Youngsters Take On Newcastle United

Newcastle United were the visitors at Murray Park with Rangers taking on their English opponents at Under 9, Under 10, Under 13 and Under 14. As is norm I take in the game involving the oldest age group.

Rangers 1 Newcastle United 2

Rangers 14’s never quite managed to recover from a first period that Newcastle dominated but a better performance in the second and third periods saw them come close to squaring the game.

The visitors came close to taking the lead on nine minutes, the attack was built on the left and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box, the shot forced a brilliant save from Darren Montgomery low to his right, the rebound was knocked into the net but the referee ruled offside. The goal was only delayed sixty seconds, a pass split the Rangers defence to send the Newcastle player through on goal, with the Rangers defence claiming offside he continued on into the box to shoot past Darren Montgomery.

The English side were dominant and a further sixty seconds had passed when the impressive No.8 strode forward before shooting narrowly over. As the quarter-hour mark approached Newcastle increased their lead, the goal was created down the right and when the cross came in a flick volley found the far top corner giving Darren Montgomery no chance.

Rangers came into the game towards the end of the period and a storming run down the left on twenty-three minutes by Aaron Reid ended with a cross that the goalkeeper fumbled but a defender was well placed to clear from in front of goal. A minute later Cammy Palmer and Carlo Pigniatiello combined to set up a shooting chance for Joseph McMullan which was only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Two minutes into the second period a long ball was missed by the Rangers defence and it took a fine save from Darren Montgomery diving to his left to turn the ball wide and prevent a further goal. As the ten minute mark of the period approached Carlo Pigniatiello found Stephen Kelly who’s superb pass split the defence with the Newcastle keeper saving bravely at the feet of Scott Blacklaw.

Two minutes later Carlo Pigniatiello delivered a free-kick into the box and when it was cleared to the edge of the box Joseph McMullan forced a save from the keeper low to his right. Newcastle replied and created a chance on the right side of Rangers penalty area, the shot went across goal and just wide of the far post.

The opening minute of the third period saw Rangers come close to pulling a goal back, great play down the left from Matthew Shiels left two defenders in his wake, when the keeper could only knock his cross towards the back post Mati Zattafarra headed just wide of the back post. The goal to bring Rangers back into the game came eight minutes into the final period, Jack Pow fed Jordan Houston on the right and what appeared to be a cross sailed over the keeper and into the net.

Rangers were now chasing an equaliser and missed a great chance with around ten minutes remaining, a superb Jordan Houston cross from the right found Matthew Shiels arriving at the back post, but he didn’t quite connect properly with his header and the ball went wide of the post. As the final five minutes approached Aaron Mooney created a chance with his cross from the right with Jack Pow heading just wide of the near post.

The visitors ended the game on the attack and they had the final effort on goal from the right hand side of Rangers penalty area and Lewis Muir did well to hold the effort on goal.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Newcastle United 2

Rangers Squad:- Darren Montgomery (Gk), Lewis Muir (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Aaron Reid, Scott Gray, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Palmer, Scott Blacklaw, Joseph McMullan, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Carlo Pigniatiello, Jordan Houston, Matti Zattafarra, Jack Pow, Cammy Wray, Matthew Shiels, Aaron Mooney.

Footnote:- At the same time on an adjacent pitch goals from Kieran McKechnie & Niyah Joseph gave Rangers under 13’s a 2-1 win over their Newcastle United counterparts.

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