With the development teams taking on Ayr United the choice I had was, one game at Murray Park or two games at Prestwick Academy. As the travelling time to either is much the same it was down to the Ayrshire coast to take the U17’s at 11am and U15’s at 1pm.
Ayr United 0 Rangers 5
Rangers started with a significant wind at their backs and almost took the lead in the opening minute, Danny Stoney played Andy McKinnon through on the left side of the box with the Ayr keeper advancing from his line to block. Two minutes later Andy McKinnon collected a poor clearance from the keeper and when he went past the full-back on the left and played the ball across the box Ryan Hardie looked certain to score but knocked the ball wide of the keeper’s left hand post.
Rangers were dominant and chances were coming at regular intervals, next up was a Danny Stoney shot from the edge of the box which had the power but was straight at the keeper who parried clear. The home keeper was soon called upon again, coming from his line to block Gloady Ntumba’s effort after Andy McKinnon’s pass sent him through on the left hand side of the penalty area.
The break through came on the quarter-hour mark Danny Stoney advancing towards the box before playing a one-two with Gloady Ntumba and carrying on into the box to shoot past the keeper. Only a further two minutes had passed when Rangers doubled their lead, when Andy McKinnon tried to break into the box on the left the ball broke off a defender to Gloady Ntumba who shot past the keeper.
The next chance was created by a great run and cross from Tom Walsh from the right and Gloady Ntumba’s header was just wide of the left hand post. Ten minutes before half-time only the woodwork saved the home side from going further behind, Danny Stoney unselfishly teed up Tom Walsh as he broke into the box on the left with the keeper beaten the ball bounced clear off his left hand post.
The third goal was delayed by five minutes and when it came it was a brilliant solo effort from Gloady Ntumba. collecting the ball just inside the Ayr half he set off on a run that took him past two defenders and into the box to thunder a shot past the keeper. The big striker came close to his hat-trick two minutes later, when Rangers worked a short corner on the right his header from Tom Walsh’s cross was netbound until a defender popped up to clear from the line.
Half-Time:- Ayr United 0 Rangers 3
Unfortunately for the home side the wind that was in their faces for the first half hour had disappeared and Rangers continued from where they left off, on the attack. The first opportunity came when Gloady Ntumba cut in from the right before passing to Tom Walsh who was denied by the keeper at his near post. And it was Tom Walsh again who tested the keeper when he broke forward and shot from just outside the box with Rangers having to settle for a corner. With the home side struggling to clear the flag kick when they eventually got the ball clear of the box only for Danny Stoney to send an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner.
The home side then replied and almost found the net when Kjeld McIntyre’s touch back on a cross almost beat his own keeper, but Jamie Wilson dived to his left to turn the ball wide. The Rangers keeper was soon in action again, another dive to his left to parry following a penetrating attack on the Ayr left.
Rangers reply to this attacking flurry was to go straight to the other end and grab a fifth. Ryan Hardie robbed a defender on the left, advanced into the box and rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net. The home side never gave up and twice had Rangers keeper Jamie Wilson saving to keep his goal intact. Following an attack down the right he dived to his right to parry, then a few minutes later another dive and touch to his right turned a shot from twenty-five yards wide for a corner.
Full-Time:- Ayr United 0 Rangers 5Rangers Squad:- Liam Kelly(Gk), Jamie Wilson(Gk), Kjeld McIntyre, Jamie Mills, David Brownlie, Ryan Sinnamon, Junior Ogen, Ryan Hardie, Tom Walsh, Gloady Ntumba, Danny Stoney, Andy McKinnon, Adam Wilson, Sam Liddington, Trialist.
Next up was the U15’s clash and with a change in the weather there was no obvious wind advantage to either side when the teams kicked off.
Ayr United 2 Rangers 6
The younger Rangers side started in a similar fashion to their older colleagues and were on the attack right from the start. An early lead looked certain when Cammy Price’s cross from the left was perfect for John Cunningham but he headed straight at keeper when a goal looked certain. Almost immediately Josh Jeffries was testing the keeper from the edge of the box and the keeper was up to the challenge parrying the shot.
Rangers then took the before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, they worked a short corner on the left and Ross McCorie rose to head Cammy Price’s cross past the keeper. A great turn and shot by John Cunningham at the edge of the box brought out another stop from the home keeper.
The second goal wasn’t far away and it came after good work on the left hand byline from Max Ashmore to go past a defender, the keeper parried his effort from a narrow angle but only into the path of John Cunningham who netted from close range. A couple of minutes later the striker grabbed his second and Rangers third, Rhys Young was the creator, breaking from midfield before sending John Cunningham through on the right side of the box to go on and beat the keeper.
A fourth goal was to follow before the break, Josh Jeffries sent the ball out to Lewis White on the left and when his cross went beyond the far post John Cunningham hadn’t given up and collected the ball on the right hand byline, with the Ayr defenders claiming the ball had gone out of play he rolled it back to Cammy Price to fire into the net from around the penalty spot.
Half-Time:-Ayr United 0 Rangers 4
Rangers continued to dominate and were soon on the score sheet after the break, Daniel Bonner won possession out on the left and his low cross gave Reece Duncan a simple task from inside the six yard box. When Rangers were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Josh Jeffries stepped up to go for goal, when the home keeper failed to hold on to his effort Daniel Bonner pounced to fire home.
Credit to the home side as they then proceeded to have their best spell and pretty much dominate the final twenty minutes. The pulled a goal back when a free kick near the byline on the right was headed past Robbie McCrorie. The Rangers keeper then had to look sharp to come from his line to save bravely when Ayr threatened to break through the middle.
Gary McGreish provided a bit of respite for Rangers when he cut in from the left past two defenders before forcing a save from the keeper. The home side had the last say in the game when the grabbed a second, a cross from the left broke to the impressive Ayr substitute on the right hand side of the box and his shot took a wicked deflection and looped over Robbie McCrorie and into the net.
Full-Time:- Ayr United 2 Rangers 6
Rangers Squad:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Ross Lyon, Lewis White, Ross McCrorie, George Bowyer, Max Ashmore, Cammy Price, Jamie Brandon, John Cunningham. Josh Jeffries, Rhys Young, Recce Duncan, Jack Gilmour, Gary McGreish, Daniel Bonner, Rhys ?????.