Archive for August, 2014

Derby Day In Development Leagues

August 31, 2014

Today saw Rangers take on Celtic at three age groups, with along three games kicking off an 1pm, the 13’s and 14’s meeting at Murray Park and the 15’s game going ahead at Lennoxtown. I didn’t see the point of travelling to Lennoxtown when the were games at the superior Murray Park and as my usual convention I take in the older group, so it was the 14’s game for me.

Rangers 2 Celtic 2

It was clear how Celtic saw  the route to closing the gap between the sides from last season, as the teams lined up the six biggest players on the pitch were in the Celtic lineup. Yet it was the Rangers youngsters that caught the eye in the opening period and came close to taking the lead on five minutes. Andy Rodden’s corner from the right found its way to Aiden Gibb at the back post with the Celtic keeper getting down low to his right to parry his effort and when the Rangers keeper followed up he could only fire into the side netting.

A further five minutes had elapsed when Dylan Patterson sent Kieran McKechnie down the right, his cross into the box found Niyah Joseph but his header was straight at the keeper. A couple of minutes later Celtic sent a free kick just right of centre and midway inside Rangers half into the penalty area, there seemed little danger until the ball slipped from Brian Kinnear’s grasp and bounced of his left hand post, their striker followed up but could only knock the ball wide. Rangers continued to have the better of the first period but there was no further clear-cut chances and the period ended goalless.

Celtic were having the upper hand territorially in the second period but the first chance came on thirteen minutes at the other end. Dylan Patterson sent Niyah Joseph through the inside left channel, as he went round the keeper he was forced wide and as a result failed to find the net with his shot on goal. Ten minutes later a superb Billy Gilmour pass inside the left back found the overlapping Ruaridh McIntyre who’s first time low cross had Dapo Mebude stretching but he could only knock the ball over. Four minutes before the end of the period Celtic took the lead with their first real chance of the match, they won possession on the halfway line wide on the left and  broke forward, when the ball was played into the box their giant midfielder didn’t connect cleanly but it was enough to beat Brian Kinnear.

Rangers started the final period on the attack and when Kieran McKechnie hit the byline on the left his cross was cleared to the edge of the box where it was collected by Billy Gilmour who’s shot was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. With five minutes of the period gone Rangers equalised from the penalty spot, Kieran McKechnie wide on the left played the ball into Dapo Mebude inside the box where he was bundled over, the Rangers striker stepped up to fire the spotkick into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner.

Five minutes before the turn around the Celtic midfielder strode forward and tried his luck from distance with Nicky Hogarth diving high to his left to turn the ball wide of the post. A few minutes after the turn around the same midfielder gave Celtic the lead with a superb solo effort, attacking the centre of Rangers defence his run took him past four defenders and deep in to the box to prod the ball past Nicky Hogarth.

With a couple of minute remaining Rangers drew level again, Billy Gilmour’s pass sent Dapo Mebude through and he should good strength to hold of the bigger defender and continue into the box and shoot high past the keeper. The next major incident saw Rangers reduced to ten men, unusually at this age group the referee decided to show Aiden Gibb a second yellow and subsequent red for a challenge on the halfway line..

With a man advantage and superior height and strength Celtic created a couple of chances from set plays in the lengthy period of injury time, Rangers struggled to clear a free-kick from the right and when it landed at the feet of a Celtic player around the penalty spot his shot was deflected wide of Nicky Hogarth’s right hand post. The final  action saw another Celtic free-kick go all the way to the back post where there player failed to connect and the ball drifted wide.

At the end of the day these games are about development and the full Rangers squad played at least thirty minutes, where as one Celtic sub got around fifteen minutes, a second got a few minutes replacing an injured player and the other four got no game time whatsoever.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 2

Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Andy Rodden, Danny Finlayson, Aiden Gibb, Ben Williamson, Kieran McKechnie, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Dylan Patterson, Niyah Joseph, Jamie Walker, Zac Butterworth, Ruaridh McIntyre, Lewis McGrattan.

Footnote:- At the same time Rangers Under 13’s went down 4-1, with Rangers goal coming from Callum Biggar. Meanwhile at Lennoxtown goals from Stephen Kelly & Mati Zata were enough to give Rangers 15’s a 2-1 win.

The fixture are completed tomorrow when the Under 17’s meet at Barrowfield Kick-Off 6pm.

