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.