Youths Play At Ibrox

With the last home game played last week and before work begins on the pitch Rangers youth squads and their Stenhousemuir opponents got the opportunity to play at Ibrox. Saturday saw a festival of football with three games, it all started with the under 17’s at 10am, followed by the 15’s at 1pm and finished with the under 14’s at 3.45pm. Tomorrow will see the under 13’s play at Ibrox, but with the final league game at Perth tomorrow, I won’t make it along.

Rangers 5 Stenhousemuir 1

The under 17’s kicked things off in the morning with the small crowd accommodated in the director’s box. The Ibrox youngsters took an early lead after seven minutes, Craig Halkett rising to glance a header past the keeper when Tom Walsh swung in a free-kick from the right. The lead was doubled on the quarter-hour mark, Andy Murdoch winning possession just outside the left hand angle of the box and curling a shot over the keeper and into the net.

Ten minutes later the Stenhousemuir keeper was put under pressure from a pass back and Andy Murdoch’s effort of was just wide of the right hand post. From a throw-in on the left Jamie Mills gained possession near the byline and cut the ball back to Dylan Dykes who shot across goal and wide of the post.

Ten minutes before the break Dylan Dykes played Gloady Ntumba through but he was crowded out by the keeper and two defenders who combined to force the ball out for a corner. From the flag kick Gloady Ntumba headed towards the back post where Jordan Wilson’s volley was cleared off the line.

Rangers continued to dominate and Andy Murdoch send Tom Walsh down the right,  his low cross into the box found Charlie Telfer arriving at the back post to force a fine save from the visitor’s keeper.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Stenhousemuir 0

Rangers were soon back on the attack after the break, Fraser Aird breaking through midfield before playing in Danny Stoney on the right hand side of the box and the Rangers striker forced a fine save from the keeper. A minute later the home side extended their lead, a great spot and kick out from keeper Liam Kelly sent Tom Walsh clear, he rounded the keeper as he came to the edge of his box, his shot looked to be going across goal but a Stenhousemuir defender knocked it into the net when attempting to clear for an Own Goal.

Next to threaten the Stennie goal was Danny Stoney and his effort from the edge of the box was only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post after Tom Walsh setup the chance. As the final ten minutes approached the visitor’s pulled one back, the ball was crossed in from the left and a looping header dropped over Liam Kelly and into the net.

Rangers put a better reflection on the score sheet by adding two goals in the final three minutes. First the ball was worked across the box from right to left, Danny Stoney onto Lewis Morgan who played in Tom Walsh to shoot past the keeper. The scoring was complete when Craig Halkett headed his second form another free-kick this time delivered by Charlie Telfer from the right.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Stenhousemuir 1

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon (Kjeld McIntyre 42mins), Craig Halkett, Jordan Wilson, Ross Kellock (Robert McLardie 75mins); Tom Walsh, Andy Murdoch (Lewis Morgan 75mins), Charlie Telfer, Jamie Mills (Scott Lochrie 68mins); Dylan Dykes (Fraser Aird 46mins), Gloady Ntumba (Danny Stoney 46mins)

Rangers 3 Stenhousemuir 1

After a visit to the Copland Diner for refreshments it was back at 1pm for the next instalment, the under 15’s. The crowd was now housed in the west enclosure and the game started in a similar vein to the earlier game with Rangers on the attack. Central defender Michael Mossie heading narrowly wide when Josh Jeffries sent in a free-kick from the right.

Eleven minutes were on the clock when Rangers took the lead, an enterprising run down the right from Steven Chatterton took him to the byline, his low cross was knocked up into the air by a defender and Adam Wilson was well placed to volley past the keeper. Two minutes later a superb finish from Josh Jeffries doubled Rangers lead, a poor clearance from the keeper was collected by the midfielder who sent the ball soaring over the keeper’s head from fully thirty-five yards.

Another superb piece of skill from Josh Jeffries, when the ball was delivered into the box his superb first touch created the chance but his shot came back off the keeper’s right hand post. Midway through the half Rangers keeper Jamie Wilson was called into action, stretching to tip a free-kick from the left hand angle of the box over the bar.