17’s Come From Behind To Beat Fife Academy

August 24, 2014

Rangers 3 Fife Elite 2

This weekend’s Development League fixture saw Rangers take on the Fife Elite Academy for the first time. This is a new initiative from Mark Wotte that combines the youth setups of Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic, East Fife and Raith Rovers, the unfortunate victims of this have been Queen’s Park, who have had their Elite status removed to make way for this new Academy, more on that later.

With the older Rangers teams at home it meant I took in the Under 17’s clash at Murray Park, and it was the new Fife side that took the lead after only four minutes, their player latching on to a slack pass back on the right side of the box to shoot past Robbie McCrorie. They then came close to increasing their lead on eighteen minutes, from a free-kick just outside the right side of Rangers penalty area, the shot had Robbie McCrorie beaten but bounced clear off his right hand post.

Rangers responded a couple of minutes later when Grant Nelson played the ball forward to Andy Dallas who burst past a defender into the box and was only denied an equaliser by a fine one-handed save by the Fife keeper low to his left. When the ball was cleared from the box Ross Lyon passed to Grant Nelson who’s effort was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Midway through the half Ross Lyon delivered a corner from the left to beyond the back post where it was met by the head of Ross McCrorie with the keeper blocking on the line with his legs. The visitors the attacked down the left and into the penalty area but the shot failed to trouble Robbie McCrorie as it went wide of the near post.

The Fife side doubled their lead eight minutes before the break, their striker won possession midway inside Rangers half before striding forward and beating Robbie McCrorie low to his left from just outside the box.

Half-Time:-Rangers 0 Fife Elite 2

Five minutes after the break Ross Lyon’s pass released the Trialist No.9 inside the box, he rounded the keeper but his netbound shot was cleared from the goal line with Rangers claiming a hand ball. The Fife side the created a dangerous attack down the left and when the ball came into the box it took a fine clearance over his own bar by Kyle Bradley to prevent a third goal.

The visitors then had another chance just after the hour, when the ball was knocked up in the air in the Rangers box the Fife player’s header was just wide of Keiran Wright’s right hand post. A few minutes later Ross Lyon in possession on the right passed inside to Max Ashmore who’s shot from distance was just too high.

Midway through the half Rangers were awarded a free-kick around twenty-five yards from goal, Ross Lyon stepped up and his shot beat the defensive wall but was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Four minutes later Rangers pulled a goal back, Sam Jamieson played a one-two with Max Ashmore on the left side of the box and from the latter’s cutback Ross Lyon netted from close range.

Only a further five minutes had elapsed when Rangers drew level, Liam Burt sent the ball out to the overlapping Aidan Wilson on the right and his first time centre was knocked into the net by Sam Jamieson with the Fife defence claiming hand ball. With seven minutes remaining Rangers score what proved to be the winner, Liam Burt delivered a corner from the left and Kyle Bradley rose highest to head back across goal and into the top corner of the net.

The Fife side came close to squaring the game a couple of minutes later, their striker held of the challenge of Jason Krones as they chased a long ball, although his shot appeared to take a nick of the Rangers defender as the ball went wide of Kieran Wright’s left hand post. The resultant corner found its way to a Fife player beyond the back post and Kieran Wright got down to make a decent save from the shot from a tight angle.

Full-Time:-Rangers 3 Fife Elite 2

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie (Kieran Wright HT); Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones, Ross McCrorie (Jamie Brandon HT), Kyle Bradley; Andy Dallas (Jamie Barjonas HT), Ross Lyon, Grant Nelson (Sam Jamieson HT), Lewis White (Kyle Clark HT); Josh Jeffries (Liam Burt 34mins); Trialist No9 (Max Ashmore 58mins).

Footnote:- At the same time Rangers Under 15’s scored eight without reply against their Fife opponents, the goals coming from Zak Rudden (4), Matthew Shiels (2), Jack Thomson & Carlo Pignatiello.

Meanwhile through in Fife the Under 13’s and Under 14’s won 16-1 13-1 respectively, scorelines that will have rendered the games meaningless for both sides, as neither side would have learnt anything from such one-sided games. Which brings me back to the innocent victims of Mark Wotte’s master plan, where as I am sure Rangers would have won both games against Queen’s Park, I am equally sure the scorelines would have been much closer.

