Rangers 3 Celtic 2
Rangers Under 17’s retained the Glasgow Cup in a five goal thriller at Firhill tonight. A Ryan Hardie strike and a Junior Ogen double edged out a Paul McMullen double to record a deserved win.
Rangers were first to threaten after eight minutes when Jordan Hart failed to collect Tom Walsh’s free-kick from the left, Jamie Mills headed towards the net only to see a Celtic defender clear from the line. Celtic capitalised on that let off by taking the lead from the penalty spot just before the quarter-hour, David Brownlie was caught in possession by Paul McMullen just outside the left side of the penalty area, as the Celtic striker made his way into the box he was tugged and by the Rangers defender and he made sure he went down to get the penalty, stepping up to beat Liam Kelly from the spot.
Rangers equalised on twenty-seven minutes when Dylan Dykes played a ball over the top of the Celtic defence and a superb first touch took Ryan Hardie clear of Fiacre Kelleher and despite a tug from the defender he kept his cool to fire past Jordan Hart. Four minutes later Rangers took the lead, Ryan Hardie fed Junior Ogen at the edge of the box, he burst past two defenders and calmly slotted the ball past Jordan Hart.
A few minutes later Rangers suffered a blow when Danny Stoney had to be replaced through injury with Adam Wilson coming on as a substitute. Rangers then came close after good work down the right by Tom Walsh, Jordan Hart fumbled his low cross and was fortunate to knock the ball against Ryan Hardie and wide of his left hand post.
Rangers came closer still six minutes before the break, Ryan Hardie held off Fiacre Kelleher in a race for a long ball, he lobbed the ball over the advancing Jordan Hart, but in the race to the ball as it approached the net Fiacre Kelleher got back to clear. In first half injury time Joe Thompson passed inside to Callum Waters who shot from distance which Liam Kelly held comfortably under his crossbar.
Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 1
Two minutes after the break only a fine Jordan Hart save prevented Rangers increasing their lead, Adam Wilson’s passed to Ryan Hardie on the left side of the penalty area, a superb turn left Fiacre Kelleher sitting on the turf and his shot looked destined for the net until Jordan Hart dived to his right to turn the ball wide of his near post. The goal was only delayed until the sixty minute mark approached, Ryan Hardie chased the ball towards the byline on the left, turned past Fiacre Kelleher before crossing for Junior Ogen to beat Jordan Hart with a superb controlled volley.
As the game approach the final fifteen minutes Celtic reduced the deficit, Liam Henderson was allowed time and space to pick out Paul McMullen on the edge of the box and he curled a superb shot into the top right hand corner. Three minute later Paul McMullen cut in from the right before setting up Aidan Nesbitt at the edge of the box and his shot bounced clear off Liam Kelly’s left hand post.
Rangers replied immediately with Tom Walsh breaking forward before feeding Junior Ogen on the right side of the box, he stepped inside a defender before forcing Jordan Hart to dive to his right and turn the ball round the post. Rangers where to see out time comfortably and it was the Ibrox youngsters that came close to scoring a couple of minutes into injury time, when the ball was cleared from the Celtic box Steven Chatterton headed it back where Ryan Hardie collected and headed to the byline on the left, his attempted cross was deflected over Jordan Hart and bounced off the face of the crossbar.
Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Celtic 2
Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Greg Pascazio, David Brownlie, Jamie Mills; Junior Ogen, Michael Mossie (Ben Reilly 75mins), Dylan Dykes, Tom Walsh (Steven Chatterton 88mins); Danny Stoney (Adam Wilson 34mins); Ryan Hardie.
Not Used:- Jamie Wilson (Gk), Lewis Morgan.
Celtic:- Jordan Hart; Glen Eadie (Gareth McDonagh 89mins), Fiacre Kelleher, Mark Barrowman (Connor McLaren 66mins), Callum Waters; Aidan Nesbitt, Conor McManus, Liam Henderson, Joe Thompson; Paul McMullen, Luke Donnelly (Ciaran Lafferty 66mins).
Not Used:- Colin McCabe (Gk), Jack Breslin, Aidan McIlduff, Ryan Caird.