Archive for September, 2014

Second Half Turn Round For 17’s

September 26, 2014

Rangers 3 Kilmarnock 2

For the second time this season Rangers Under 17’s came from two goals down at half-time to score three second-half goals and clinch what looked an unlikely win. Rangers had the better of the early play although there was just over a quarter of an hour gone before the game saw its first real chance, Max Ashmore’s pass sent Kyle Clark through on the left side of the penalty area and his shot was turned wide by the Killie keeper at his near post.

The next chance came midway through the half, Kyle Clark switched play to Sam Jamieson  on the right and his shot from the angle of the box was just too high. A few minutes later Kilmarnock took the lead, Jason Krone’s slack pass across the edge of his own penalty area was intercepted by a Killie forward, as he stepped into the box Robbie Smith slipped as he prepared to make a challenge leaving the striker clear to shoot past Kieran Wright.

The visitors doubled their lead eight minutes before the break, their winger cut in from the left to link with his midfielder, the initial attempt to pass through the Rangers defence was blocked but the second attempt ricocheted into the forwards path inside the right side of the box and he shot past Kieran Wright.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 2

Killie’s confidence was high and they started the second half on top, although they weren’t threatening Kieran Wright’s goal and it was the Rangers keeper who was the unlikely creator of the goal that brought Rangers back into the game. His goal-kick eluded the Kilmarnock the Kilmarnock defence and fourteen year old Zak Rudden raced clear to shoot past the keeper.

As the midway point of the half approached Sam Jamieson played Andy Dallas through on the right side of the penalty area but his shot could only find the side netting. Almost immediately the Killie defence struggled to clear a cross from the right and when it fell for Zak Rudden only a fine block from the keeper’s legs prevented an equaliser.

Kilmarnock replied with in a minute with an attack through the middle and the resultant shot was just wide of Kieran Wright’s right hand post. This frantic period ended with Rangers going straight up the other end and drawing level, Jamie Barjonas cross from the right found Kyle Clark at the back post and he picked out Sam Jamieson with a cushioned header who smashed the ball high into the net from around the penalty spot.

As the game entered the final quarter of an hour Kilmarnock attacked down the left and the shot from distance was wide of Kieran Wright’s right hand post. With both sides searching for a winner Jamie Barjonas found Ross Lyon overlapping on the right and his low cross went all the way across goal to Kyle Clark who volleyed back across goal and wide.

The Killie keeper was called into action when Zak Rudden cut in from the left before going for goal from just outside the box, the keeper stretching to tip the ball over. Rangers were not to be denied and grabbed what proved to be the winner with six minutes remaining, Jamie Barjonas delivered a corner from the left and Aidan Wilson rose highest to nod past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Kilmarnock 0

Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Aidan Wilson, Jason Krones (Ross Lyon HT), Robbie Smith, Lewis White; Liam Burt (Andy Dallas 59mins), Kieran Balfour (Zak Rudden HT), Max Ashmore, Kyle Clark (Trialist 86mins); Jamie Barjonas (Trialist 86mins); Sam Jamieson.

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13’s At Rugby Park

September 24, 2014

Kilmarnock 0 Rangers 1

A last gasp Josh Henderson strike gave Rangers a win in tonight’s game which was played at Rugby Park, with smaller goals set up on the six yard line. It was a deserved win for the Rangers youngsters in a game they dominated with their opponents failing to test either Rangers keeper in the ninety minutes.

Rangers looked certain to open the scoring on twelve minutes, Kai Kennedy and Kyle McClelland worked a free-kick on the left and when the ball arrived at the back post Josh Henderson’s connection sent the ball away from goal rather than into the net. Ten minutes later the Killie keeper was forced into a save low to his left when Kai Kennedy’s corner from the right broke towards goal off a defender.

A few minutes before the break Kai Kennedy played the ball forward to Matt Yates who’s first time pass sent Jason Campbell through on the right side of the box, he was denied when the keeper came off his line to narrow the angle and block the shot. The second period saw few chances although Rangers came close twice in the same attack two-thirds through the period. Matt Yates was forced wide and towards the byline on the left by the keeper, he played the ball back to Kai Kennedy on the edge of the box and his goal bound sh0t was headed off the line. The ball found its way to Ryan Docherty on the right, he cut inside before shooting and the keeper had to stretch to turn the ball over.

Thirteen minutes into the final period a great passing move almost produced a goal, Josh Henderson switched play to Ciaran Dickson on the left who moved the ball on to Blair Rossiter, his pass inside found Gary Greig who played it up to Matt Yates on the edge of the box and he brought out a save from the Killie keeper. Just after the final period turn around Kai Kennedy’s free kick from the left broke for Ciaran Dickson inside the box with the home keeper saving low to his left.

With seven minutes remaining Ally Munro got to the byline on the right, when his cross was headed clear it was only as far as Kai Kennedy who shot narrowly over. With the clock ticking down Josh Henderson broke from defence in a run that took him past three defenders before passing to Steven Bradley on the left side of the box but he couldn’t beat the home keeper. Just when it looked the home side would hold out Rangers were awarded a free-kick just outside the right side of the box and Josh Henderson stepped up to smash the ball into the keeper’s top right hand corner.

