Motherwell 1 Rangers 2
Rangers Under 20’s showed great resilience to grab a winner after going down to ten men with just over a quarter of an hour remaining following Chris Hegarty’s red card. In a game that could have gone either way it was the Ibrox youngsters who found the winner to secure the three points.
Rangers had the early territorial advantage without seriously troubling Ross Stewart in the Motherwell goal and it was the Fir Park side that created the first real effort on goal on eighteen minutes. Lee Erwin, who played against Rangers earlier this season while at Arbroath on loan, cut in from the left past two defenders and his powerful shot forced a fine save from Liam Kelly low at his right hand post. A couple of minutes later Chris Cadden overlapped on the right and when his low cross deflected off Ryan Sinnamon, Liam Kelly had to change direction and make an equally fine save, this time at his left hand post.
A minute later Rangers capitalised on their keeper’s excellence by taking the lead with their first real effort on goal, Robbie Crawford was the creator with a left-wing cross and Callum Gallagher the executioner with a header past Ross Stewart. Motherwell replied on the half hour when Paul McCafferty took on Ryan Sinnamon on the right side of the box to make space for the shot that Liam Kelly got down to his right to save.
Four minutes later Chris Hegarty’s ball into the right side of the Motherwell box saw Callum Gallagher beat Ross Stewart to the ball but it bounced just wide of the far post. Motherwell then grabbed an equaliser from the penalty spot eight minutes before the break, Paul McCafferty crossed from the right and Chris Hegarty clearly pushed Craig Moore at the back post and the referee pointed to the spot. Liam Kelly guessed right diving to his right and got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep out Lee Erwin’s powerfully struck spotkick.
Half-Time:- Motherwell 1 Rangers 1
The home side really should have taken the lead in the opening minute of the second half but were denied by a stunning point-blank Liam Kelly save. Paul McCaffterty attacked the Rangers box near the byline on the right and his low cross was met by Lee Erwin inside the six yard box but somehow the Rangers keeper kept it out. At the other end Darren Ramsay cut in from the left and let fly from twenty-five yard but it was straight at Ross Stewart who saved comfortably.
Darren Ramsay then miss hit a corner from the left that wrong footed the defence and Chris Hegarty’s shot from close range was straight at Ross Stewart. In a whirlwind start to the half Motherwell were soon back on the attack and Dominic Thomas took on two Rangers defenders on the left and his low cross was missed by Craig Moore right in front of goal.
Rangers were desperately unlucky not to take the lead on the hour, Andy Murdoch sent Jamie Burrows breaking into the right side of the penalty area, his shot beat Ross Stewart but rebounded from the inside of the far post and rolled along the line back into the keepers arms. Rangers then threatened on the other side of the box four minutes later, Darren Ramsay taking on Chris Cadden before shooting across goal and just wide of the far post.
Straight back to the other end and Craig Moore combined with Paul McCafferty on the left side of the box to set up Lee Erwin but he screwed his shot wide of the far post. As the seventy minute mark neared Andy Murdoch tried his luck from fully thirty yards that Ross Stewart held under his crossbar.
With seventeen minutes remaining Rangers suffered a blow when Chris Hegarty, who had picked up a yellow card at the penalty incident received a second and subsequent red for a late challenge. The Ibrox youngsters dug in and grabbed what proved to be the winner, Charlie Telfer’s superb pass inside Chris Cadden found Ryan Sinnamon breaking into the box and he beat Ross Stewart with a fine right foot shot.
Full-Time:- Motherwell 1 Rangers 2
Motherwell:- Ross Stewart; Chris Cadden, Morgyn Neill, Euan Murray, David Ferguson; Craig McCall (Frazer Johnstone 73mins); Paul McCafferty, Dale Shirkie (Steven Higgins 81mins), Dominic Thomas; Lee Erwin, Craig Moore.
Not Used:- Brett Long (Gk), Ben Hall, Dylan Mackin.
Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Chris Hegarty, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Ryan Sinnamon; Dylan Dykes (Jamie Burrows 58mins), Andy Murdoch, Charlie Telfer, Darren Ramsay (Danny Stoney 67mins); Robbie Crawford; Callum Gallagher.
Not Used:- Alan Smith (Gk), Greg Pascazio, Ryan Finnie, Scott Roberts, Kris Gibson.