This weekend saw Rangers take on Dundee United at various age groups, Sunday gave me the opportunity to take in both the U13 and U14 games at Murray Park, with the U15 and U17 teams playing away at St.Andrews University.
Rangers 5 Dundee United 1
First up was U13’s with an 11 am kick-off and the visitors created the first chance with a ball over the top of the Rangers defence but the attempted lob was wide of Lewis Muir’s right hand post. More than half the first period had passed before Rangers created a chance, it came when Zak Rudden broke down the left and his pass inside broke from a defender to Carlo Pigniatello at the edge of the box with the United keeper saving his effort.
Dundee United’s passing game was allowing them to have the bulk of possession but they lacked penetration and rarely threatened, just when it looked the first period would end goalless the visitors were gifted a goal. Lewis Muir’s attempted throw out was intercepted by the United striker who rolled the ball into the net.
United then missed a great chance at the start of the second period when Rangers were caught in possession at the edge of their own box but the shot went wide of Lewis Muir’s left hand post. Rangers then got back on level term less than five minutes later. Zak Rudden played a one-two with Dylan Patterson on the left side of the box and his cross eluded everyone to find the net at the far post.
Rangers now had a hold in the game and when Scott Gray played the ball up to Dylan Patterson at the edge of the box his effort was only just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Carlo Piniatello then made his way to the byline on the left, Aaron Mooney didn’t quite connect properly with his cutback and the keeper saved low to his right.
A poor goal kick from the United keeper presented Aaron Mooney with another chance but he was just wide of the right hand post with his shot. Rangers got their noses in front fives minutes before the end of the second period via the penalty spot, Cammy Wray broke through on the left side of the box before being pushed for a clear penalty and he stepped up to concert from twelve yards.
At the beginning of the final period a Carlo Pigniatello corner from the right led to a bit of head tennis in the United box which end with Lewis Mayo’s header being cleared off the line. When Zak Rudden won the ball in the United box his neat back heel setup a chance for Cammy Wray who shot over. Rangers increased their lead when Scott Gray sent Aaron Reid down the left and his cross was converted at the back post by Matthew Sheils.
Lewis McGrattan then combined with Cammy Wray in midfield to set up a shooting chance for Carlo Pigniatello which the keeper saved low to his left. Cammy Wray then fed Carlo Pigniatello inside the box and he laid it back into the path of Cammy Wray, the United keeper tipped his shot onto the bar and Aaron Mooney could only knock the rebound into the keepers hands.
Rangers then added two goals in the final couple of minutes that put a rather harsh reflection on the final score for United. First up was a free-kick on the right side of the box that Scott Gray curled into the top corner. The scoring was complete when Carlo Pigniatello’s free-kick from midway inside the United half was headed past the keeper by Matthew Shiels.
Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Dundee United 1
Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Darren Montgomery (Gk), Jack Pow, Aaron Reid, Scott Gray, Cammy Wray, Scott Blacklaw, Aaron Mooney, Zak Rudden, Matthew Shiels, Carlo Pigniatello, Dylan Patterson, Lewis Mayo, Lewis McGrattan, Rhys Breen, Jordan Houston.
Rangers 7 Dundee United 0
Next up was the U14’s kicking off at 1pm, it was a game that Rangers dominated from start to finish. The first effort on goal came from an Aidan Wilson thirty yarder that the United keeper tipped over. Liam Burt then broke through on the right side of the box with the keeper coming from his line to block his initial effort and his shot from the rebound hitting the left hand post and rolling across goal.
The visitor’s keeper continued to impress and his next save was low to his left to deny Aidan Wilson from a free-kick from the left side of the box. When the resultant corner was cleared to the edge of the box he was well placed to save Grant Nelson’s drive and ensure the first period ended goalless.
At the start of the second period Jamie Barjonas broke through the inside right channel and the keeper again made a fine block and the United defence cleared to the edge of the box where Lewis Ferguson fired past the keeper to eventually give Rangers the lead. That lead was soon doubled when Grant Nelson passed inside from the left to Jamie Barjonas who beat the keeper from around twenty-five yards.
The flow towards the United goal continued and when Jamie Barjonas played a one-two with Sam Jamieson he was in the clear to round the keeper and roll the ball into the net. The visitors then broke forward and had their best chance of the match with Kieran Wright advancing from his line to block.
The game soon returned to a familiar pattern with Rangers on the attack, and when Grant Nelson sent Sam Jamieson through on the right side of the box he slotted the ball past the keeper. Sam Jamieson then turned creator, a solo run took him past two defenders and deep into the United box before passing to Jack Morgan who had a simple finish.
The next goal came when Jamie Barjonas was in a race with the keeper to a long ball, the ball broke from the challenge to Sam Jamieson who rolled it into the empty net. In the final minute some slack play resulted in United losing possession at the edge of their own box and Jay Willis punished them fully by blasting into the net.
Full-Time:- Rangers 7 Dundee United 0
Rangers Squad:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jordan Houston, Kieran Laing, Dean Picken, Aidan Wilson, Lewis Ferguson, Liam Burt, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Grant Nelson, Ben Andoh, Euan McMillan, Jack Morgan, Jay Willis.
Footnote:- Rangers U17’s beat their Dundee United counterparts 4-0 at St.Andrews University with goals from Lewis Morgan, Dylan Dykes, Ryan Hardie and a Trialist. I believe the U15’s also won but I don’t have any details.