Archive for March, 2014

Youth Round Up

March 30, 2014

Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 0

With the scheduled early kick-off for the under 15’s at New Douglas Park cancelled, what was going to be a double-header became just the one game, the under 14’s game with Hamilton Accies at Murray Park. Rangers were deserved winners in what was an entertaining game at a cold Murray Park.

It was the visitor’s who had the first real effort on target after thirteen minutes, from a free-kick just outside the left hand side of the box the shot was on target and Darren Montgomery saved low to his right, gathering at the second attempt. Five minutes later Stephen Kelly broke clear of the Accies defence on the halfway line and continued into the box but his shot was weak and the keeper saved  low to his left.

A further three minutes had passed when Jordan Houston sent Zak Rudden clear on the left, the Rangers striker progressed into the box but his shot was too straight and it allowed the keeper to blog with his legs. A minute later Rangers passed up another great chance, Matifadza Zata passed into Matthew Shiels from the right and a neat back-heel released Stephen Kelly inside the box, but again the finish was disappointing and the keeper saved comfortably.

Five minutes before the end of period Accies attacked down the right, and exchange of passes created space for the cross and it took a superb Michael Hewitt clearance to clear the danger. Two minutes later the visitors attack came down the left, when the ball was cut back the shot was netbound until Darren Montgomery dived to his right to produce a fine one handed save.

Hamilton had the first chance in the opening minute of the second period, the cross came in from the left and the header on goal was only just too high. Rangers replied when Stephen Kelly on the left passed inside to Jordan Houston who exchanged passes with Zak Rudden before shooting across goal and only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Twenty minutes into the second period Rangers took the lead, Matthew Shiels beat the keeper to Jordan Houston’s through ball, knocking the ball past him on the edge of the box then taking his time to pick his spot in the net. It was almost two a minute later, Zak Rudden passed to Jordan Houston on the right and from his low cross Matthew Shiels was denied by the keeper at point blank-range.

The visitors created a decent chance five minutes before the end of the period, created on the right they progressed deep into Rangers penalty area but the shot went across goal. Rangers ended the period on the attack and from Scott Gray’s superb free-kick from the right Lewis Mayo’s header looked netbound until the keeper dived high to his right to claw the ball away.

Two minutes into the final period Rangers doubled their lead, Stephen Kelly and Scott Blacklaw worked a short corner on the left and from the former’s cross Matifadza Zata met it on the volley and the ball hit the inside of the keeper’s right hand post, as the ball went across goal Rhys Breen was well placed to bundle the ball over the line. Two minutes later Aaron Reid sent Zak Rudden clear on the left side of the penalty area but was again denied by the keeper.

Rangers were dominating at the start of the period and when Accies failed to clear a corner Rhys Breen was denied twice by the keeper, blocking his first effort then a few seconds later turning his shot wide of his right hand post. The game then went through a period where goalmouth chances were limited until the final minute when Matthew Shiels pass found Zak Rudden on the left side of the box, he went passed a defender to put himself in the clear, but not for the first time the keeper came off his line to block with his legs.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 0

Rangers Squad:- Darren Montgomery (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Jack Thomson, Lewis Mayo, Matifadza Zata, Jordan Houston, Carlo Pignatiello, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Cammy Wray, Rhys Breen, Aaron Reid, Scott Blacklaw.

Footnote:- The cancelled Under 15’s fixture was replaced with a game against Kilmarnock on Saturday morning that Rangers won  1-0.

At the same time of the under 14’s game, Rangers 13’s recorded a 4-2 win over their Hamilton Accies counterparts with the goals coming from Marc Leonard, Niyah Joseph, Dylan Patterson & Bill Gilmour.

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Friendly Win For 17’s

March 25, 2014

Rangers 3 Stirling Albion 1

Unusually for an Under 17’s game, tonight’s game was played over three thirty minute periods and a goal in each period was enough for Rangers to secure a win. Although, against a decent Stirling Albion side the win was only secured with a late third goal.

Rangers took the lead midway through the first period when Sam Jamieson latched on to a slack pass back and finished with a sublime chip over the advancing keeper. Rangers came close again when Lewis White created the chance on the left, when he cut the ball back to Jamie Brandon forced a save from the Stirling keeper.

