With the unfortunate scheduling of the Under 20 Youth Cup tie meaning a clash with first team fixture at Berwick I was unable to attend. Goals from Callum Gallagher and Andy Murdoch secured a 2-1 win for what was a young Rangers side over St.Johnstone. Rangers now have a home tie against Dumbarton in the second round.. So this week’s fix of youth football meant a trip to Grange Academy tonight to watch the under 16’s take on Kilmarnock.
Kilmarnock 3 Rangers 3
It turned out to be an entertaining game with Rangers being pegged back on three occasions, but in terms of chances the home side will be wondering how they didn’t win the game. The Killie squad included the four players recently in Russia with Scotland’s Under 16’s, Devlin Mackay, Adam Hodge, Dylan Pooler and Greg Kiltie. Rangers included their only representative in that squad, Under 15 goalkeeper Robbie McCrorie. The home squad included four former Rangers players, the afore-mentioned Greg Kiltie, Greg Taylor, Declan Murphy and Adam Frizzell.
The first effort on goal was a spectacular overhead kick from Greg Kiltie on the end of Jack Whittaker’s cross from the right that went wide of Jamie Wilson’s right hand post. The Rangers keeper them made a decent save low to his right to hold Greg Taylor’s powerful strike from just inside the box.
The home side continued to make the running and when Jack Whittaker went past Sam Liddington near the corner flag on the right Dylan Pooler headed his cross just over. Rangers had their first effort on target midway through the half from a long-range Nathan Gallagher shot that Devlin Mackay saved to his left.
Sixty seconds later and the woodwork came to Rangers rescue when Dylan Pooler cut in from the right before sending a shot off the crossbar. As half-time approached a turn and shot from Greg Kiltie tested Jamie Wilson with the Rangers keeper holding on to the shot. He was in action again a couple of minutes later, saving bravely at the feet of Declan Murphy after Greg Kiltie’s lob over the Rangers defence created the chance.
Half-Time:- Kilmarnock 0 Rangers 0
The home side missed a great chance five minutes after the break, a slack pass from a Rangers free-kick gave possession to Declan Murphy on the halfway line, he broke forward befoe passing to Dylan Pooler on the right side of the box, David Brownlee did well to block the striker’s shot, with Dylan Pooler regaining possession his cross to the back post looked to have set up a certain goal for Greg Kiltie but his header rebounded of the crossbar and clear. A few minutes later Rangers took the lead through an error from Killie’s trialist keeper, Ryan Hardie intercepted the keeper’s attempted pass to a defender and knocked the ball into the empty net.
Rangers held their lead for less than five minutes, a superb pass from Shaun Lavery switched play from right to Jack Whittaker on the left he cut inside before sending a shot into Robbie McCrorie’s bottom right hand corner. Ryan Hardie’s second goal regained Rangers the lead, he chased a long ball and held of the challenge from two defenders before rounding the keeper and stroking the ball into the net.
Again Rangers lead was to last less than five minutes, David Syme carried the ball forward from defence before passing to Jack Whittaker, his shot from around twenty-five yards took a wicked deflection wrong footing Robbie McCrorie who did exceptionally well to get a hand to the ball but was unable to prevent it crossing the line. Back came Rangers to take the lead for the third time and this time it was a fantastic individual effort from Andy McKinnon, dribbling past two defenders into the box before sending an unstoppable shot past the keeper.
The less than five-minute theme continued when Killie equalised from the penalty spot, a free kick was sent into the box from the left, a ricochet took the ball into the path of Declan Murphy who was tripped, David Syme stepped up to beat Robbie McCrorie from the spot. As the final five minutes approached Kilmarnock attacked down the left to release Adam Frizzell on the left side of the box with Robbie McCrorie diverting the ball for a corner. When the corner was taken short to Adam Frizzell at the left hand angle of the box Robbie McCrorie stretched to touch his shot onto the bar and over.
Full-Time:- Kilmarnock 3 Rangers 3
Kilmarnock Squad:- Devlin Mackay (Gk), Trialist (Gk), Trialist (Gk), Shaun Lavery, ????? Smith, Dean Hawkshaw, Adam Hodge, David Syme, Jack Whittaker, Greg Taylor, Dylan Pooler, Greg Kiltie, Declan Murphy, Reece Williamson, Adam Frizzell.
Rangers Squad:- Jamie Wilson (Gk), Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Steven Chatterton, Sam Liddington, David Brownlee, Michael Mossie, Junior Ogen, Hussein Kaware, Nathan Gallagher, Ryan Hardie, Cammy Ferrier, Andy McKinnon, Ross Lyon, Dylan Stevenson, Max Ashmore, Ross McCrorie, Ryan Smith