Stenhousemuir were having their best spell and following an attack down the left Jamie Wilson did well to parry the low cross and the Stennie striker blazed the rebound over. The Rangers keeper was called into action again when a free-kick swung in from the left was deflected goalwards, Jamie Wilson dived to turn the ball wide, low at his left hand post. Almost immediately Adam Wilson’s pass sent Ryan Hardie through in the inside right channel and the keeper made a fine save low to his right.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Stenhousemuir 0

Four minutes after the break Stenhousemuir were back in the match, good play on the left created the chance for a cross and the low ball was converted from the edge of the six yard box. The game then went through a period when chances were few until the hour mark when the visitor’s had a twenty-five yard effort deflected narrowly over. At the other end Nathan Gallagher passed inside to Ryan Smith  and his shot from the edge of the box was saved by the keeper low to his left.

Ten minutes before the final whistle Nathan Gallagher won the ball at the edge of the box but his effort was just too high. Rangers made the game safe with a couple of minutes remaining, when Ryan Hardie’s shot from inside the box was blocked the Stennie defence had a few opportunities to clear but didn’t take them and the ball eventually fell kindly for Scott Walker who netted from close range.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Stenhousemuir 1

Rangers Squad:- Jamie Wilson (Gk), Steven Chatterton, Keir Whitfield, Michael Mossie, David Brownlie, Junior Ogen, Ryan Hardie, Adam Wilson, Hussein Kaware, Josh Jeffries, Ben Reilly, Ryan Smith, Scott Walker, Nathan Gallagher, Cammy Ferrier

Rangers 5 Stenhousemuir o

Two games and our Scottish weather was taking its toll, so it was off to KFC for a  black coffee to heat me up before returning for the under 14’s game at 3:45 pm, unlike the previous games this game was played over three thirty minute periods. The watching crowd didn’t have long to wait for the opening goal with Rangers taking the lead in the second minute, Cammy Price sending John Cunningham through the inside left channel, and the striker advanced into the box to fire past the keeper.

A similar move almost produced a second, this time it was the inside right channel and the pass was made by Jamie Brandon, John Cunningham almost producing an identical finish only to see his shot come back off the keeper’s right hand post. The Stennie keeper was then called into action diving low to his right to touch Max Ashmore’s free-kick wide of the post.

Rangers and John Cunningham grabbed their second goals just after the half-hour, racing into the box on Jamie Brandon’s pass to shoot past the keeper. At the start of the second period the first chance came when Max Ashmore’s corner found its way to Ross McCrorie at the back post and the Stennie keeper made a fine save from his close range effort.

The visitor’s then created their first real chance when a free kick from the right broke to a Stennie player it took a fine challenge from Jason Krones to deflect the ball for a corner. From the corner Rangers broke quickly to hit Stenhousemuir with a third, Ross Lyon did the bulk of the work breaking from his own half before playing in John Cunningham on the left side of the box, the Stennie keeper dived to his left to parry but was helpless as Reece Cunningham knocked in the rebound from a few yards.

In the third period Rangers were awarded a free kick fully thirty yards out, Max Ashmore played it short to Dennon Fisher who teed up Jason Krones, the defender’s long-range shot coming back off the keeper’s left hand post. Rangers soon scored their fourth, this time from the penalty spot. Ross McCrorie’s pass sent John Cunningham through and he was impeded and he rounded the keeper, Max Ashmore stepped up to net from the spot despite the best efforts from the Stenhousemuir keeper.

Rangers next chance came when Gary McGreish won the ball at the edge of the box, went past a defender before forcing a save from the keeper. The scoring was complete when Gary McGreish attacked the Stennie penalty area on the right, when he was challenged the ball broke kindly for Jamie Brandon to shoot past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Stenhousemuir 0

Rangers Squad:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Jack Gilmour, Ross Lyon, Ross McCrorie, Jason Krones, Max Ashmore, Reece Cunningham, Jamie Brandon, John Cunningham, Cammy Price, Reece Duncan, Rhys Young, Gary McGreish, Dennon Fisher, Reagan Milne, Lewis White.

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