A couple of minutes later the visitor’s keeper was called into action again, this time getting down to his right to save Max Ashmore’s free-kick from just outside the left side of the penalty area. As the period entered the final minute Stirling Albion equalised, an exchange of passes on the right side of Rangers box created the shooting opportunity that Lewis McMinn parried, when the ball was hooked back across goal Rangers failed to clear and the ball was knocked into the net at the back post.

The second period was fairly even with few clear-cut chances at either end until Rangers regained the lead from the penalty spot as the end of the period approached. Lewis White exchanged passes with Michael Mossie on the right side of the Stirling penalty area and as he broke into the box his run was checked for a clear penalty and he stepped up to convert from twelve yards.

Rangers came close in the third period when Lewis White’s pass sent Michael Mossie through with the keeper saving bravely at the make shift striker’s feet, when the ball broke to Jamie Brandon he sent his shot towards the net and was denied only by a superb clearance from the defender in front of goal. The game was made safe when another Lewis White pass sent Michael Mossie clear and this time he advanced into the box before shooting past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Stirling Albion 1

Rangers:- Lewis McMinn; Ross McCrorie, Scot Whiteside, David Brownlie, Chris McDonald; Michael Mossie, Adam Wilson, Max Ashmore, Lewis White; Jamie Brandon; Sam Jamieson (Liam Burt 31mins (Kyle Bradley 61mins))

15’s Beat Queen’s Park

March 24, 2014

Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0

This week’s youth football fix was Monday night’s under 15 clash against Queen’s Park at Murray Park. After a relatively close first half Rangers took control after the break and ran out comfortable winners.

Rangers came close when Sam Jamieson’s shot was deflected and Liam Burt hooked the ball back across goal from the right hand byline and the Queen’s defender did well to head clear under pressure. Queen’s Park replied when Joe Manderson linked with Lewis McCracken who broke into the box and shot wide of Kieran Wright’s right hand post.

Rangers took the lead just after the midpoint of the half, Grant Nelson crossed from the right and Sam Jamieson’s acrobatic volley came back off the crossbar and the ball was cleared for a corner. From Liam Burt’s flag kick Aidan Wilson rose at the back post to head past Kalvin Graham.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 0

Rangers doubled their lead when Jamie Barjonas passed the ball forward to Liam Burt who attacked the centre of the Queens defence going past two defenders and calmly slotting the ball past Owen Stott. The visitors hit back with Ewan McPherson attacking down the right and when his cross came in Joe Manderson headed wide of Kieran Wright’s left hand post.

Rangers looked certain to score a third when Sam Jamieson attacked the left side of the penalty area before playing a one-two with Liam Burt, the return pass saw him clear inside the box and just when a goal was expected he shot just wide of the far post. Rangers soon made the game save with a third goal, Owen Stott got down to his right to parry Liam Burt’s shot from the edge of the box but he was helpless as Grant Nelson rolled the ball across goal to give Mark Walker a tap in.

Queen’s Park almost got their consolation goal in bizarre circumstances, Kieran Wright’s clearance was blocked by the Queen’s attacker and the ball went over the Rangers keeper and bounced off the crossbar.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0

Rangers Squad:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Aidan Wilson, Kyle Bradley, Jason Krones, Kieran Laing, Kieran Balfour, Andy Dallas, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Liam Burt, Grant Nelson, Ben Andoh, Sam Rutherford, Lewis Mayo, Mark Walker.

Queen’s Park Squad:- Kalvin Graham (Gk), Owen Stott (Gk), Jordan Pender, Andy Henderson, Darren Robertson, Marcus Connolly, Jonathan Devlin, Connor Higgins, Blair Murray, Calvin McGrory, Ewan McPherson, Adam Stoddart, Liam Brown, Lewis McCracken, Joe Manderson, Paul O’Brien, Anton Richardson.

Development Sides Play Forth Valley

March 16, 2014

Rangers 9 Forth Valley 3

This weekend the development age groups took on Forth Valley, the Under 15’s and Under 17’s games, which were scheduled to be played on Saturday at Stirling University was reduced to one when the under 15’s game was cancelled. So it meant this weekend’s youth football fix would come today with the Under 14’s game at Murray Park, with manager Ally McCoist watching part of the game from the sidelines I am sure it would have been a boost for the youngsters.

