Archive for June, 2013

Youngsters Denied Final Chance

June 16, 2013

Rangers youth teams continue to fulfil my football fix with a busy weekend at Murray Park. One disappointing aspect is that with the final first team fixture on the 4th of May, none of the first team coaching staff have been at any youth game that has taken place at Murray Park since. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but a couple of hours for one of them at the weekend ?

Withe the under 12’s at a tournament in Ital,  Murray Park’s weekend began with the scheduled U11 and U12 development games, which meant a step up in age for Rangers U10’s and U11’s to play against Queen’s Park on Saturday, followed up with the U13 and U14 fixtures on Sunday against the same opposition.

Under 12’s in Italy

Rangers youngsters were cruelly denied a final place at the Calcio Chieri tournament in Italy or to give it it’s official title VIII° Torneo “Città di Chieri”- “III° Memorial Roberto Rosato”. Drawn in a group with A.C. Bellinzona from Switzerland and Italian sides Hellas Verona and Tritium Calcio 1908. The Ibrox youngsters opened with a 4-0 win over Bellinzona and followed that up with another victory, 4-1 against Tritium. This set up what amounted to a semi-final qualifier against Verona in their final group game. A 2-0 win saw the boys secure their semi-final place  and a tie against Torino, with maximum points from their group games.

The semi took place earlier today and when the game finished all square, Rangers won the resulting penalty shootout 6-5. Their joy was short lived when they were later disqualified because one the penalty takers was a substitute. With Juventus overcoming Parma in the other semi-final in another shootout (3-1), it meant the final would be between the Turin clubs with Rangers meeting Parma in a 3rd/4th place playoff.

The young Rangers side lost the playoff with Parma 4-1.

Torino and Juventus drew 1-1 in the final, with Torino winning 3-1 on penalties.

Rangers U11’s 6 Queen’s Park U12’s 3

Rangers took the lead after twelve minutes, Blair Rossiter delivered a corner from the left to which Steven Bradley got the slightest touch and the Queen’s Park keeper couldn’t prevent it crossing the line. Just less than ten minutes later Rangers doubled their lead, when a free-kick was awarded just outside the right side of the box Gary Greig stepped up to fire past the defensive wall and the keeper.

The visitor’s the created a chance on the right side of Rangers penalty area that Lewis Budinauckas saved. As the end of the first period approached Queen’s Park reduced the deficit when a free-kick on the right just outside the box was fired high past Lewis Budinauckas.

Ten minutes into the second period Rangers restored their two goal lead, when the Queen’s Park defence failed to clear Mason Kelman’s corner from the right the ball landed at the feet of Callum Biggar to shoot through a crowd of players into the net. As the game entered the final ten minutes of the period Ciaran Dickson broke forward before playing a one-two Kai Kennedy and only a fine save denied him a goal.

Five minutes later Ciaran Dickson couldn’t be denied when he converted the third direct free-kick of the game, driving into the net from just outside the right side of the penalty area. Credit to the visitor’s who rallied and grabbed a second goal from an attack down the left and a fine finish high past the Trialist keeper.

Two minutes into the final period Ryan Docherty was pulled back as he chased a ball into the box and the referee pointed to the spot, with Kai Kennedy stepping up to convert. At the other end Lewis Budinauckas was tested from a long-range shot that he did well to save  low to his right.

Rangers scored again just after the turn around in the final period, Kai Kennedy’s superb pass sending Blair Rossiter clear to run on and slot past the keeper. The scoring was completed at the other end when a neat back-heel released their player in the centre of the box and he shot past Lewis Budinauckas.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Queen’s Park 3

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Trialist (Gk), Kyle McClelland, Adam Smith, Josh Henderson, Gary Greig, Kai Kennedy, Mason Kelman, Ciaran Dickson, Ryan Docherty, Steven Bradley, Blair Rossiter, Ewan Deveney, Callum Biggar, Lewis Jamieson, Trialist No.16.

Footnote:- Rangers U10’s won two (4-1 & 5-2), drew one (3-3) and lost one (don’t know) of the seven-a-side games against Queen’s Park U11’s.

Rangers 9 Queen’s Park 1

Sunday saw Rangers U13’s and U14’s take on Queen’s Park at Murray Park and as usual I took in the game involving the older group.

Rangers took an early lead after six minutes, Grant Nelson played the ball up to the edge of the box,Sam Jamieson flicked of with his head  and the Trialist No. 7 latched on to the ball to shoot past the keeper. Two minutes later  Grant Nelson played Sam Jamieson in on the left side of the box and his shot beat the keeper but rebounded of his left hand post.