13’s Defeat Older Airdrie Side

August 21, 2014

Rangers 8 Airdrie 2

I thought I may as well make it five game in five days, so I popped along to Murray Park tonight to take in the game between Rangers Under 13’s and Airdrie Under 14’s. The young Rangers side followed up their 7-1 win against Aberdeen at the weekend with another comfortable win, this time against older opponents.

Yet it was the visitors who took the lead in the opening minute, the attack down the right took Airdrie to the byline and the cross flew over the head of Lewis Budinauckas and found the net at the back post. Rangers replied when Kai Kennedy played the ball forward to Steven Bradley on the left side of the box and he shot over the keeper but the ball clipped the outside of his right hand post and wide.

The next attack came down the right where Matt Yates took on the full-back before crossing for Ally Munro to head goalwards with the Airdrie keeper saving comfortably. In Rangers next attack on twelve minutes they drew level, Kai Kenned passed the ball forward to Callum Biggar who released Ally Munro through the inside right channel and he finished with a sublime chip over the keeper.

Two minutes later the same combination gave Rangers the lead, Callum Biggar sending Ally Munro racing clear and this time he rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the net. Airdrie had the first chance of the second period with an attack down the right and when the shot came in Lewis Budinauckas saved low to his right.

Rangers capitalised on their keeper’s save by going up the other end and increasing their lead, when Matt Yates initial shot was blocked Ally Munro followed up to make no mistake from the rebound. Just after the midpoint of the period the visitor’s reduced the deficit, the first shot came from the edge of the box with Luke Scullion diving to his right to parry but was left exposed as an Airdrie player followed up to net the rebound.

Rangers restored their two goal cushion before the second period ended, the move started when Ciaran Dickson combined with Matt Yates down the right, the ball was played to Reece Armstrong inside the box when he was challenged the ball broke to Kai Kennedy who quickly played it back into the box where a superb turn by Jason Campbell created the space to shoot past the keeper.

The third period started with an early Rangers goal, Jason Campbell chasing a through ball to continue into the box before shooting past the keeper. Rangers next goal came following a corner from the left, when the ball was cleared from the penalty area Lewis Jamieson sent a shot through a crowded box into the corner of the net.

Lewis Jamieson then sent Jason Campbell through on goal, although the keeper blocked his shot he followed up find the net with the rebound. The scoring was completed when Lewis Jamieson attacked down the left and when he passed the ball inside Jason Campbell went passed a defender before completing his hat-trick with a confident finish.

Full-Time: Rangers 8 Airdrie 2

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Luke Scullion (Gk), Mason Kelman, Euan Deveney, Mark Woods, Josh Henderson, Gary Greig, Matt Yates, Kai Kennedy, Ally Munro, Steven Bradley, Callum Biggar, Jason Campbell, Ciaran Dickson, Adam Smith, Reece Armstrong, Lewis Jamieson.

Winning Start To Glasgow Cup

August 20, 2014

Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 4

Rangers Under 17’s got their Glasgow Cup campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable victory over Queen’s Park at Toryglen tonight. The Hampden side were competitive throughout but once Ross Lyon had given Rangers the lead there was little doubt who would be the winners.

The first threat on goal came in the third minute when Max Ashmore played the ball forward to Ross Lyon and his shot from just outside the box forced the home keeper to save low to his left. A further three minutes had elapsed when Queen’s replied with an attack down the left, when the ball was crossed towards the right hand angle of the box it was taken on the volley which wasn’t too far off target as the ball went over.

The Queen’s keeper was soon called into action again, the ball was played into Sam Jamieson just inside the penalty area and his lay off freed Liam Burt who was denied when the keeper pushed his shot over. On nineteen minutes Ross Lyon in possession on the right passed to Jamie Barjonas on the angle of the box who shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Barely a minute later Rangers broke the deadlock, the move started with Jamie Barjonas on the left who passed inside to Liam Burt, his reverse pass set Ross Lyon free inside the box and after rounding the keeper he slotted the ball past a defender on the line. Five minutes later Liam Burt played the ball forward to Ross Lyon who turned back onto his left foot before shooting narrowly over.

Queen’s Park showed they were still a threat with an attack down the left and when the shot came in Robbie McCrorie saved comfortably at his near post. A few minutes later the home side sent a free-kick in from the left and when it was headed clear by a Rangers defender as far as a Queen’s player twenty-five yards out and his effort was decent if just a little too high.