Rangers opened the scoring in the opening minute, Matthew Shiels crossed from the left and Zak Rudden controlled the ball on the penalty spot before turning and shooting past the keeper. Five minutes later Rangers doubled their lead, Aaron Reid had possession wide on the right and he passed to Carlo Pignatiello on the right hand angle of the box, his lobbed cross into the box was on to the head of Zak Rudden who headed past the keeper.

Two minutes later Zak Rudden looked set to grab an early hat trick when he was played through but this time he was thwarted by the Forth Valley keeper who made a fine block with his legs. Rangers third and Zak Rudden’s hat trick was only delayed a further eight minutes, Aaron Reid switched play to Scott Gray wide on the left and his superb cross was finished by the Rangers striker at the back post with a controlled volley.

Six minutes later Scott Gray was again the provider, advancing down the left he passed inside for Carlo Pignatiello to find the net from the edge of the box. Five minutes later the full back got his name on the score sheet, Scott Gray again advanced down the left and this time his cross sailed over the keeper and into the net.

The scoring for the period was complete with barely a minute left on the clock, Matthew Shiels robbed a defender on the edge of the box before taking a couple of steps into the area and shooting past the keeper. The visitors first threatened eight minutes into the second period, their midfielder breaking forward past a couple of Rangers players with Lewis Muir saving his effort low to his right.

Rangers replied when Carlo Pignatiello sent Aaron Reid through  the inside right channel with the Forth Valley keeper saving low to his left. Rangers soon added to their tally, with Michael Hewitt being the provider with and run and cross from the right to find Stephen Kelly who shot past the keeper.

The visitors then pulled a goal back to setup their best period in the game, they attacked the centre of Rangers defence and the shot from the edge of the box beat Darren Montgomery low to his right as the ball found the bottom corner. A few minutes later they came close to reducing the deficit further, the attack came down the right and when the cross deflected off Stephen Kelly, Darren Montgomery did well to save at his near post.

The final chance of the period came at the other  with Carlo Pignatiello’s pass sending Michael Hewitt clear on the right with the Forth Valley keeper coming off his line to block. Rangers were first to strike in the final period, Jordan Houston was the architect with a run and cross from the right and it was finished by a Matthew Shiels header.

The visitors replied when they attacked the centre of Rangers penalty area, a ricochet favoured the attacker and the ball landed at the feet of their midfielder inside the box and he shot past Darren Mongomery. Rangers replied with arguably the goal of the game, a great move on the right started by Jordan Houston, who passed inside to Carlo Pignatiello who played the ball into Zak Rudden on the edge of the box and his lay back was perfect for Stephen Kelly to shoot past the keeper.

The scoring was completed when Forth Valley scored a superb goal of their own, when the ball was passed inside their midfielder collected the pass before giving Darren Montgomery no chance from the edge of the box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 9 Forth Valley 3

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Darren Montgomery, Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Rhys Breen, Jordan Houston, Cammy Wray, Aaron Reid, Carlo Pignatiello, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Matifadza Zata, Scott Blacklaw.

Footnote:- At the same time Rangers Under 13’s hit double figures with a 10-1 win over their Forth Valley counterparts, the goals coming from Nathan Patterson, Kieran McKechnie (3), Billy Gilmour, Niyah Joseph (2), Lewis McGrattan, Ruaridh McIntyre & Harry Cochrane.

Rangers Squad:- Reece Murdoch (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Andy Rodden, Aiden Gibb, Danny Finlayson, Ben Williamson, Kieran McKechnie, Billy Gilmour, Niyah Joseph, Dylan Patterson, Lewis McGrattan, Ruaridh McIntyre, Kyle Ewing, Harry Cochrane.

On Saturday Rangers under 17’s recorded a 4-2 win at Stirling University.

Early Goal Secures Points

March 11, 2014

Rangers 1 Dundee United 0

An early goal from Craig Halkett was enough to secure the points for Rangers Under 20’s at The Bet Butler Stadium tonight, although they had to survive a couple of late scares from a young Dundee United side before the points were safe.

