Shootout Win For Youths

Rangers 2 Hearts 2 After Extra Time 

Rangers win 8-7 on penalties

Goalkeeper Liam Kelly was Rangers her0 in tonight’s Youth Cup Final at St.Mirren Park. Having already saved three penalties and with the sides locked at seven all  after ten penalties each, he stepped up to beat Jordan Millar from the spot before making another save from the Hearts keeper’s penalty to win the cup for Rangers.

There was a significant contrast in first team experience between the sides, the Rangers players had a few minutes lower league experience here and there, with their most experienced player Barrie McKay on the bench.While the Hearts side had almost ten thousand minutes of top league experience between them. The early exchanges also showed a contrast in styles, with Hearts trying to play through midfield while Rangers opted for long balls up to the lone striker.

Rangers were first to threaten on six minutes, Darren Ramsay played the ball forward to Callum Gallagher who held of a Hearts defender as he broke into the box but he shot wide of Jordan Millar’s left hand post. At the other end Ryan Sinnamon had a poor touch when a cross came in from the left but he recovered well to clear before Hearts could capitalise.

As the quarter-hour mark approached Callum Gallagher charged down a clearance from Liam Gordon before passing to Darren Ramsay on the left side of the box, Jordan Millar knocked his powerful shot up in the air and in the race to the loose ball Callum Gallagher could only head the ball wide. On the half hour Craig Halkett rose to head Darren Ramsay’s corner from the right goalwards which Jordan Millar held under the bar.

Hearts responded by Taking the lead barely sixty seconds later, Callum Paterson’s cross from the right found Sam Nicholson unmarked at the back post, Liam Kelly saved his initial header but was helpless as he netted the rebound.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hearts 1

The Edinburgh side had a great chance to increase their lead in the opening minute of the second half, Ryan Sinnamon’s attempted pass back went straight to Gary Oliver, bearing in on goal from a narrow angle of the right he was thwarted by Liam Kelly who stood tall to divert the ball for a corner at his near post. Just over five minutes later following a corner Callum Paterson hooked the ball back into the Rangers box, it fell kindly for Gary Oliver with Liam Kelly bravely saving at the striker’s feet the ball broke back to the Hearts player and with the goal gaping he shot into the side netting.

As the hour mark approached Rangers drew level, when the ball came into the edge of the box from the left, Callum Gallagher laid it back into the path of Greg Pascazio who’s twenty-five yarder beat Jordan Millar with the aid of a deflection. The Ibrox youngsters were only level for five minutes, Sam Nicholson got to the byline on the left before cutting the ball back for Angus Beith who’s effort was cleared of the line by Darren Ramsay but only as far as Billy King who shot through a crowded six yard box into the net.

Jordan Millar then sliced a clearance straight to Jamie Burrows presenting the Rangers substitute with a great chances to equalise, but he was too deliberate as he tried to pick his spot and the Hearts keeper redeemed himself by making a save. A minute later Charlie Telfer attacked the left side of Hearts penalty area before passing inside to Jamie Burrows who’s shot was just wide of Jordan Millar’s right hand post.

As the game entered the final fifteen of the ninety Billy King broke towards Rangers box before shooting just wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post. Gary Oliver’s good first touch on Callum Paterson’s long ball looked to have set him up until Craig Halkett cleared the danger with a superb challenge.

As the clocked reached eighty-seven minutes Rangers got a massive break to take the game to extra time, Barrie McKay sent the ball into Hearts box from halfway and keeper Jordan Millar came from his line to get stranded in no mans land which allowed Craig Halkett to glance a header over the keeper and into the net.

Full-Time:-Rangers 2 Hearts 2

Rangers created the first chance nine minutes into extra time, Charlie Telfer passed to Barrie McKay wide on the right, he cut inside before going for goal, his first attempt was blocked by Liam Smith and his follow-up effort was wide of Jordan Millar’s left hand post. A few minutes later Barrie McKay’s corner from the right was headed on by Craig Hallkett, it landed at the feet of Jamie Burrows who was denied at close range by Jordan Millar.

On the stroke of half-time in extra time Rangers thought they had taken the lead, Callum Gallagher’s cross from the right was headed on by Jamie Burrows and fired into the net by Luca Gasparotto at the back post, but celebrations was cut shot by a linesman’s flag. Rangers then missed a great chance five minutes into the second half, Barrie McKay raced down the left on a Craig Halkett headed clearance, he found Jamie Burrows who had made a run the length of the pitch, breaking into the centre of the box but with the goal at his mercy he over ran the ball into the arms of Jordan Millar.

Hearts then applied some pressure through a series of set plays with the Rangers defence standing firm until the width of a post rescued them with two minutes remaining. Dale Carrick allowed Callum Patterson’s throw in from the right to run across his body before firing for goal with Liam Kelly beaten as the ball rebound from his right hand post.

And so it was on to the incredible penalty shootout with all twenty-two players facing the nerve-wracking walk to the penalty spot. Both keepers had saved three each of the ten attempts, with Liam Kelly scoring and then making that all important save.

Considering the first team experience of the Hearts side the Rangers fans watching must be wondering why so few of these Rangers youngsters did not get an opportunity to gain some first team experience once the First Division title was secured.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hearts 2 After Extra Time 

Rangers win 8-7 on penalties

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Greg Pascazio, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Ryan Sinnamon; Danny Stoney (Jamie Burrows 52mins), Andy Murdoch, Dylan Dykes (Barrie McKay 52mins), Darren Ramsay (Scott Roberts 73mins); Charlie Telfer; Callum Gallagher.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), Kris Gibson

Hearts:- Jordan Millar; Callum Paterson, Liam Gordon, Jordan McGhee, Liam Smith; Billy King (Robbie Buchanan 87mins), Aaron Scott, Angus Beith, Sam Nicholson (Sean McKirdy 102mins); Gary Oliver; Dale Carrick.

Not Used:- Kelby Mason (Gk), Jack Simpson, Elliot Ford

Blue = scored    Red = saved

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