIntyre but his shot was deflected just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.  Rangers suffered another blow when Craig Halkett had to leave the field with suspected concussion leaving the Ibrox side to play out the final ten minutes with ten men.  The final minute saw Rangers confirm it was a bad night when Dylan Dykes sent Danny Stoney through on goal, a consolation goal looked likely but the Rangers striker shot wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Full-Time:- Queen’s Park 3 Rangers 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Craig Halkett, Greg Pascazio, Jordan Wilson; Luke Hammond (Kjeld McIntyre 46mins), Dylan Dykes, Tom Walsh, Jamie Mills (Ross Kellock 71mins); Danny Stoney, Gloady Ntumba (Scott Lochrie 55mins)

Not Used:- Sam George (Gk), Robert McLardie

15’s Entertain Raith Rovers

March 18, 2012

Rangers 3 Raith Rovers 1

This weekend’s fix of youth football was provided by Eddie May’s Under 15’s when they took on Raith Rovers at Murray Park this morning. As is the norm for this age group the game was played over three, thirty minute periods and it wasn’t until the final period that the Rangers youngsters made the game secure.

The first chance came after seven minutes when the Raith Rovers defence failed to deal with a through ball and Ryan Hardie found himself through on goal, the Rangers striker was denied when the keeper blocked with his foot. The ball  went out to Lewis Morgan on the left who took on the full-back and hit the byline, his cross broke to Ben Reilly who despite lying on the ground was only just wide of the right hand post with his effort.

Three minutes later Scott Lochhead played a short corner to Lewis Morgan and his effort from the right hand side of the box was only just over. Just before the quarter-hour Rangers took the lead, Steven Chatterton’s cross from the right saw Ryan Hardie’s superb first touch take him clear of a defender before shooting pat the keeper.

A couple of minutes later only a great save denied Ryan Hardie a second when Junior ????? sent him through, the keeper getting enough on his shot to divert the ball over the bar. Raith had a great chance to draw level on twenty minutes, Nathan Gallagher was adjudged to have fouled the Raith player inside the box, Jamie Wilson diving to his left to make a fine save from the penalty and keep Rangers ahead.

In the first minute of the second period Scott Lochhead broke from midfield but his shot from around twenty-five yards was straight at the keeper. A one-two between Callum Shippcott and Ben Reilly created the next chance with the keeper saving the former’s effort from a tight angle.

RaithRovers weren’t out of things and created a chance on the right hand side of Rangers penalty area with Jamie Wilson saving to his left. Five minutes before the end of the period the visitor’s defence were struggling to clear and the keeper had to look sharp to save at the feet of Ben Reilly. Rovers immediately broke to the other end and their midfielder tried his luck from distance which Jamie Wilson saved comfortably.

Right on the whistle Michael Mossie broke from defence and played the ball out to Ben Reilly on the left, after taking on the full-back his cross had the keeper beaten before bouncing off the face of the crossbar.

In the opening minute of the final period Rangers doubled their lead, Hussain Kaware sending Ryan Hardie clear to carry on into the box and shoot past the keeper. The Raith keeper then stretched to tip over a Ben Reilly effort from the right hand side of the box. Rangers were now keeping the keeper busy  and he threw himself to the right to touch Steven Chatterton’s long-range shot round the post.

Ten minutes into the period a  great forward run from Steven Chatterton took him to the byline on the right , his cross into the box broke to Hussain Kaware with his back to goal, his improvised back heel was diverted on to the right hand post by a defender on the line. Two minutes later Rangers scored a third, Lewis Morgan’s pass from the left found Adam Wilson at the edge of the box and his reverse pass played in Hussain Kaware to shoot past the keeper.

As the game entered the final ten minutes the visitor’s got their consolation goal, their central defender rising to head home a corner from the right.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Raith Rovers 1

Rangers Squad:- Jamie Wilson (Gk), Max Currie (Gk), Steven Chatterton, Nathan Gallagher, David Brownlie, Michael Mossie, Adam Wilson, Lewis Morgan, Junior ?????, Ryan Hardie, Scott Lochhead, Ben Reilly, Callum Shippcott, Hussain Kaware.