Rangers took the lead after barely two minutes, Charlie Telfer swung in a free kick from the left and Craig Halkett rose to head past Joe McGovern. When Craig Halkett rose to head clear a cross six minutes later it was picked up by Scott Fraser who’s effort from just outside the box was only just wide of Scott Gallagher’s right hand post.

Dundee United came closer still on the twenty-minute mark, Adam Harwood got on the end of a corner from the right and his header was destined for the net until Charlie Telfer popped up to head from the goal line. It was a disappointing game and there was little further goalmouth action in the first half and the sides turned round separated by Craig Halkett’s goal.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Dundee United 0

Rangers were first to threaten after the break when Dylan Dykes and Charlie Telfer combined on the right and when the latter crossed Callum Gallagher headed just over. On fifty-five minutes Danny Stoney sent in a corner from the right and Chris Hegarty’s header looked like extending Rangers lead until Scott Fraser headed off the line.

Dundee United replied when Euan Spark made the byline on the right and Jordan Allan headed his cross narrowly over. With around fifteen minutes remaining United really Should have levelled, Jamie Montgomery cut in from the right and attacked Rangers box before playing Brad Smith in on the left side of the penalty area, with Scott Gallagher to beat he shot back across goal and wide of the far post.

As the clock ticked to eighty-five minutes Aidan Connolly’s pass inside Craig Halkett sent Brad Smith to the byline on the left, his cross found its way to Cammy Ballantyne at the back post who volleyed goalwards and he was only denied by a superb Chris Hegarty block on the goal line. A minute later the visitor’s had their final chance, when a corner from the left was cleared from Rangers box Scott Smith shot through a crowded box with Scott Gallagher saving at the second attempt as defenders and attackers converged on him.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Dundee United 0

Rangers:- Scott Gallagher; Craig Halkett, Chris Hegarty, Luca Gasparotto, Ryan Sinnamon; Dylan Dykes, Charlie Telfer, Kyle Hutton (Ryan Finnie 66mins), Robbie Crawford (Kris Gibson HT), Danny Stoney; Callum Gallagher.

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (Gk), Scott Roberts, Greg Pascazio

Dundee United:- Joe McGovern; Euan Sparks, Cammy Ballantyne, Adam Harwood, Chris McLaughlin (Harry Souttar 74mins); Brad Smith, Scott Smith, Scott Fraser, Aidan Connolly; Jamie Montgomery; Jordan Allan (Reghan Tumilty 61mins).

Not Used:- Phillip Anderson (Gk), Blair Malcolm, Paul Carrick.

14’s Lose To Hearts

March 10, 2014

Rangers 1 Hearts 2

Before heading over to Ibrox for yesterday’s “thriller” I spent the morning at Murray Park taking in the Under 14’s game against Hearts. Like last week it was a tight game and on the this occasion the Edinburgh side just edged it.

Hearts had the first chance after eight minutes, the attack came on the left side of Rangers box with Lewis Muir saving and his near post. Another eight minutes had passed when some great passing play through Rangers midfield involving Cammy Wray, Carlo Pignatiello and Stephen Kelly released Jack Pow through the inside right channel, he lobbed the advancing keeper but the ball drifted wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Rangers took the lead two minutes later, Scott Gray on the left passed inside to Stephen Kelly who chipped the ball into the box, Matthew Shiels showed great bravery as he took a sore one from the Hearts keeper and the ball broke for Zak Rudden to knock the ball into the net. Rangers only held the lead for four minutes with the visitor’s hitting back with a great solo effort, the striker attacked the left side of Rangers penalty area going past two defenders and shooting across Lewis Muir and into the far corner.

Five minutes into the second period a long ball from the Hearts centre back sent their striker clear on the right side of Rangers box but he shot wide of Lewis Muir’s near post. Three minutes later the visitors had another chance cutting in from the left side of the box and it took a great Rhys Breen challenge to deflect the shot over.

Rangers replied when Scott Gray played the ball forward to Aaron Reid on the left and from his low cross Jack Pow didn’t connect cleanly and the shot drifted wide of the keeper’s left hand post. It was Hearts that had the final opportunity of the period with an exchange of passes on the edge Rangers box and they were only denied by a fine Michael Hewitt block.

