Youth Lose Opening League Game

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.

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