The second goal was only delayed and when it came it was created and taken by Liam Burt, driving forward from halfway he reached the edge of the box before shooting into the bottom corner. Just after the quarter- hour mark Rangers increased their lead from the penalty spot, Sam Jamieson passed to the Trialist No.7 on the right side of the box and when he cut inside the full-back he was tripped, Sam Jamieson stepped up to convert from twelve yards.

Rangers increased their lead after twenty-three minutes, the Queen’s Park keeper saved at the feet of Dean Picken on the right side of the box but the ball broke back to the Rangers midfielder and he rolled the ball across goal for Liam Burt to net at the back post. Dean Picken and Sam Jamieson  then combined to play Grant Nelson through but on this occasion he was denied by a fine save.

In the final minute of the period Liam Burt produced another forward run from midfield, this time his shot rebounded of the keeper’s right hand post.

Only two minutes had elapsed of the second period when Rangers scored again, Sam Jamieson passed to Liam Burt at the edge of the box and his superb pass sent Grant Nelson clear to round the keeper and roll the ball into the net. The visitor’s tried to reduce the gap in the scorline and when their centre-back let fly from fully thirty yards the ball came back out from the underside of the crossbar with Kieran Wright beaten.

In their next attack just after the period’s twenty minute mark the Hampden side did find the net, when Kieran Wright came from his line to challenge for the ball on the right side of the box the ball broke to the player folllowing up to shoot into the unguarded net. Rangers then went straight up the other end and Sam Jamieson pounced on a miscued clearance, went past a defender on the right side of the box before beating the keeper.

Only a fine challenge from the visitor’s centre-back prevented Sam Jamieson finding the net again, he showed great chest control to gather Jordan Houston’s right wing cross and his volley looked destined for the net until the defender’s challenege deflected the ball over.

The next goal came three minutes into the final period, Aidan Wilson broke forward before exchanging passes with Sam Jamieson and threading a pass through for Dean Picken to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper. In the final fifeteen minutes Rangers added further goals, Blair Docherty dispossesed the central defender at the edge of the penalty area before running on to shoot past the keeper.

The scoring was completed when Jamie Barjonas intercepted a pass from defence and played it to Grant Nelson bearking into the left side of the box and he rolled the ball across goal for the Trialist No.7 to score at the back post.

Full-Time:-Rangers 9 Queen’s Park 1

Rangers Squad:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jordan Houston, Trialist No.12, Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones, Dean Picken, Trialist No.7, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Liam Burt, Grant Nelson, Blair Docherty.

Footnote:- In the u13’s game Queen’s Park were no match for the Ibrox youngsters he score 15 goals without reply.

13’s Win At Stirling University

June 11, 2013

Falkirk 0 Rangers 2

Tonight was an opportunity to pop along to Stirling University to watch Rangers Under 13’s take on Falkirk, games against Falkirk are always worth watching as they are one of the better footballing sides at youth level and have a great record of players progressing to the first team. As it happens it will be the last game between the sides at this level as Falkirk become part of the Forth Valley Academy next season.

Rangers were first to threaten after only five minutes when Jack Thomson picked up a loose ball at the edge of the box and his shot brought out a fine save from the Falkirk keeper at his right hand post. Rangers took the lead eight minutes later, the keeper failed to cut out Carlo Pigniatello’s corner from the right and the ball eventually landed at the feet of Jack Thomson who fired past the defenders on the goal line.

The next chance came when Stephen Kelly broke past a couple of defenders into the penalty area and  forced a save from the keeper. The keeper was helpless at Rangers next attack just before the twenty-minute mark, Zak Rudden fed Matthew Shiels on the left angle of the box, his shot beat the keeper but bounced clear from the underside of the crossbar.

Rangers continued to look the more likely to score and when Carlo Pigniatello and Stephen Kelly worked a short corner on the right, from the latter’s cross Lewis Mayo’s header was saved by the keeper low to his left. The next attack came when Stephen Kelly sent Matthew Shiels down the left and when his cross came in Carlo Pigniatello volleyed narrowly over.

The final chance of the period came in the final minute, Rhys Breen heading Carlo Pigniatello’s corner from the right just over.

The second period began in a similar vein with Matthew Shiels glancing a header wide of the far post from Scott Gray’s left-wing cross. A few minutes later the home side had their first real chance of the match and Lewis Muir did well to clutch the shot from the edge of the box under his crossbar.

