Archive for May, 2013

Fine Win For 15’s To Finish Season

May 26, 2013

Rangers 3 Hearts 0

Rangers Under 15’s completed their season with a fine win against Hearts at Murray Park this afternoon. They were in control from start to finish with Robbie McCrorie rarely troubled, but the most pleasing aspect was the quality of the goals scored. With around half the squad released the side was supplemented by three Under 14’s and three trialists

Hearts threatened first with an attack down the left but when the ball came into the box their striker failed to connect properly and Robbie McCrorie saved comfortably. Rangers had their first effort as the ten minute mark approached, setup by some neat play from Sam Jamieson on the left and when he passed inside Max Ashmore’s shot from fully thirty yards was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Five minutes later Rangers took the lead, Lewis White was sent to the byline on the left and from his low cross Sam Jamieson fired high past the keeper. That goal was surpassed by the second goal just before the break, started by Sam Jamieson on the left he passed inside to Josh Jeffries and his superb pass inside the full-back sent Lewis White racing to the byline again, and his low cross was converted at close range by the Trialist No.9.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Hearts 0

The visitor’s came into the game in the opening minutes after the break but Rangers looked to add to their lead and after only three minutes hit them on the break. Robbie McCrorie released Josh Jeffries on the right, from his cross into the box Trialist No.7 showed great chest control before volleying goalwards and was only denied by a fine point-blank save.

Rangers came close to a third with a quarter of an hour remaining, Daniel Bonner passed to Jamie Brandon on the right and he picked out Max Ashmore on the left hand side of the box but his shot was only just too high. With four minutes on the clock the third goal arrived and it was a Josh Jeffries solo effort. Cutting in from the right he went past two defenders before finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Hearts 0

Rangers squad:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Liam Burt, Lewis White, Ross McCrorie, Jason Krones, Max Ashmore, Trialist No 7, Jamie Brandon, Trialist No.9, Josh Jeffries, Sam Jamieson, Daniel Bonner, Trialist No.14.

13’s Host Dumbarton Friendly

May 24, 2013

Rangers 13’s 6 Dumbarton 14’s 3

Rangers Under 13’s hosted Dumbarton’s Under 14’s in a friendly at Murray Park tonight and the Ibrox youngsters were victorious in a high scoring game. Rangers took the lead when Jack Thomson broke towards the box and his reverse pass sent the Trialist No.9 clear inside the box to shoot bast the keeper.

The same player had a chance to double the lead when he was through on a Carlo Pigniatello pass but this time the keeper made a fine save. The Trialist No.9’s pace was causing the Dumbarton defence problems and he was through again, this time on a Stephen Kelly pass and again he was denied by the keeper.

The visitor’s first chance came from a corner on the right that was missed by Lewis Muir but Carlo Pigniatello was on hand to clear off the line. Before the period ended Jack Thomson advanced to the edge of the box and his attempted shot broke kindly off a defender and he was in on goal, and the Dumbarton keeper made another fine save.

And it was Jack Thomson who had the first chance of the second period when he advanced into the left side of the box but his effort was again saved. Dumbarton then had a great chance  to draw level, it was created on the left and when the ball was passed inside it took a superb point-blank save from Lewis Muir to keep the lead intact.

Rangers capitalised by doubling their lead, Trialist No.14 headed the keeper’s goal kick back towards goal and sent Matthew Shiels clear to beat the keeper. The third goal soon followed, the Trialist keeper rolled the ball out to Lewis Mayo, who drove forward to halfway before splitting the defence and sending Matthew Shiels through to notch his second.

Matthew Shiels  soon completed his hat-trick,  when sent clear on a Jack Thomson pass he beat the keeper with another cool finish. The visitor’s pulled a goal back when Cameron Shaw intercepted an attempted pass from the Trialist keeper, his shot rebound from the left hand post but rolled along the line to give Craig Biddulph a simple tap in.

Another Jack Thomson pass sent Matthew Shiels through again but this time he was thwarted by the keeper. On the next occasion Matthew Shiels made no mistake grabbing his fourth, and on this occasion the creator was Stephen Kelly with a fine pass.

The visitors tried to respond and when they progressed deep into the Rangers box the Trialist keeper made a fine save. Matthew Shiels was continuously getting behind the Dumbarton defence and when Carlo Pigniatello released him again the keeper saved.