With less than ten minutes of the half remaining Rangers doubled their lead,  from a free-kick on the left midway inside the Queen’s half Liam Burt’s superb delivery had the home defence under pressure and their centre back’s header flew past his own keeper for an Own Goal. Liam Burt then almost got on the score sheet himself when he drove at the defence on the right side of the penalty area before shooting just over.

He was proving to be the main threat to the home defence and when  Jamie Barjonas  passed inside from the right Liam Burt was again just off target, this time narrowly wide of the keeper’s right hand post. On the stroke of half-time he came closer still, Jamie Brandon started the move from left-back and passed inside to Liam Burt who exchanged passes with Ross Lyon on the edge of the box which sent him through on the keeper, he appeared to be caught as he went past the keeper but stayed on his feet and could only find the side netting with his shot.

Half-Time:-Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 2

Almost a quarter of an hour of the second half had gone when Rangers increased their lead, Jamie Brandon sent a free-kick from the left close to the halfway line into the box where Ross McCrorie got a flick on and when a Queen’s defender failed to clear Liam Burt pounced to net from close range. Rangers fourth goal came with around ten minutes remaining, Jason Krones played the ball forward and a superb piece of skill from Kyle Clark took him clear of a defender and when he knocked the ball past the keeper Andy Dallas won the race with a defender to knock the ball into the empty net. The home keeper was called into action again before the end, Liam Burt’s free-kick from the left hand angle of the box forcing to save at his near post.

Full-Time:- Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 4

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Brandon (Kyle Bradley 75mins); Max Ashmore; Ross Lyon (Andy Dallas 68mins), Jamie Brandon, Liam Burt, Kyle Clark; Sam Jamieson (Grant Nelson 72mins)

Not Used :- Kieran Wright (Gk), Lewis White

15’s Lose To Clyde

August 19, 2014

Rangers 1 Clyde 2

Rangers Under 15’s suffered a surprise defeat to Clyde at Murray Park tonight, perhaps Rangers didn’t start the game with their strongest lineup but when they applied a significant amount of pressure late in the game the Clyde boys refused to capitulate and held on for their victory.

Rangers had the first chance of the game when Dylan Patterson deep inside the right side of the penalty area shot for goal and he was denied by the Clyde keeper diving to his left to parry. Rangers keeper Josh Donaldson was called into action on the twenty-minute mark, from a free-kick from the left the ball was headed goalwards and he dived high to his left to clutch the ball. Matthew Shiels progressed on the left on twenty-five minutes, his low cross found Carlo Pignatiello around eight yards out and only a fine block from a defender prevented a goal.

On the half hour mark Matthew Shiels delivered a free-kick from just outside the left side of the box which Scott Blacklaw got on the end of but he knocked the ball wide of the keeper’s right hand post. The visitors took the lead three minutes before the break, the attack down the left took the Clyde attacker deep into the box, Josh Donaldson appeared to have made a fine save at the striker’s feet but was unfortunate as the ball rebounded off the legs of the Clyde player and into the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Clyde 1

Rangers had a chance in the opening minute of the second half, Dylan Patterson’s pass sent Matthew Shiels through on goal and as he tried to round the keeper who dived bravely at his feet to take the ball of the Rangers striker’s toes. Clyde immediately replied with an attack on the left side of the penalty area and when the shot came in Josh Donaldson turned the ball wide of his near post.

As the ten minute mark of the half approached Rangers drew level, Matthew Shiels latched on to a poor goal kick  from the Clyde keeper and although he didn’t connect with his shot cleanly it was enough to beat the keeper and roll into the net. Rangers now started to create chances, a good passing move ended with a Cammy Palmer pass releasing Cammy Wray on the right side of the box but he shot across goal and wide of the far post.

The next attack came on the left side of the box as Zak Rudden bore down on goal but again the shot was across goal and wide. In what was becoming rare Clyde attacks on sixty-four minutes, Lewis Mayo was adjudged to have impeded the attacker on the left side of the box and the referee pointed to the spot, Josh Donaldson kept the sides level by diving to his left to produce a superb save from the spot kick.

Rangers were soon back on the attack and when Zak Rudden crossed from the left Carlo Pignatiello arrived at the back post but could only knock the ball wide of the post. Four minutes later another cross from the left broke off a defender to Zak Rudden who was denied when the keeper blocked with his legs.