The Rangers keeper surpassed that save in Falkirk’s next attack, as they broke deep into the left side of the penalty area he narrowed the angle before diving to his left to parry before gathering. Rangers replied when Stephen Kelly touched as free-kick to Jack Thomson and his shot from fully twenty-five yards beat the keeper but bounced clear from the crossbar.

Midway through the period Cammy Palmer sent Scott Gray down the left and from his cross Scott Blacklaw tried to loop his header over the keeper but it also cleared the bar. Scott Blacklaw then released Zak Rudden on the right and from his low cross Stephen Kelly was denied by the keeper as he turned the ball wide of his left hand post.

The final chance of the period came at the other end, from a corner from the right and a close range header Lewis Muir grabbed the ball close to the goal line.

Just over five minutes into the final period Scott Gray sent a free-kick from the left close to the halfway line, it found the Dylan Patterson the smallest player on the pitch and his header was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. Following a short corner on the left Stephen Kelly’s cross broke to Aaron Reid inside the box and his shot bounced of the far post and clear.

Falkirk then threatened when their player broke through past several defenders but his shot was weak and Lewis Muir saved comfortably. A break from defence by Lewis Mayo set up the next chance as he played Matthew Shiels through with the keeper diving to his left to save.

Into the final quarter of an hour and Rangers came close from a free-kick just outside the left side of the box, Carlo Pigniatello sent his shot over the defensive wall and the Bairns keeper leapt to his left to parry. Rangers made the game safe when they grabbed a second goal, Aaron Reid sent Matthew Shiels clear on the left, as the keeper came across to narrow the angle he played the ball across goal for Carlo Pigniatello to shoot into the net.

Full-Time:- Falkirk 0 Rangers 2

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Rhys Breen, Lewis Mayo, Scott Blacklaw, Carlo Pigniatello, Jack Thomson, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Aaron Reid, Cammy Palmer, Dylan Patterson

12’s Take On Dumbarton 13’s

June 6, 2013

Rangers U12’s 6 Dumbarton U13’s 0

Rangers under 12’s took on opponents a year older when they met Dumbarton’s under 13’s at Murray Park tonight, it was a lovely sunny evening and an opportunity to watch the youngest 11-a-side team that I haven’t seen too often. It took the young Rangers side only six minutes to take the lead and it was created on the right by Kieran McKechnie,  his cross found Mark Leonard on the edge of the six yard box to shoot past the keeper.

Two minutes later only the woodwork prevented Rangers doubling their lead, after good work on the right from Nathan Patterson when his cross was cleared to the edge of the box Billy Gilmour cracked a shot against the crossbar with the keeper beaten. The second goal came just before the quarter-hour, Nathan Patterson progressed on the right and when he crossed into the box Billy Gilmour setup Kieran McKechnie to shoot past the keeper.

Billy Gilmour then sent Mark Leonard through the inside left channel but he was thwarted by the Dumbarton keeper who dived to his left to touch the ball on to his left hand post. The third goal came on twenty-three minutes, Sam McNee’s shot was blocked but the ball broke kindly for Mark Leonard who netted from close range.

With a couple of minutes of the period remaining Billy Gilmour sent Kieran McKechnie clear, the ‘Sons keeper forced him wide and towards the right hand byline from where he crossed to the back post and Mark Leonard nodded into the empty net. There was still time for Nathan Patterson to create another chance down the right, his cross was met on the volley by Mark Leonard and the visitor’s keeper stood tall to make a fine parry.

Rangers continued to dominate in the second period but the chances were fewer and not as clear-cut and they finished the period with only a goal after three minutes  to add to their tally. Lewis McGrattan took on the Dumbarton defence as he broke into the box leaving two defenders in his wake and when he played the ball across goal Mark Leonard was on hand to force the ball over the line.

Rangers came close in the early minutes of the third period, Dylan Patterson and Harry Cochrane combined to play Mark Leonard in and he forced a fine save from the keeper diving to his left. The keeper was soon called into action again, Billy Gilmour’s pass inside the left-back put Kieran McKechnie in the clear with the keeper blocking his shot from a narrow angle.

