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