Dumbarton reduced the deficit when a Lomond McPherson solo run down the left took him into the box before firing past the keeper. A neat exchange of passes on the left between Scott Gray and Carlo Pigniatello sent the full-back to the byline and when his cross came in Matthew Shiels headed over.

Rangers lead was reduced further when a ball was played over the Rangers defence and Craig Biddulph held off a defender before firing past the keeper. Another Carlo Pigniatello pass created a further chance for Matthew Shiels which the Dumbarton keeper saved.

A superb passing move on the left involving Carlo Pigniatello, Matthew Shiels and Scott Gray sent the latter to the byline, his cross found Stephen Kelly at the back post and his effort rebounded from the crossbar.The scoring was completed  when Matthew Shiels was sent clear on the left, he unselfishly passed inside to Stephen Kelly whose first effort was blocked on the goal line but he followed up to make no mistake from the rebound.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Dumbarton 3

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Trialist (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Rhys Breen, Lewis Mayo, Trialist No.6, Carlo Pigniatello, Jack Thomson, Trialist No.9, Stephen Kelly, Trialist No.11, Trialist No.12, Trialist No.14, Matthew Shiels.

Young 17’s Draw With Hearts

May 21, 2013

Rangers 1 Hearts 1

A Rangers squad made up of almost exclusively U16 and U15 players completed the U17 fixtures with a draw against Hearts at Murray Park tonight. I’m not sure of the age profile of the Hearts team but they appeared to be a bit older on average.

The game had an end of season feel to it and there were few chances over the ninety minutes with a draw being a fair result. Rangers took an early lead after eight minutes, when the Hearts keeper miss kicked a clearance Lewis Morgan found the net with a superb controlled first time finish from around twenty-five yards.

The remainder of the half was fairly even with neither side troubling the goalkeepers until the visitors equalised from the penalty spot in the final minute. When the Hearts player broke into the box through the middle Ross McCrorie was rather harshly judged to have fouled the player and a penalty was awarded which was duly converted past his brother Robbie McCrorie in the Rangers goal.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hearts 1

The second half followed a similar vein with chances limited, just over ten minutes into the half Ryan Hardie collected a long ball and turned a defender at the edge of the box but his effort on goal was easily dealt with by the Hearts keeper. The visitors came close to taking the lead with five minutes remaining, from a free-kick just outside the left hand side of the box the ball was sent over the defensive wall and rebounded from the crossbar with Robbie McCrorie beaten.

The young Rangers side, which by this stage included seven U15 players came close to winning the game in the final minute. Ben Reilly won the ball on the right side of the box and burst into the area, his shot was parried by the Hearts keeper and when Josh Jeffries fired the rebound towards the net the keeper showed great reactions to turn the ball over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hearts 1

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Steven Chatterton (Josh Jeffries 57mins), Ross McCrorie, David Brownlie, Chris McDonald (Lewis White 75mins); Lewis Morgan (Ben West 73mins), Adam Wilson, Junior Ogen (Max Ashmore 60mins), Sam Liddington; Ben Reilly; Ryan Hardie (Jamie Brandon 70mins).

Youths – A Season Review

May 21, 2013

In all the years I have watched Rangers youth teams this season has been the most difficult to look back and review. A measure of the season would normally have two elements, the progress of players to the first team would be the main aspect with performance in youth competitions a less significant measure.The unusual circumstances have meant a significant number of players have progressed to the first team. While a lack of meaningful competition for others has meant tracking the progress of a significant group of players very difficult.

On the positive side the contribution of Lewis McLeod, Barrie McKay, Fraser Aird and Robbie Crawford to the first team has been pleasing. Some people may question if they would have made any breakthrough under normal circumstances, but the facts are there and history will record that they made a significant contribution to stage one of our journey. Adding the cameo’s from Tom Walsh, Luca Gasparotto, Danny Stoney and Andy Murdoch, valuable experience has been gained at a young age.

Another positive was the deserved win over Celtic in this season’s Glasgow Cup Final. I am sure the older players in the team wouldn’t mind me giving a special mention to Under 16 players David Brownlie, Junior Ogen, Michael Mossie, Ben Reilly, Steven Chatterton, Adam Wilson and Ryan Hardie. With the exception of Ryan Hardie this group of players have been largely overlooked by the international selectors, while almost the entire Celtic team at this age group have gained recognition. If they can build on their performance in the final I’m sure a few more will make the Scotland 17’s side next season.