The Dumbarton keeper soon made it a hat-trick of saves in quick succession, Andy Rodden’s cross from the left found Danny Finlayson who had made his way forward from defence and the keeper did well to block at point-blank range. The scoring was completed with five minutes remaining, Billy Gimour fed Kieran McKechnie on the right and he made his way to the byline before setting up Lewis McGrattan to net from close range. Rangers came close to a seventh when Nathan Patterson played the ball to Andy Rodden on the left, his pass inside was prodded past the keeper by Dylan Patterson but rebounded off the keeper’s left hand post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Dumbarton 0

Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jamie Walker, Rhuaridh McIntyre, Danny Finlayson, Kieran McKechnie, Sam McNee, Lewis McGrattan, Billy Gilmour, Mark Leonard, Andy Rodden, Dylan Patterson, Harry Cochrane, Ben Williamson, Aiden Gibb.

Footnote:- Four Rangers players have been selected for Scotland’s Under 15’s who take on Poland in the next couple of weeks. The full Squad is as follows;-

Goalkeepers

Ross Doohan (Celtic)

Aidan McAdams (Celtic)

Defenders

Ross McCrorie (Rangers)

Ross Lyon (Rangers)

Danny Harvie (Aberdeen)

Leon Jones (Hearts)

Danny Higgins (Celtic)

Midfielders

Max Ashmore (Rangers)

Josh Jeffries (Rangers)

Sean McKirdy (Hearts)

Ethan Hamilton (Hutchison Vale)

Frank Ross (Aberdeen)

Forwards

Liam Runciman (Motherwell)

Regan Hendry (Hutchison Vale)

Alistair Coote (Dundee United)

Ryan Tierney (Hamilton Accies)

Theo Archibald (Celtic)

Calvin Miller (Celtic)

Jordan Neil (Uppingham Town)

Youths Host Aberdeen

June 2, 2013

With the younger age groups playing until the end of June Rangers U13’s and U14’s hosted Aberdeen at Murray Park this afternoon. As is the norm when two games clash I take in the game involving the older group.

Rangers 5 Aberdeen 2

After Rangers missed and early chance with the Trialist No.9 shoot wide of the keeper’s right hand post Aberdeen took the lead on the quarter-hour mark. When a cross from the right was headed from Rangers box the Aberdeen player met it on the volley to give Kieran Wright no chance as it found the net via his right post.

Rangers tried to reply when Dean Picken made his way to the byline on the left but the keeper dived to gather his low cross. The equaliser came just before the twenty-minute mark, Jamie Barjonas progressed to the edge of the Aberdeen box and when his path was blocked he laid the ball back to the Trialist No.8 and his low shot from around twenty-five yards found the net via the keepers right hand post.

With just under five minutes of the period remaining the Trialist No. 8 split the defence and sent Sam Jamieson clear inside the box but he dragged his shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Aberdeen regain their lead thirteen minutes into the second period, a cross come shot from wide on the right sailed over the head of Kieran Wright and into the net. Rangers were back on level terms barely sixty seconds later, Sam Jamieson’s superb pass inside the left-back released the Trialist No.9 who broke into the right side of the box before shooting past the keeper.

Only another couple of minutes had elapsed when another Sam Jamieson pass gave Liam Burt a chance but this time the ‘Dons keeper saved bravely at the midfielder’s feet. Rangers were piling on the pressure and a minute later took the lead, when the play was switched to the Trialist No.9 on the right he took on the full-back and progressed  into the box  from where his shot found the net via the keeper’s body.

Just before the end of the second period Rangers increased their lead and again Sam Jamieson was the creator, with his back to goal his hooked pass over his right shoulder sent Liam Burt clear and he calmly slotted past the keeper.

Rangers were now  firmly in control and when Sam Jamieson and Jamie Barjonas exchanged passes the former’s shot was saved by the keeper. As the game entered the final ten minutes Rangers scored again, this time it was a Liam Burt solo effort, receiving a pass from Blair Docherty on the left he took on the Aberdeen defence beating two players as he made his way into the box before shooting past the keeper. That solo effort was almost surpassed before the final whistle, this time Jamie Barjonas coming in from the right went past no fewer than four defenders on a mazy run and was only denied by a fine save as the keeper diverted his shot wide of his left hand post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Aberdeen 2

Rangers Squad:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Trialist No 2, Blair Docherty, Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones, Dean Picken, Jamie Barjonas, Trialist No. 8, Trialist No. 9, Liam Burt, Sam Jamieson, Trialist No. 12, Trialist No.14.

Footnote:- Goals from Matthew Shiels (2), Zak Rudden and Carlo Pigniatello secured a 4-0 win for Rangers u13’s against their Aberdeen counterparts.