Rangers missed a great chance in the opening minute of the final period, Carlo Pignatiello charged down a clearance from a Hearts defender before playing in Matifadza Zata on the right side of the penalty area but he pulled his shot wide of the near post. As the game entered the final ten minutes  Darren Montgomery did well to hold a long-range effort under his crossbar.

Hearts scored what proved to be the winner with five minutes remaining, their midfielder broke forward to the right side of Rangers box before firing a shot into the far top corner giving Darren Montgomery no chance.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hearts 2

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Darren Montgomery (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Scott Gray, Rhys Breen, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Wray, Jack Pow, Carlo Pignatiello, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Aaron Reid, Matifadza Zata

Old Firm Win For 14’s

March 2, 2014

Celtic 1 Rangers 3

With the development games at the other three age groups postponed the only youth game I could take in was the Under 14’s game at Lennoxtown this afternoon. In a close contest the Rangers youngsters completed the double over their Glasgow rivals following on from their 4-2 victory at Murray Park earlier in the season.

The home side had the first opportunity on nine minutes, Ciaran Diver passed inside from the right and Kristi Marku’s shot was powerful if a bit straight with Lewis Muir saving at the first attempt. Celtic had the slight edge in the opening period but with five minutes remaining, Zak Rudden, Matifadza Zata and Stephen Kelly combined on the right and the pass into the right side of the box gave Matthew Shiels a chance with keeper Jordan Herron standing up to make the save as the Rangers striker tried to knock the ball past him.

Before the end of the period Ciaran Diver set off on a run cutting in from the right past two defenders but his shot was weak and Lewis Muir saved comfortably. Rangers came close four minutes into the second period, Zak Rudden got his head to Jack Thomson’s long ball to find Stephen Kelly, his pass freed Matthew Shiels on the left side of the box and he was again denied by Jordan Herron rushing from his line.

Celtic took the lead just after the twenty-minute mark of the second period, Ciaran Diver cut inside Jordan Houston on the left and passed to Henderson on the left side of the penalty area and he passed across goal to Jack Aitchison who had time to take a touch before shooting past Lewis Muir. Rangers responded immediately and were back on level term within sixty seconds. With a Celtic defender attempting to shepherd the ball over the right hand byline he was robbed by Jordan Houston who’s cross was perfect for Zak Rudden to power a header past Jordan Herron.

Towards the end of the period Stephen Kelly and Zak Rudden exchanged a few passes and it ended with Zak Rudden’s hooked shot from the right side of the box flashing across goal and just wide of the post. Celtic had the final chance of the period, from a free-kick just outside the Rangers penalty area just right of centre Kristi Marku stepped up to send a powerful shot just wide of Lewis Muir’s right hand post.

The Rangers youngsters started the final period on the front foot and came close to taking the lead in the opening minute, Zak Rudden broke down the left and his pass across goal found Jordan Houston who was only denied by a fine Jordan Herron save low to his right. The goal was only delayed a further sixty seconds, again Zak Rudden powered into the Celtic box, this time on the right, Jordan Herron did well to parry his shot into the air, Matthew Shiels followed up and although his initial header was blocked he was on hand to shoot into the net.

A few minutes later Matthew Shiels worked his way along the left hand byline and when his ball into the area was cleared to the edge of the area Stephen Kelly’s effort was only just wide Jordan Herron’s right hand post. With seven minutes remaining Rangers increased their lead, Scott Gray sent Zak Rudden clear down the left, his cross found its way to Stephen Kelly on the right side of the box, his shot on goal brought out a fine save from Jordan Herron but when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box he was helpless as Cammy Palmer fired into the roof of the net.

Celtic had a chance to reduce the deficit sixty seconds later, from a cross from the left their striker got across the Rangers defence and headed just wide of Darren Montgomery’s right hand post.

Full-Time:- Celtic 1 Rangers 3

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Darren Montgomery (Gk), Jordan Houston, Scott Gray, Jack Thomson, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Palmer, Carlo Pignatiello, Matifadza Zata, Zak Rudden, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Michael Hewitt, Cammy Wray, Jack Pow, Aaron Mooney.