Rangers continued to create and miss chances, from Scot Gray’s free-kick from the right Jack Thomson headed straight at the keeper from close range. With fifteen minutes remaining an exchange of passes on the edge of the box freed Zak Rudden inside the box, a  goal looked certain as the keeper advanced from his line, the Rangers striker knocked the ball past the keeper but wide of his right hand post.

Clyde capitalised on these missed chances a minute later, when they were awarded a free-kick on the right side of the penalty area the ball was sent over the defensive wall and high past Josh Donaldson. The closest Rangers came to drawing level came sixty seconds later, Jack Thomson’s pass sent Mati Zata towards the byline on the right, the keeper got a hand to his effort from a narrow angle onto the face of the crossbar and clear. Rangers dominated territorially for the rest of the game but failed to create any clear chances and the Clyde boys held on to secure the win.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Clyde 2

Rangers Squad:- Josh Donaldson (Gk), Michael Hewitt, Aaron Reid, Trialist, Cammy Wray, Cammy Palmer, Scott Blacklaw, Stephen Kelly, Matthew Shiels, Carlo Pignatiello, Dylan Patterson, Jack Thomson, Zak Rudden, Scott Gray,Mati Zata, Rhys Breen, Lewis Mayo.

Development Fixtures Opening Weekend

August 17, 2014

Aberdeen provided the opposition for the opening weekend of Development Fixtures, with the Under 13’s and 14’s games taking place at Murray Park, while the 15’s and 17’s traveled north. So the game for me this weekend was the under 14’s clash at Murray Park.

Rangers 1 Aberdeen 1

Two excellent teams served up an enjoyable encounter, the visitor’s having the better of the first period, with Rangers having the upper hand in the next two. Although Aberdeen were in control for most of the first period chances were few, but they looked likely to take the lead on eighteen minutes. The attack came down the left and when the ball was only cleared as far as an Aberdeen player around the penalty spot his shot looked destined for the top corner until Brian Kinnear leapt to his left to clutch the ball and produce a fine save. The nearest Rangers came in the first period was when Billy Gilmour’s reverse pass sent Dapo Mebude chasing into the penalty area with the keeper coming of his line to save bravely at the striker’s feet.

In the opening minute of the second period Aberdeen tested Brian Kinnear from distance with the Rangers keeper saving comfortably. A few minutes later a powerful run from Dapo Mebude took him past two defenders and as he entered the penalty area it took a superb tackle from a ‘Dons defender to clear the danger.

Rangers came close to taking the lead just after the ten minute mark, Danny Finlayson broke forward from defence before sending Dapo Mebude down the left, Kieran McKechnie got on the end of his low cross but was denied by a point-blank save from the keeper and when Niyah Joseph sent the rebound towards the net it was headed off the line by an Aberdeen defender. Just after the midpoint of the period Dapo Mebude attacked the left side of the box and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box Billy Gilmour’s shot brought out a save from the keeper low to his left.

With around five minutes of the period remaining the visitor’s took the lead, a superb pass inside the left-back position released their attacker on the right side of the penalty area and he strode on to shoot past Nicky Hogarth. Rangers responded immediately and Kieran McKechnie sent Dapo Mebude racing clear, he tried to chip the advancing keeper who stood tall enough to make the save.

There was still time for a chance at each end before the period ended, the first came from an Aberdeen attack on the left side of Rangers penalty box but the shot could only find the side netting. At the other end Billy Gilmour’s pass split the Aberdeen defence to send Dapo Mebude through on the keeper, on this occasion he tried to round the keeper who dived at the striker’s feet to dispossess him.

The first chance of the final period came just before the turn around, from Dylan Patterson’s corner from the right Aiden Gibb arrived deep inside the six yard box but could only knock the ball over the bar. A few minutes after the turn around Dylan Patterson played a corner on the left to Ben Williamson on the edge of the box, his superb strike had the keeper beaten but the ball clipped the crossbar on the way over.

As the game entered the final eight minutes the move of the match carved out a chance for Rangers, Dylan Patterson and Niyah Joseph exchanged several passes to open up the goal for the latter from the left side of the box but he shot wide of the far post. Rangers and Niyah Joseph were not to be denied and sixty seconds later, he showed great feet to evade two defenders on the edge of the box before shooting past the keeper low into his bottom right hand corner.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Aberdeen 1

Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Andy Rodden, Danny Finlayson, Aiden Gibb, Ben Williamson, Kieran McKechnie, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Dylan Patterson, Niyah Joseph, Jamie Walker, Ruaridh McIntyre, Trialist.