On the down side failure to enter/secure a place in the SPL Under 20 league has had a significant impact of a group of players too old for U17’s and not in the first team picture. A few got a decent amount of game time in the SFL Reserve league, but for a good few, their main source of football was bounce games arranged at short notice and the promised games against EPL academies never materialised. The standard of opposition in these games varied from big wins against Manchester Football Academy and Belfast Central College to closer games against, ironically, SPL youth sides. The youth cup was the only other competitive competition for the youngsters and with only a few players at the older end of the age group it meant the team was in the main an U18 side. After successfully negotiating their way past St.Johnstone, Dumbarton and Queen’s Park the youngsters suffered a heavy defeat to Kilmarnock. Where as the result and performance was disappointing, it should be noted that Rangers chose to leave out all the U20 players in the first team squad.

Another disappointing aspect is another four players where a development fee was paid, left the club without securing a pro-youth contract, two of them were at the club only just over one season. If a player is deemed worth paying a development fee at 13/14, surely it’s not unreasonable to expect the majority to still be of a standard to secure a pro-youth contract at 16/17.

One aspect of following the youth teams that brings great satisfaction is watching players progress from a young age through to the first team. Having watched both Robbie Crawford and Lewis McLeod since U13’s its great to seem them both performing in the first team, even at SFL3 level. I also enjoy watching former Rangers youth players progress at other clubs and even better if they eventually return to Ibrox. As I write this it looks like Nicky Clark will becoming “home”. Nicky was released by Rangers at U15 and if I am being honest I would have to agree with that decision at the time. He failed to make the break through at Aberdeen and after a loan spell at Peterhead he joined them permanently. It was a move to Queen of the South that saw him really take off, breaking scoring records last season. It looks like just like Alex Rae, Nicky will be coming back, but in his case the gap is significantly shorter.

Four other players released by Rangers made significant progress this season. Murray Wallace was capped at U21 level and was voted Hudderfield’s Young Player of the Year, Kenny McLean was capped at u21 level, Chris Johnston was voted SPL U20 player of the year and Connor McGrandles broke through at Falkirk, culminating in a Scottish Cup Semi Final appearance at 17. Anyone that knows me and has listened to my opinions would be aware of my surprise at these players being released. In fact quite a few are probably sick of me banging on about Murray Wallace in particular.

Murray along with Robbie Crawford was a standout in that age group, a left sided central defender, coming through a couple of years after Danny Wilson. At U16 Rangers were offering him a one year “Schoolboy” contract while Falkirk were offering a three year pro-youth contract, I may be wrong but I believe Falkirk paid Rangers a development fee. He moved to Huddersfield from Falkirk for a fee that could rise to £700,000, in January 2012, choosing the Yorkshire club ahead of Brighton and Ipswich.

In the case of Kenny McLean and looking in from the outside it appeared to be a straight choice between Kenny and Rhys McCabe. At U16 initially neither was given a pro youth contract but both were retained by the club. It was even common for one to replace the other in games and it looked like a choice between the two was being made. In the January McCabe signed a pro contract and Kenny was released. Why we couldn’t have kept both I don’t know.

Chris Johnston I think was released at U14, every couple of years there is a player that really catches the eye, and you look forward to seeing him from week to week. At U13 Chris was that player, an out and out winger he terrorised defences, on one occasion he reduced a young Hibs full-back to tears as the frustration of trying to get near him finally broke him. I watched a confident, happy player become unhappy, disillusioned and on the fringes by the time he reached u14’s.

Conor McGrandles I think was released at U15’s, he was a skillful, consistent player that played either wide left or wide right. He possibly suffered from being in the same group as Darren Ramsay, Charlie Telfer and Andy Murdoch, but we paid development fees for inferior players than Conor McGrandles in that age group.

