This weekend was a good opportunity to take in a few youth games, with five games being played at Murray Park over the two days. Unfortunately kick off times were not staggered and it meant I had to choose, as I normally do when games clash I take in the oldest team’s game.
Rangers 5 Falkirk 4
First up on Saturday saw the under 13’s and under 14’s take on Falkirk, the under 14’s edged out the visitors by the odd goal in nine, I felt they were a little fortunate and a draw may have been a fairer reflection.
The visitor’s were first the to threaten in the opening period, the chance was created on the right hand side of the box and Kieran Wright dived to his right to save. The Bairns then took the lead, following a throw in out side Rangers box on the right, the Rangers defence struggled to clear and after the initial effort was blocked the ball was fired past Kieran Wright and into the net.
Rangers tried to reply when Scott Simpson sent Jack Morgan clear on the ,from his low cross Sam Jamieson was stretching to connect and could only knock it past the keeper’s right hand post. Another Jack Morgan cross from the right found Dean Pitchen in the box and the midfielder’s effort was just wide of the left hand post.
Falkirk then went back up the other end and doubled their lead, a glancing header from a free-kick from the right hand angle of the box gave Kieran Wright no chance. Rangers started the second period on the attack, Sam Jamieson cut in from the left to try his luck with the keeper turning his effort round the left hand post.
Rangers got back into the game when Dean Pitchen rose to power a header from Adam Baird’s cross into the net. The Ibrox youngsters soon drew level from a superb Liam Burt strike, Sam Jamieson controlled Kieran Wright’s clearance and laid it back into Liam Burt’s path, his 25 yard strike sailed over the keeper into the net.
Falkirk then regained their lead as the end of the second period approached, when a free- kick was awarded on the right hand side of the box a superb strike came back off the crossbar but bounced off keeper Kieran Wright and rolled over the line. Rangers almost levelled before the end of the period when Ben Andoh got his head to Liam Burt’s corner from the right but a defender popped up to clear from the line.
Rangers were back on term soon into the third period, when Liam Burt hooked the ball forward Sam Jamieson got himself ahead of the defence before lobbing the advancing keeper and into the net. Rangers were now on the ascendancy and Lewis Fersguson sent Ben Andoh clear in the inside left channel and he advanced into the box to bring a good save from the keeper.
Falkirk were still in the game and when the ball was cleared from the box following a corner from the right it took a fine Kieran Wright save diving to his left to keep the scores level. Back to the other end and some fine play on the left from Euan McMillan created space for the cross and Sam Jamieson’s header was just wide.
The home side moved in front for the first time in the game from the penalty spot. Sam Jamieson showed fine chest control from Liam Burt’s cross from the left, he went down under a challenge from the keeper which the referee judged a penalty and the Rangers striker stepped net from the spot. Rangers then gained a two goal cushion when Ben Andoh was sent clear he unselfishly passed to Sam Jamieson inside the box and he rounded the keeper before knocking the ball into the net.
Falkirk then reduced the deficit from a free- kick wide on the left, the flight of the ball appearing to deceive Kieran Wright as it found the net. The final chance of the game was at the other end, Lewis Ferguson working his way along the right hand byline before finding Ben Andoh who’s shot was saved.
Rangers 5 Falkirk 4
Rangers:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Adam Baird, Scott Simpson, Wallace Duffy, Euan McMillan, Ross Brown, Blair Docherty, Dean Pitchen, Jack Morgan, Lewis Ferguson, Sam Jamieson, Kieran Laing, Grant Nelson, Liam Burt, Ben Andoh
Footnote:- At the same time Rangers under 13’s recorded a 5-2 win over their Falkirk counterparts.
Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 0
Next up was and under 19’s friendly on Sunday morning when Rangers had a narrow but deserved win over Queen’s Park.