Footnote:- At the save time Rangers under 13’s recorded a comfortable 7-1 win over the ‘Dons, the goals coming from Kai Kennedy (2), Kieran Dickson, Ally Munro, Jason Campbell, Josh Henderson & Matty Yates.

Meanwhile up in Aberdeen the Under 15’s recorded a 2-1 win, and the 17’s shared four goals with their Aberdeen counterparts.

Glentoran Youths At Murray Park

August 13, 2014

Rangers 6 Glentoran 1

Rangers Under 17’s recorded a comfortable win against a Glentoran youth side at Murray Park tonight, two early goals laid the foundation for the win as they gear up for this season’s development fixtures starting this weekend with a trip to Aberdeen.

Rangers took the lead in the opening minute when Kyle Clark dispossessed a Glentoran defender on the edge of their penalty area and when ball broke to Sam Jamieson who shot past the keeper. The second goal followed four minutes later, Sam Jamieson released Jordan Neil on the left side of the penalty area and he rolled the ball across goal to supply Kyle Clark with a simple finish.

Rangers created another chance on seventeen minutes when the ball was moved from the left via Jordan Neil and Sam Jamieson to Josh Jeffries just inside the right side of the box and the Glentoran keeper blocked his shot with his legs. As the half-hour approached the Belfast side halved the deficit with a superb solo effort, Paddy Cafolla waltzed through the centre of the Rangers defence and although Kieran Wright got a decent hand to his shot he couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the line.

Rangers restored their two goal lead five minutes later, Jamie Brandon broke forward from left-back before playing a one-two with Kyle Clark, the return pass freed him inside the box and he beat the keeper with a superb controlled finish into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner. Five minutes before the break Kyle Clark robbed a defender on the right side of the penalty area with the keeper making a decent save from his shot from a tight angle.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Glentoran 1

Less than ten minutes had elapsed in the second half when Rangers scored a fourth, Aidan Wilson’s throw-in allowed Lewis White to switch play from the right Jamie Brandon on the left, his shot from outside the box landed kindly for Kyle Clark to fire past the keeper. A further Rangers goal followed two minutes later, Aidan Wilson on the right passed to Andy Dallas inside the box and he sidestepped a defender before shooting past the keeper.

Andy Dallas had a further chance seven minutes later when he latched on to a poor goal kick from the keeper who redeemed himself by saving the Rangers striker’s initial effort and when he sent the rebound towards the net it was cleared off the line by a defender. Rangers came close again on seventy minutes, Ross Lyon delivered a free-kick from close to the left hand byline, Kyle Bradley rose to power a header goalwards and a Glentoran defender did well to head over from almost under the crossbar.

With five minutes remaining the scoring was complete, Andy Dallas’s powerful shot from the edge of the box was tipped onto the bar by the Glens keeper who was helpless as Kyle Clark followed up to nod the ball into the net. Another slack goal kick presented Rangers with a further chance to increase their tally but as Kyle Clark tried to side step the keeper he was denied by a fine save low to his left.

Full-Time:-Rangers 6 Glentoran 1

Rangers:- Kieran Wright (Trialist HT); Aidan Wilson, Kyle Bradley, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Brandon; Josh Jeffries (Lewis White HT), Liam Burt (Ross Lyon HT), Max Ashmore (Grant Nelson HT), Jordan Neil; Kyle Clark: Sam Jamieson (Andy Dallas HT).

17’s Share Six Goals With Accies

August 6, 2014

Rangers 3 Hamilton Accies 3

A Rangers side made up of mainly first year under 17’s game back from a two goal deficit to draw with Hamilton Accies at Murray Park tonight. The visitors were first to threaten after only two minutes, the attack came on the left side of Rangers penalty area and Kieran Wright got down at his near post to make the save. Rangers replied immediately with Sam Jamieson cutting inside a defender on the left side of the box but his shot was just wide keeper’s left hand post.