Another disappointing aspect this season is the 13 Rangers-v-Celtic games at youth level that have been cancelled. At any level these are special games, and ones that the players and parents look forward to. The only meetings this season have been at U17, one Glasgow Cup group game, the other was cancelled after both qualified for the final and the Glasgow Cup Final itself. Only officials at the clubs know the reason these games have not taken place and both seem to blame each other. The perception from the outside is that each club are reluctant to play the other at the age groups were they are perceived to be inferior, so the cancellations become tit for tat.

So what are my hopes for next season ? Well obviously getting the club on a stable footing is everybody’s wish. As far as the youth development is concerned with a minimum of twenty “youth” players above u17 on the books and the likelihood that the first squad will increase in size, entry into the SPL U20 league is imperative. Otherwise a structured alternative will have to be put in place.

I would also like to see a more visible link between the youth side and first team, the manager and his assistants are rarely if ever seen at youth games. If the first team are training perhaps one of them will pop round for twenty minutes or so. Is a couple of hours for one of them on a Sunday too much to ask ? Not only will it let then see first hand the standard of player and style of play, but it would provide a boost to the youngsters.

Although this is a “Season” review, the younger ages from U11’s to U15’s are due to play until 22nd June, so still plenty of football left this season.

 

 

 

Weekend Ends With A Win For 17’s

May 13, 2013

Rangers 1 St.Mirren 0

A busy weekend ended with the fifth game against St.Mirren with the under 17’s fixture at Murray Park tonight. An own goal ten minutes from time was enough to give the Rangers youngsters a narrow win.

There were few chances in the early stages and seventeen minutes had passed when Sam Liddington on the left passed inside to Ben Reilly and his shot from just outside the box was narrowly over. The next chance came five minutes later from the opposite flank when Lewis Morgan cut in from the right beating two defenders before passing to Sam Liddington who’s shot was straight at the keeper.

Saints replied immediately with an attack through the middle and from the shot on the eighteen yard line Liam Kelly saved low to his right. Just after the half-hour Ryan Hardie collected the ball at the edge of the box before turning and shooting just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

As the half hour approached Lewis Morgan swung in a free-kick from the left which David Brownlie headed goalwards which  the keeper held under the crossbar. Right on half-time Dylan Dykes free-kick from the right was cleared to the edge of the box where Ryan Hardie sent a lob goalwards  only for a defender to head off the line.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 St.Mirren 0

The first chance of the second half came from another free-kick delivered from the right which David Brownlie headed wide of the right hand post. Saints then had a chance from the edge of Rangers penalty area that Liam Kelly saved comfortably.

Rangers took the lead with ten minutes remaining, Adam Wilson swung in a corner from the right and it was diverted past his own keeper by a Saints defender. A few minutes later a Dylan Dykes corner from the opposite flank was almost converted at the back post by Ryan Sinnamon but was diverted wide.

The visitors almost grabbed an equaliser from a corner on the right which was flicked on at the near post with Adam Wilson heading off the line. The final chance came when Junior Ogen picked out Ryan Hardie’s run into the box, he tried to take it wide of the keeper with his first touch but the keeper managed to save at the striker’s feet.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 St.Mirren 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly (Robbie McCrorie 60mins); Adam Wilson, Ryan Sinnamon, David Brownlie, Chris McDonald ( Max Ashmore 68mins); Lewis Morgan (Ben West 68mins), Junior Ogen, Dylan Dykes, Sam Liddington; Ben Reilly; Ryan Hardie.

Development Games Against St Mirren

May 12, 2013

Following on from Friday’s U15 game, the games continued on Saturday through Sunday. Giving the  U12 to U14 age groups the opportunity to play at the senior league grounds, starting with the U12’s at Ibrox on Saturday morning.

Rangers 8 St.Mirren o

Rangers youngster’s had a whirlwind start hitting St. Mirren with three goals in as many minutes. It started when Kieran McKechnie was sent through the inside right channel and he finished with a superb chip over the keeper. The second came when Billy Gilmour’s twenty-five yarder rebounded from the crossbar with Mark Leonard on hand to knock the ball into the net. The third came after good work on the left from Andy Rodden, Kieran McKechnie’s shot from his cross was blocked but fell kindly for Mark Leonard to fire in his second.

St.Mirren managed to stem the tide for the next ten minutes but fell further behind when the keeper failed to keep out another Billy Gilmour twenty-five yarder. The visitor’s tried to hit back with an attack down the right but the shot was across goal and wide of Brian Kinnear’s right hand post. A couple of minutes before the end of the first period Billy Gilmour setup Lewis McGrattan from the edge of the box with the Saints keeper turning the ball over.

