St.Johnstone 2 Rangers 2
Rangers Under 20’s lost a two goal half-time lead to draw with St.Johnstone at McDairmid Park tonight. With preparation for Sunday’s youth cup semi-final in mind, Rangers squad featured no over age players, with all the squad eligible to play on Sunday.
Rangers youngsters got off to the perfect start, taking the lead after two minutes, Tom Walsh delivered a free-kick from the left and defender Kieran Stewart could only head the ball up into the air and when it dropped at the back post Luca Gasparotto volleyed past Mark Hurst. Just after the ten minute mark Dylan Dykes played the ball up to Callum Gallagher on the edge of the box and he found Tom Walsh in space breaking into the left side of the box with Mark Hurst saving at his near post.
Less than ten minutes later Rangers suffered a blow when Tom Walsh’s comeback lasted less than twenty minutes when he pulled up injured and was replaced by Danny Stoney. Midway through the half the home side threatened from a free-kick just left of centre on the edge of the box, Dylan Easton’s effort forcing Liam Kelly to tip over.
Seven minutes before the break Rangers doubled their lead from the penalty spot, Danny Stoney’s through ball had Callum Gallagher chasing with defender Kieran Stewart and when Mark Hurst came rushing from goal the defender knocked the ball past him and with the Rangers striker chasing the loose ball he was brought down by the keeper and the referee pointed to the spot. Although the keeper guessed right Dylan Dykes penalty was placed right in the keeper’s bottom left hand corner. A free-kick from an almost identical position to the previous one saw Dylan Easton come closer to finding the net, this time his curling shot came back off Liam Kelly’s right hand post with Andrew Steeves heading the rebound over.
Half-Time:- St.Johnstone 0 Rangers 2
An enterprising run from Craig Thomson in the opening minute of the second half saw him go past two Rangers defenders on the left side of the box, his shot was powerful but lacked direction and Liam Kelly saved at the near post. Rangers replied when the ball was moved from Danny Stoney on the right to Callum Gallagher on the left, he laid the ball back to Ryan Sinnamon who passed inside to tee up a Charlie Telfer twenty-five yarder that was only just wide of Mark Hurst’s right hand post.
The home side got back into the game with twenty minutes remaining, Dylan Easton’s free-kick from the left found Dwayne Coultress unmarked at the back post, Liam Kelly did well to parry his close range header but was helpless to prevent Kieran Stewart firing into the net from close range. Two minutes later the home side had a massive left off, Callum Gallagher flicked the ball on to Jamie Burrows who was brought down two yards inside the penalty area but the referee incredibly awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Callum Gallagher sent the resultant free-kick tamely over.
As the game approached the final five minutes Rangers created a chance to clinch the match, Jamie Burrows pass released Danny Stoney inside the right side of the box, his shot was on target with Mark Hurst stretching to tip over. Two minutes later the sides were level, Dylan Easton looked to have nowhere to go on the right hand byline but he was allowed to turn and cut the ball back for Dwayne Coultress to find the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Full-Time:- St.Johnstone 2 Rangers 2
St.Johnstone;- Mark Hurst; Scott Gray, Kieran Stewart, Alex Kitchen, Andrew Steeves; Scott Brown; Craig Thomson, Scott Wilson (Rhys Evans 81mins), Dylan Easton, Dwayne Coultress; Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson (Fisayo Adarabioyo 83mins)
Not Used:- Sam Bunting (Gk), Scott Stevenson, Scott Taylor-McKenzie
Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Craig Halkett, Kris Gibson, Luca Gasparotto, Rayn Sinnamon; Dylan Dykes, Andy Murdoch, Charlie Telfer, Tom Walsh (DannyStoney 19mins); Darren Ramsay (Jamie Burrows 60mins); Callum Gallagher (Scott Roberts 79mins)
Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Greg Pascazio, Ryan Finnie.