As the twenty-minute mark approached Aidan Wilson got to the byline on the right before cutting the ball back for Sam Jamieson who shot over. Midway through the half Rangers took the lead, Lewis White sent Sam Jamieson clear on the left, he continued into the penalty area before placing the ball beyond the keeper with a cool finish.

Rangers next significant attack came from a Josh Jeffries free-kick from the right that Jason Krones got on the end of, with the Accies keeper making a comfortable save from his header. On the half-hour mark Josh Jeffries progressed to the left hand byline before playing the ball across goal, Aidan Wilson arrived at the back post to fire a shot across the face of the Hamilton goal.

Just before the break the visitor’s keeper had to look smart to get down to his left to knock away a Josh Jeffries volley from the left side of the box.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 0

Hamilton came out a different team in the second half and created a great opportunity four minutes after the break, a passing move took them through the centre of Rangers defence, Kieran Wright came from his line and spread himself to make a great block. He was called into action again two minutes later, the Accies attacker cut in from the right past two defenders before going for goal and Kieran Wright got down to his left to save at his near post.

The visitor’s continued to be the dominant force and turned the game with three goals in seven minutes, the first goal came from a run to the byline on the left and from the low centre the ball was knocked into the net from close range. The left side was again the source of the second goal, an exchange of passes opened the defence allowing the ball to be poked past Kieran Wright. The third goal came on sixty-one minutes, yet again Accies got to the byline on the left and when the ball was cutback it was slammed high into the Rangers net.

Rangers tried to reply and when Josh Jeffires delivered a free-kick from close to the byline on the right Sam Jamieson was only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post with a header. Midway through the half Rangers pulled a goal back, a superb run on the left saw Sam Jamieson take on the defence before crossing to the back post where Aidan Wilson arrived to power a header past the keeper.

Rangers drew level with eight minutes remaining, Josh Jeffries swung in a dangerous corner from the right and it was diverted past the keeper by the head of an Accies defender for an Own Goal.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Hamilton Accies 3

Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones, Kyle Bradley, Lewis White (Andy Dallas 70mins); Ross Lyon (Grant Nelson 15mins), Jamie Brandon, Liam Burt (Jamie Barjonas 42mins), Josh Jeffries; Andy Barrowman (Kieran Balfour 54mins); Sam Jamieson.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk)

Youth Lose Opening League Game

August 4, 2014

Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 1

Rangers Under 20’s opened their league campaign with a defeat at Firhill tonight, although both Thistle’s goals came from glaring defensive errors, over the ninety minutes they were the better side and fully deserved their win.

Rangers had a great early chance with only five minutes on the clock, Robbie Craword’s pass picked out Nicky Clark inside the box and his chest control looked to have set him up for the opening goal until Thistle’s Trialist centre back came in with a superb challenge to clear the ball for a corner. The home side took the lead on eleven minutes, Liam Kelly came for Declan McDaid’s corner from the left but Liam Lindsay got there before him and his header sneaked under the bar.

Rangers equalised seven minutes before the break, Kyle McAusland on the right side of the penalty area passed to Nicky Clark inside the box, his attempted lay off failed to come off but it wrong footed a couple of Thistle defenders allowing him to turn and shoot past Scott Basalaj. The home side came close to restoring their lead just before the break, from a free kick left of centre midway inside Rangers half Liam Lindsay got on the end of it at the back post but headed narrowly wide.

Half-Time:- Partick Thistle 1 Rangers 1

Seven minutes into the second half Rangers had a free-kick close to the left hand byline, Darren Ramsay delivered it low to the near post where it was met by Luca Gasparotto but his flick was just the wrong side of the post. Just after the hour a good turn twenty-five yards from goal allowed Nicky Clark to head for the box where his shot from just outside the area was straight at Scott Basalaj.

The home side regained the lead on sixty-four minutes, when Craig Halkett failed to deal with a long ball it allowed Chris Duggan to race clear into the penalty area before shooting past Liam Kelly. Only the woodwork prevented another Thistle goal two minutes later, Chris Duggan just outside the left side of the penalty area passed the ball back to Chris Dillon on the left hand angle and his curling shot beat Liam Kelly but rebounded from the crossbar.

As the minutes ticked away in a final act of desperation Rangers threw Craig Halkett up front, this meant change to a back four with Callum Gallagher at left-back !! The home side’s defence comfortably dealt with Rangers long balls thumped from back to front and the final chance came at the other end with six minutes remaining. Chris Duggan switched play to Declan McDaid just inside the right side of Rangers penalty area and only a great challenge from Callum Gallagher denied the Thistle player a shot on goal.