Saints opened the second period with a similar effort to the one in the first period, this time down the left and the shot was wide of Brian Kinnear’s left hand post. Rangers now shooting into the Copland Road end soon grabbed a fifth, Niyah Joseph dispossessing a defender at the edge of the box before shooting past the keeper.

Niyah Joseph then combined with Lewis McGrattan to set up a chance for Sean Duddy on the left side of the penalty area that the keeper saved at his near post. As the period entered the final ten minutes Rangers scored again, Niyah Joseph on the right side of the box passing inside to Lewis McGrattan who sidestepped a defender before shooting past the keeper.

A further goal followed when the visitor’s keeper couldn’t prevent Kyle Ewing’s long-range free-kick from crossing the line. The third period began in a similar vein with Lewis McGrattan laying the ball back to Adedapo Mebude who forced a save from the keeper to his right.

The final goal came Nathan Patterson sent Kieran McKechnie to the byline on the right and his cutback was knocked into the net by Niyah Joseph. Rangers came close to recording a ninth when Andy Rodden fired a free-kick off the crossbar.

Full-Time:- Rangers 8 St.Mirren 0

Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Reece Murdoch (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jamie Walker, Kyle Ewing, Danny Finlayson, Mark Leonard, Billy Gilmour, Lewis McGrattan, Kieran McKechnie, Andy Rodden, Harry Cochrane, Niyah Joseph, Ben Williamson, Adedapo Mebude, Rhuaridh McIntyre, Sean Duddy.

Sunday saw a double-header at St.Mirren Park, starting with the U14’s in the morning and followed by the U13’s in the afternoon.

St.Mirren 2 Rangers 2

A late goal denied Rangers what would have been a deserved win against an opponent that inflicted a heavy defeat a couple of months ago. When Sam Jamieson hooked a lobbed cross into the box from the right Grant Nelson looked certain to score but was denied by a point-blank block with the keeper’s legs.

The home side took the lead just before the tenth minute, the attack was created on the right and when the cross came into the box the Rangers defence struggled to clear and the ball broke kindly for the Saints player to net from around six yards. Rangers came close when Aidan Wilson passed forward to Jamie Barjonas who fed Liam Burt on the right side of the box but his shot was just wide of the far post.

A minute later Kieran Laing collected a loose ball at the edge of the box and his effort was only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.  At the start of the second period Sam Jamieson slipped a pass through on the right side of the box with the keeper saving bravely at the feet of Jamie Barjonas.

A well constructed move involving Liam Burt, Grant Nelson and Jamie Barjonas setup a chance for Sam Jamieson who shot narrowly over. Rangers continued to press and when Ben Andoh got his head to Jamie Barjonas right-wing cross the keeper held the ball just under his bar.

The home side had a narrow escape when Jason Krones got his head to a corner from the right with the keeper blocking on the line, in the ensuing scramble Rangers couldn’t force the ball over the line and the Saints defence cleared. With four minutes of the period remaining Rangers equalised, Grant Nelson sent over a corner from the right and Jason Krones rose to head past the keeper.

Rangers started the third period on the front foot and from Sam Jamieson’s cross from the right Jamie Barjonas header was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. Jamie Barjonas then turned architect coming in from the right to set up Jay Willis who forced a save from the keeper low to his left.

Just as the turn around of the third period approached Rangers took the lead, Lewis Ferguson heading Jamie Barjonas cross from the right past the keeper. Rangers then missed a couple of opportunities to make the game safe, Kieran Pirrie shooting wide when a pass to Jay Willis would have sent up an almost certain goal, then Jamie Barjonas losing a similar chance when a pass to Kieran Pirrie would have been the better option.

In the final minute Rangers were to pay for those missed chances, a free-kick from near the left touchline on the halfway line was sent into to Rangers box, Kieran Wright came but miscued his punch and as the ball looped behind him the St.Mirren player had a simple task to head into the net.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 2 Rangers 2

Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Dean Picken, Jason Krones, Aidan Wilson, Kieran Laing; Jamie Bajonas, Liam Burt, Blair Docherty, Ben Andoh (Jay Willis 60mins); Grant Nelson (Lewis Ferguson 66mins); Sam Jamieson (Kieran Pirrie 73mins).

