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.