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