St.Mirren 1 Rangers 5

On to the afternoon and St.Mirren Park was again the venue as the club’s U13 sides met. The home side took the lead on eight minutes, from a free-kick just outside the left side of the box the ball was fired over the defensive wall giving Darren Montgomery no chance as it found the corner of the net.

Rangers equalised just after the midpoint of the period, Jack Thomson broke forward from defence and passed to Stephen Kelly on halfway, his through ball was flicked on by the Trialist N0. 9 and Matthew Shiels ran on to round the keeper and slot the ball into the net. Two minutes later a superb Jack Thomson challenge conceded a corner as he thwarted an attack from the home side.

Rangers took the lead on twenty-two minutes, Matthew Shiels losing his marker to find the net from close range from Carlo Pigniatello’s corner from the left. Saints tried to reply with an attack down the left and when the ball was passed inside Darren Montgomery saved the shot comfortably.

Rangers increased their lead in the opening minute of the second period, Jack Thomson passed to Billy Gilmour and his pass sent Kieran McKechnie clear on the right,  he carried on into the box before shooting past the keeper. Number four soon followed, good work on the left from Matthew Shiels saw his cross into the box finished by a Stephen Kelly diving header.

A Billy Gilmour pass then sent Matthew Shiels through on the left side of the box and he was denied a hat-trick by a fine save. The home side the attacked through the centre of the Rangers defence  and keeper Lewis Muir stood tall to make the save.

A superb move saw the ball go from Billy Gilmour to Stephen Kelly and on to Carlo Pigniatello who laid it back to Michael Hewitt and his cross found Billy Gilmour who had advanced into the box but his header was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Ten minutes into the third period the home side came close when a long-range free-kick was only just over.

The respite was temporary and Rangers scored again with a superb goal, Scott Gray sent Matthew Shiels towards the byline on the left, and he looked up to pick out Stephen Kelly arriving at the edge of the box and he finished with a fine shot. The home side had the final attack of note, it came down the left and when the cross came in Scott Gray did well to clear to the edge of the box and from there the shot on goal was wide of Lewis Muir’s left hand post.

Full-Time:-St.Mirren 1 Rangers 5

Rangers Squad:- Darren Montgomery (Gk), Lewis Muir (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Jack Thomson, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Wray, Carlo Pigniatello, Stephen Kelly, Trialist N0.9, Dylan Patterson, Matthew Shiels, Billy Gilmour, Kieran McKechnie, Rhys Breen.

Youths Start The Weekend With A Win

May 10, 2013

Rangers 3 St.Mirren 0

Kick-off times and venues mean I can take in five youth games over this weekend, and it all started tonight at Murray Park where Rangers under 15’s recorded a comfortable win over St.Mirren. Yet it was the visitors who threatened in the opening minute with an attack on the right side of the box and Robbie McCrorie had to save bravely at the striker’s feet.

Five minutes later it took a fine save from the Saints keeper to prevent Rangers taking the lead, Cammy Price drove forward towards the penalty area from right full-back before passing to Josh Jeffries inside the box, a superb turn looked to have created the space to score but the keeper dived to his right to divert the ball for a corner. Rangers took the lead on the quarter-hour mark, with Ross McCrorie sending a looping header from Jamie Brandon’s corner from the left over the keeper and into the net.

The game then entered a scrappy period and there was little in the way of goal scoring chances and Rangers went into the break with a one goal lead.

Half=Time:- Rangers 1 St.Mirren 0

Five minutes after the break St.Mirren switched play out to the right, an exchange of passes created the opening for a shot that Robbie McCrorie saved at his near post. Just after the hour the visitors worked the ball in from the left but the shot from the edge of the box was straight at Robbie McCrorie.

Rangers replied through an attack engineered by Josh Jeffries on the left side of the box with the Saints keeper saving at his near post. The goal was only delayed a few minutes and it came from a familiar source, another  Jamie Brandon corner from the left found Ross McCrorie, this time at the back post and he found the net with a close range shot.