Hutchison Vale Visit Murray Park

March 15, 2012

Rangers U12’s 6 Hutchison Vale U13’s 1

Top Edinburgh boys club Hutchison Vale brought their under 13’s side through to Murray Park tonight to provide a test for Rangers under 12’s. The younger Rangers side emerging as comfortable winners in an entertaining game.

Two thirds of the first half-hour period had passed before Rangers took the lead, Stephen Kelly’s pass splitting the visitor’s defence and sending Zak Rudden clear to run on and shoot past the keeper. A second goal almost followed a few minutes later, Dylan Patterson passed the ball inside to Zak Rudden who’s neat back heel gave a shooting chance to Cameron Palmer and his effort was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

The goal was only delayed a couple of minutes, Aaron Reid cut in from the left before passing across the box where Zak Rudden touched the ball on to Aaron Mooney coming in from the right to shoot past the keeper. The boys club side had an excellent chance to pull a goal back just before the end of the period when they were awarded a penalty, but the spot-kick was fired high over the bar.

Rangers got a penalty of their own in the first minute of the second period when Zak Rudden was fouled inside the box, Stephen Kelly stepped up to beat the keeper. Less than ten minutes later it was number four, Rory ????? started the move with a pass out to Aaron Mooney on the right, as he attacked the full-back he passed inside to Dylan Patterson who found the net from the edge of the box.

The next goal came at the end of a flowing move, the ball was moved from Aaron Mooney on the right via Dylan Patterson to Stephen Kelly and  when he passed into the box Zak Rudden got a touch to knock it past the keeper. The sixth goal was to follow before the end of the second period, Andy Boyd chased a ball towards the byline on the right and just kept it in before delivering a cross for Cameron Kerr to head past the keeper.

The main talking point in the final period came in the early minutes, when the Rangers keeper came to the edge of the box and fouled the Hutchy Vale striker the referee awarded a free-kick and stunned everyone watching by showing the keeper a red card. So despite this being an U12/U13 friendly  the referee failed to show any common sense, perhaps there was a supervisor watching. From the free-kick Hutchison Vale were denied when the ball rebounded from the left hand post.

They did get their consolation goal before the end, from a pass through the middle of the Rangers defence the attacker held off a challenge before shooting past the keeper.

Rangers Squad :- Lewis  Muir (Gk), Darren Montgomery (Gk), Lyall Smith, Rhys  Breen, Rory ?????, Jack Thomson, Cameron Palmer, Aaron Mooney, Stephen Kelly, Dylan Patterson, Zak Rudden, Aaron  Reid, Lewis Mayo, Cameron Wray, Cameron Kerr, Andy Boyd, Matthew Shiels, Jack Pow.

Glasgow Cup Win Over Clyde

March 14, 2012

Rangers 5 Clyde 0

With both sides agreeing to field under 16’s teams at Murray Park, it was an opportunity for some of the younger players to start a Glasgow Cup tie. It was a comfortable win for the home side, with a couple of late goals making the final score a little harsh on the Clyde youngsters.

On eight minutes a Tom Walsh corner from the left had Cameron Cairney stretching and the keeper did well to claw the ball away from under the bar. A minute later Rangers took the lead, Greg Pascazio’s pass from defence sent Jamie Mills down the left and the full-back’s cross was headed past Cairney byScott Lochrie.

On the quarter hour mark Dylan Dykes played the ball up to Gloady Ntumba and when he laid the ball back into the midfielder’s path he fired a shot narrowly over. Midway through the half Dylan Dykes headed a Tom Walsh corner form the right back across goal and Robert McLardie shot just wide of Cairney’s right hand post.

A few minutes later Luke Hammond cut in from the left before passing to Dylan Dykes who’s shot was straight at Cairney. Five minutes before the break a short pass back from Jamie Mills gave Darren O’Neill a chance to run down Liam Kelly, but the ball broke clear from the challenge. Just before the half-time whistle Gloady Ntumba won the ball out on the right touchline, he cut inside before passing to  Scott Lochrie who moved it on to Danny Stoney and only a superb challenge from Alan Hogg denied the Rangers striker.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Clyde 0

Five minutes after the break a quick Danny Stoney free-kick gave Dylan Dykes a great chance inside the box, but he had to settle for a corner when Euan Ramsey made a last ditch block. From Tom Walsh’s corner Greg Pascazio’s header looked netbound until Cairney dived to his right to parry.

