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