Full-Time:- Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 1

Partick Thistle:- Scott Balasaj; Matthew McNally, Trialist, Liam Lindsay, Michael McMullen; David Wilson, Dale Keenan; Declan McDaid, Neil McLaughlin (Lee Gallacher 62mins), Jordan Leyden (Chris Dillon 62mins); Chris Duggan.

Not Used:- Marc Watters (Gk), Kevin Nesbitt, Cammy Ferrier.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Kyle McAusland, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto; Kris Gibson (Ryan Sinnamon 52mins); Callum Gallagher, Andy Murdoch, Darren Ramsay, Robbie Crawford (Dylan Dykes 58mins); Danny Stoney (Ryan Hardie 77mins), Nicky Clark.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), David Brownlie, Junior Ogen, Adam Wilson.

Youth Defeat Young Blackburn Side

August 1, 2014

Rangers 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

This afternoons’ game was billed as an Under 18 friendly and the Blackburn starting lineup with the exception of one player was Under 18’s, where as the Rangers starting line up only included three from that age group, three u19’s, four under 20’s and Barrie McKay who is now under 21.

With this in mind Rangers dominated the early stages but without creating any clear-cut chances, indeed there was almost half an hour gone when Darren Ramsay passed to Danny Stoney on the edge of the box and a great turn and shot forced a superb save from Andy Fisher diving low to his right to turn the ball wide for a corner. Three minutes before the break Rangers took the lead from the penalty spot, the award was a touch harsh, Barrie McKay’s cross from the left was always going to be gathered by keeper Andy Fisher, but the referee spotted a push on Ryan Hardie from a Blackburn defender and pointed to the spot, with Darren Ramsay stepping up to convert.

Barely a minute later Darren Ramsay robbed Ryan Nyambe just outside left side of the penalty area, he passed to Danny Stoney free inside the box but his shot was straight at Andy Fisher who saved comfortably.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Blackburn Rovers 0

Rangers continued to dominate and when Danny Stoney intercepted a slack Lewis Hardcastle pass on fifty-six minutes he played Ryan Hardie through the inside right channel, but his shot was weak and substitute keeper Wilson saved easily. A minute later the same combination created another opportunity that made the keeper work a wee bit harder to keep the ball out the net. From Liam Kelly’s clearance Danny Stoney’s flick on sent Ryan Hardie clear, this time his effort was better but Wilson did well to block with a strong hand and the ball was cleared.

Midway through the half Rangers doubled their lead, there seemed little danger when Darren Ramsay picked the ball up twenty-five yards out until he let fly and the ball found the top corner giving keeper Wilson no chance. As the game entered the final fifteen minutes David Brownlie got on the end of Barrie McKay’s free-kick from the left, keeper Wilson blocked his header on the line which set up what Arthur Montford would have called “a stramash”, with the Blackburn defence eventually clearing.

Rangers next opportunity came when Josh Jeffries broke forward to the left side of the box before sending in a shot that Wilson saved low at his near post. With nine minutes remaining Blackburn pulled a goal back to set up an exciting finish. From a cross from the left, Sam Joel’s header came back off the crossbar to Ollie Mehew who’s effort rebounded across goal from Liam Kelly’s right hand post and presented a simple finish for Lewis Mansell from almost on the goal line.

The visitors then missed a great opportunity to draw level three minutes later, Wilson cleared the ball forward down the left where Lewis Mansell’s flick on was gathered by Sam Joel who cut inside before shooting across goal and just wide of the far post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Blackburn Rovers 1

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; David Brownlie, Craig Halkett, Kris Gibson; Ryan Sinnamon (Andy Barrowman 75mins), Darren Ramsay, Andy Murdoch, Adam Wilson (Josh Jeffries 64mins), Barrie McKay; Ryan Hardie (Junior Ogen 64mins), Danny Stoney.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn.

Blackburn Rovers:- Andy Fisher (Wilson HT); Ryan Nyambe, Cameron Scott, Matthew Platt, Jan Pirretas; Willem Tomlinson; Ramirez Howarth, Adrian Edo, Sam Joel, Stuart Callaway; Ollie Mehew.

Subs Used:- Lewis Hardcastle, Lewis Mansell