Just before the hour mark Rangers doubled their lead, Tom Walsh released Dylan Dykes inside the box and when keeper Cairney dived at the feet of the Rangers player the ball broke back to Tom Walsh who knocked the ball into the empty net. A couple of minutes later a great Danny Stoney reverse pass sent Dylan Dykes through on goal and he ran on to shoot past Cairney.

A solo run from Scott Lochrie took him past three Clyde defenders  to set up a great chance from Gloady Ntumba with keeper Cairney quick from his line to make a fine block. As the game entered the final ten minutes Tom Walsh created a chance for Danny Stoney on the right hand side of the penalty area with keeper Cairney diving to his right to save.

The vistor’s keeper was soon in action again, Jamie Mills powered forward before exchanging passes with Kjeld McIntyre to break into the box and bring out another save from Cairney. With three minutes remaining another powerful run from Jamie Mills took him to the byline on the left, from his cross Gloady Ntumba blasted the ball past Cairney from close range.

Clyde tried to reply through substitute Keiran Blair and his shot from the right hand angle of the box kept Liam Kelly on his toes with the Rangers keeper saving low to his left. The scoring was complete in the final minute when Kjeld McIntyre’s reverse pass sent Danny Stoney through on goal, the Rangers striker waited on Cairney making his move before lifting the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Clyde 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon (Steven Chatterton 64mins), Robert McLardie (Ross Kellock 46mins), Greg Pascazio, Jamie Mills; Danny Stoney, Scott Lochrie, Tom Walsh, Dylan Dykes, Luke Hammond (Kjeld McIntyre 55mins); Gloady Ntumba.
Not Used:- Jamie Wilson (Gk), David Brownlie, Nathan Gallagher, Ben Reilly.
Clyde:- Cameron Cairney; Jamie Blades, Alan Hogg, Euan Ramsey, Jon Forrest; Peter Copeland, Daryl Dick (Kieran Blair 69mins), Nathan Moore, Reece Glackin, Vinny Newlands (Chris Banks 57mins); Darren O’Neill (Ethan McCann 76mins).

Youths Held By Saints

March 10, 2012

St.Mirren 0 Rangers o

A midday kick-off saw a goalless, but entertaining draw at McKenna Park today, there were chances at both ends with Rangers probably edging in quantity and certainly had the clearest chances.

The home side came close to taking the lead in the seventh minute, Jon Scullion took possession at the edge of the box and played it Kieran Dorans on the right, he cut inside before returning the ball to Jon Scullion and his shot came back of Alan Smith’s left hand post with the keeper beaten. Six minutes later Barrie McKay went past Michael Fulton on the left hand byline, his cutback found Robbie Crawford who failed to connect cleanly and keeper Gary Whyte turned the ball round his left hand post.

Two minutes later Rangers missed a great chance to take the lead, Kyle McAusland played the ball up to Barrie McKay on the right , his ball into the box found Robbie Crawford in the clear, he tried to dink the ball past the advancing Whyte who showed good reactions to block and the home defence scrambled clear. The home side tried to reply when Jon Scullion combined with Thomas Reilly to set up a shooting chance for the former that Alan Smith saved comfortably.

Midway through the half a corner from the left was cleared from the penalty area and Lewis McLeod tried his luck from all of twenty-five yards with keeper Whyte diving to his right to turn the ball wide of the post. Ten minutes before the break the woodwork again came to Rangers rescue, Jack Smith and Adel Gafaiti challenged for Ross Meechan’s cross from the right, the ball broke to the edge of the left hand side of the penalty box from where Sean Kelly beat Alan Smith only to see the ball hit the keeper’s left hand post and roll across goal.

Five minutes later Kamil Wiktorski broke forward from midfield and let fly from all of twenty-five yards, keeper Whyte failed to hold on to the shot but Jason Naismith was well placed to clear.

Half-Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers o

Four minutes after the break St.Mirren had a great chance to take the lead, Kieran Dorans cut in from the right and his reverse pass sent Thomas Reilly clear inside the box and just when he looked certain to find the net Alan Smith came off his line to make a fine block.  Straight to the other end and that left hand post was prominent again, from Matty’s Clarke’s throw-in Lewis McLeod turned a defender and his shot from the left hand angle of the box beat Whyte all ends up, before rebounding from the post and rolling across goal.