There was fully twenty minutes gone before the first real chance of the game, Matty Clarke on the left passed inside to Gregor Fotheringham who moved the ball on to Fraser Aird and his shot from the edge of the box had the Queen’s keeper stretching to tip over. Just over five minutes later a superb turn on the halfway line allowed Fraser Aird to break forward before shooting from 25 yards which the keeper saved comfortably.
Rangers then took the lead just after the half hour, Fraser Aird found Matty Clarke in space on the left and when his cross came in Jamie Burrows rose to head past the keeper. Five minutes later Andy Murdoch won the ball before passing to Jamie Burrows, a superb turn took him clear of the defence and he was only just wide of the left hand post with his effort.
Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 0
Five minutes after the break the visitors who had carried a little threat came close, the play was switched to the right and when the ball was passed inside the shot was just wide of Blair Currie’s right hand post. Five minutes later they missed and even better chance, a cross from wide right midway inside Rangers half found a free player at the back post but his header was straight at Blair Currie.
Just before the hour Rangers missed great chance to double their lead, Andy Murdoch’s ball over the top found Callum Gallagher on the left side of the box, as he cut inside he was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot. Callum Gallagher stepped up but was foiled by a superb save from the Queen’s keeper diving to his right. They were almost made to pay five minutes later, Greg Pascazio got caught when trying to usher the ball over the byline on the left, and the shot from a tight angle was across goal and wide.
A great run from Fraser Aird saw him leave defenders in his wake as he broke into the box and forcing a save from the keeper. The next chance was created by Jamie Mills on the left, going past a defender on the byline and cutting back to Gloady Ntumba who’s effort was blocked by the keepers legs. The same players created the final chance, with a trick taking Gloady Ntumba past a defender on the byline before forcing a save from a narrow angle.
Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 0
Rangers:- Blair Currie (Liam Kelly 75mins), Ryan Sinnamon (Jamie Mills 59mins), Greg Pascazio, Luca Gasparotto, Jordan Wilson; Callum Gallagher (Gloady Ntumba 59mins), Gregor Fotheringham, Andy Murdoch, Matty Clarke; Fraser Aird, Jamie Burrows (Kris Gibson HT)
Rangers 1 Falkirk 2
Sunday afternoon saw Rangers take on Falkirk at under 15’s and a game for under 16’s and 17’s. Rangers were second best in the game I took in against a Falkirk side that passed the ball better and won more comfortably than the scoreline suggests.
Rangers had a couple of early chances, the first coming from a corner from the right, David Brownlie’s header being cleared off the line. A poor clearance was then was then picked up by Adam Wilson and the Falkirk keeper did well to tip over, when the resultant corner was cleared to the edge of the box and Steven Chatterton’s shot was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.
Falkirk then took the lead with a stunning 30 yard shot that flew into the top left hand corner giving Liam Kelly no chance. When Steven Chatterton lost possession on the halfway line one pass through the inside left channel and the Falkirk player was through to shoot past Kelly and double their lead.
Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Falkirk 2
Falkirk really should have scored a third just after the break, a one-two at the edge of the box creating the chance, with the striker through on Kelly he could only shoot wide of the post. Rangers then lost possession following a throw in close to their box on the Falkirk right and the resultant shot was narrowly over.
The visitor’s continued to create chances and following another attack down the right when the shot came in it took a superb block from David Brownlie to avert the danger. The home side then grabbed a consolation goal, Nathan Gallagher cutting in from the right past two defenders before shooting past the keeper, although the Falkirk keeper would have felt he should have done better.
Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Falkirk 2
Rangers:- Liam Kelly (Jamie Wilson), Wallace ????? (Sam Liddington), David Brownlie, Steven Chatterton(Ryan Smith), Ross Kellock (Michael Mossie); Ben Reilly (Dylan Stevenson), Adam Wilson (Cammy ?????), Kris Gibson (Nathan Gallagher), Jamie Mills (Andy McKinnon); Kjeld McIntyre (Hussain Kaware), Gloady Ntumba (Ryan Hardie)
Footnote:- Rangers under 15’s won 3-0 with a double from John Cunningham and one from Reece Duncan.