With a minute remaining Rangers clinched the game with the goal of the game, when the ball was played up to Sam Jamieson a good first touch allowed him to retain possession before laying it back to Josh Jeffries who split the defence with a superb pass inside the left full-back sending Liam Burt clear and he finished with a shot across the keeper and into the far corner.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 St.Mirren 0

Rangers Squad:- Robbie McCrorie; Cammy Price, Lewis White, Ross McCrorie, Jason Krones, Max Ashmore, Jamie Barjonas, Jamie Brandon, Daniel Bonner, Josh Jeffries, John Cunningham, Jack Gilmour, Grant Nelson, George Bowyer, Sam Jamieson, Liam Burt, Aidan Wilson.

Youths Held By Stenny

May 5, 2013

This weekend’s development fixtures saw Rangers take on Stenhousemuir and the Ochilview side held Rangers in three of the four age groups. I took in two games, starting with the U17’s on Friday night at Ochilview, then heading up to Murray Park for the U14’s game this afternoon.

Stenhousemuir 2 Rangers 2

It was a wet and windy Ochilview for Friday’s U17 fixture and twenty minutes had passed when the home side created the first chance, when the ball was played into the box from the right and good first touch by the striker forced Jamie Wilson to save bravely at his feet.

Just over five minutes later Dylan Dykes broke forward and went past two defenders before forcing a save from the keeper to his left with a shot from the edge of the box. Rangers then took the lead after thirty-three minutes, Adam Wilson cutting in from the left past a defender and finding the bottom right hand corner.

A minute later Michael Mossie passed inside from the left and Dylan Dykes effort from around twenty-five yards skimmed the crossbar.

Half-Time:- Stenhousemuir 0 Rangers 1

The home side equalised ten minutes after the break, when the play was switched to the left an exchange of passes created the chance on the left side of the box and the ball was dispatched past Robbie McCrorie. Just over five minutes later they took the lead, the Rangers players had switched off and from a simple throw-in on the left the ball bounced once before being fired into the net.

Rangers equalised with just over a quarter of an hour remaining, from a free-kick midway inside the Stenhousemuir half Greg Pascazio rose to head past the keeper. Rangers had a chance to win it three minutes from time, Lewis Morgan sent Ben West through the inside right channel but he shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Full-Time:- Stenhousemuir 2 Rangers 2

Rangers:- Jamie Wilson (Robbie McCrorie HT); Steven Chatterton, Greg Pascazio, David Brownlie, Sam Liddington (Ben West 73mins); Junior Ogen (Lewis Morgan 58mins), Dylan Dykes, Michael Mossie, Adam Wilson; Ben Reilly; Ryan Hardie (Chris McDonald 65mins).

Rangers 0 Stenhousemuir 0

Rangers line up included four U13’s in a game that they dominated possession but troubled the keeper on few occasions. The first chance  came when Kieran Laing and Lewis Ferguson combined on the right and when the ball came into the box Sam Jamieson shot straight at the keeper.

Jay Willis then played a one-two with Dean Picken on the left side of the box before shooting just over. Dean Picken then broke forward leaving to defenders in his wake before playing Liam Burt through, the midfielder looked certain to score but shot wide of the keeper’s left hand post under pressure from a defender.

Rangers dominated possession in the second period but without creating any clear cut opportunities and it was into the third period when Aidan Wilson headed Ben Andoh’s corner from the left narrowly over. Stenhousmuir then were very unfortunate not to take the lead, an attack on the right saw them through on goal and the ball was lobbed over the advancing Darren Montgomery but bounced of the crossbar.

Ben Andoh broke forward and passed to Kieran Pirrie on the left side of the box, his pass inside to Ben Andoh was laid back to Sam Jamieson with the keeper saving low top his right. The final chance came for the visitors when the ball was played through the middle, with Darren Montgomery racing from his box to clear the danger.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Stenhousemuir 0

Rangers Squad:- Darren Montgomery (Gk), Kieran Laing, Scott Gray, Jack Thomson, Aidan Wilson, Dean Picken, Liam Burt, Sam Jamieson, Stephen Kelly, Jay Willis, Ben Andoh, Kieran Pirrie.

Footnote:- Rangers U15’s won this morning’s game at Ochilview 3-1 with goals from Daniel Bonner, Josh Jeffries & Ross McCrorie. Rangers u13’s played out a goalless draw at Murray Park this afternoon.