A minute later Lewis McLeod picked the ball up im midfield and his long-range effort was narrowly wide of Whyte’s right hand post. The next effort called the home keeper into action again, this time from a Fraser Aird free-kick from the left hand angle of the box and Whyte dived to his right to divert for a corner.

Midway through the half Rangers looked certain to take the lead, the Saints defence failed to deal with a ball towards their box and Lewis McLeod found himself with time and space inside the penalty area, it looked like the Rangers midfielder was picking his spot until Whyte came out to make a fine save. As the game entered the final quarter of an hour Lewis McLeod played the ball up to Barrie McKay at the edge of the box but his shot was straight a keeper Whyte.

With five minutes to go Rangers missed the chance of the match, Robbie Crawford gained possession close to the byline on the right and from his pass across goal Kamil Wiktorski looked certain to score but from all  of six yards his shot cannoned of the cross-bar and clear.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 0 Rangers o

St.Mirren:- Gary Whyte; Ross Meechan, Michael Fulton, Jason Naismith, Sean Kelly; Kieran Dorans (Kieran Woods 88mins),Frankie Owens, Alan Cairns (Chris Paton 75mins), Jack Smith (David MacAlinden 63mins); Thomas Reilly, Jon Scullion.

Not Used:- Hashim Cole

Rangers:- Alan Smith; Kyle McAusland, Adel Gafaiti, Stuart Urquhart, Matty Clarke; Darren Ramsay, Kamil Wiktorski, Lewis McLeod, Fraser Aird (Gregor Fotheringham 78mins); Barrie McKay, Robbie Crawford.

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (Gk), Tom Skogsrud, Kim Skogsrud, Aaron McGregor.


Firhill Win For Youths

March 7, 2012

Partick Thistle 0 Rangers 2

Rangers Under 17’s had to work hard to secure their win in the Glasgow Cup section game at Firhill tonight, they came up against  a Thistle side determined to avoid a defeat similar to the one suffered at Murray Park a few weeks ago.

The home side had the better of the early stages without really threatening to trouble Liam Kelly in the Rangers goal and the first close call came at the other end after sixteen minutes. When Tom Walsh was fouled just outside the right hand side of the penalty box Stuart Urquhart stepped up to send a strike thundering of the cross-bar with Marc Watters in the Thistle goal helpless.

Less than ten minutes later Rangers took the lead, when a free-kick delivered from the right was cleared from the Thistle box Fraser Aird knocked the ball back and found Jamie Burrows in space inside the area, Marc Watters did well to block the striker’s shot with his legs but was left stranded as Tom Walsh knocked the ball into the empty net.

Four minutes later Rangers doubled their lead when goalscorer Tom Walsh turned creator, his superb pass inside the Thistle defender found Charlie Telfer inside the box and he coolly side-stepped a defender before firing past Watters.

Half-Time:- Partick Thistle 0 Rangers 2

The home side came close to reducing the deficit in the opening minute of the second half, frpm a short corner on the left the ball was delivered into the box and the resultant header was deflected just wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post. With just over twenty minutes remaining a superb save from Watters kept Thistle in the match, Charlie Telfer’s low free-kick from the right was cleared to the edge of the box where Dylan Dykes shot was diverted goalwards by Gloady Ntumba, with the keeper diving low to his right to turn the ball wide.

With five minutes to go Jamie Burrows chased a Kris Gibson long ball and keeper Watters was quick to leave his penalty area to clear, his clearance setup a Thistle attack down the left flank and when the ball was played into the box their substitute had a great chance to score but his effort was wide of Lima Kelly’s left hand post.

Full-Time:- Partick Thistle 0 Rangers 2

Partick Thistle:- Marc Watters; Chris ?????, Euan Conroy, Liam Lindsay, Declan Hannaway; Gary Hynes, Kyle Doherty, Lee Gallagher, Dominic Farrell; Martin Maguire, Yamikani Misanjo.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Kris Gibson, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson (Ross Kellock 70mins); Charlie Telfer, Fraser Aird (Dylan Dykes 68mins), Darren Ramsay (Danny Stoney 59mins), Tom Walsh; Jamie Burrows, Gloady Ntumba.

Not Used:- Sam George (Gk), Jamie Mills, Kjeld McIntyre, Scott Lochrie.