Full-Time:- Kilmarnock 0 Rangers 1

Rangers Squad:- Luke Scullion (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ally Munro, Mark Woods, Josh Henderson, Kyle McClelland, Gary Greig, Ciaran Dickson, Steven Bradley, Jason Campbell, Kai Kennedy, Matt Yates, Blair Rossiter, Callum Biggar, Ryan Docherty.

Development Teams Play Forth Valley

September 21, 2014

This weekend’s games for Rangers Development League teams saw them take on the SFA’s Forth Valley Academy, with the older teams playing away at Stirling University, my game was the Under 14’s clash at Murray Park. With a few player missing for various reasons, Rangers they were down to eleven outfield players which included a trialist.

Rangers 2 Forth Valley 0

Rangers took the lead in the opening minute, Ruaridh McIntyre sent the Trialist down the right and his cross found Kieran McKechnie at the back post and he finished high past the keeper in the opposite top corner. Just over ten minutes later Kieran McKechnie delivered a corner from the left that made its way to Jamie Walker at the back post and his net bound shot was headed of the line.

The second period started in a similar fashion, with Rangers scoring in the opening minute, this time Zac Butterworth latched on to a slack pass across the edge of the Forth Valley penalty area and his shot beat the keeper and found the bottom right hand corner of the net. As the period reached the final five minutes Kieran McKechnie tried his luck from a free-kick just outside the left side of the penalty area that the Forth Valley keeper saved.

Within a minute a Lewis McGrattan pass released Dapo Mebude inside the right side of the penalty area but he was denied by the keeper who made a fine save. The Forth Valley keeper surpassed that in the early stages of the final period, Dapo Mebude exchanged passes with Lewis McGrattan on the edge of the penalty area to give him a clear sight of goal with the keeper turning his powerful shot over the bar. Rangers continued to have the bulk of possession and although the scoreline looks tight, neither Rangers keeper was forced to make a serious save during the ninety minutes.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Forth Valley 0

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

Footnote:- At the same time goals from Josh Henderson (2), Gary Greig (2), Ciaran Dickson & Steven Bradley saw a comfortable 6-1 win for the Under 13’s.

Meanwhile a Stirling University Jack Thomson and Zak Rudden were moved up from 15’s to 17’s, Zak Rudden took it in his stride with two goals to add to further goals from Sam Jamieson & Jamie Barjonas in a 4-0 win. The 15’s ran out even more comfortable winners scoring 9 without reply.

14’s Complete Development Wins Over Saints

September 17, 2014

St.Mirren 1 Rangers 3

This week’s Development fixtures against St. Mirren was completed with the Under 14’s clash at Ralston tonight. With the other three age groups having already recorded wins this group was looking to make it a clean sweep. Rangers created an opening after only four minutes, Lewis McGrattan passed the ball onto Niyah Joseph who found Andy Rodden breaking into the left side of the box and the Saints keeper was quick from his line to block the shot. Just after the ten minute mark the St. Mirren defence failed to clear a long ball and Andy Rodden picked up possession on the left before passing inside to Dapo Mebude who shot past the keeper.

Two thirds of the way through the period there was again hesitation in the home defence which was seized on by Dapo Mebude, he returned the favour by passing to Andy Rodden inside the box, but this time the keeper saved bravely at the Rangers player’s feet. The goal was delayed barely sixty seconds though, when Kieran McKechnie played the ball across the eighteen yard box Niyah Joseph went for goal, the keeper got a good hand to the shot but couldn’t prevent it crossing the line.

At the start of the second period Dapo Mebude attacked the right side of the penalty area before passing inside to Niyah Joseph who moved it on to Andy Rodden inside the left side of the box, his shot beat the keeper but he was denied by a superb goal line clearance. Five minutes later the home side attacked down the left and when the shot came in from a narrow angle Nicky Hogarth saved at the near post.

With five minutes of the period remaining a Saints attacker was impeded by Danny Finlayson  as he made his way into the left side of the box and the referee pointed to the spot, Brian Kinnear kept Rangers two goal lead intact by diving to his left to parry and the rebound was screwed wide of the far post by an attacker following in. At the start of the final period Danny Finlayson broke forward before passing to Zac Butterworth who tried his luck from distance with the keeper saving under his cross-bar.

With just under ten minutes remaining the home side reduced the deficit, the initial attack was at the centre of the Rangers defence, before a pass sent his colleague clear on the left side of the box, Brian Kinnear blocked the first shot but was helpless as the rebound was fired into the net. Rangers ensured a truer reflection of the scoreline by grabbing a third goal in injury time, Kieran McKechnie played the ball forward to Dapo Mebude on the right and when he played the ball across goal Niyah Joseph found the net with a superb finish.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 3

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jamie Walker, Danny Finlayson, Ruaridh McIntyre, Ben Wiliamson, Kieran McKechnie, Lewis McGrattan, Dapo Mebude, Niyah Joseph, Andy Rodden, Zac Butterworth, Kai Kennedy.

Comfortable Win For 15’s

September 15, 2014

Rangers 5 St.Mirren 2

Finishing time at work meant I couldn’t make it to Newtongrange in time for the Development League game against Hearts, but there was an alternative with the Under 15’s taking on their St.Mirren counterparts at Murray Park.

After an even start Zak Rudden came close three times in as many minutes either side of the ten minute mark, the first chance came when Mati Zata attacked the centre of the Saint’s defence the ball broke to Zak Rudden who forced the keeper into a save from deep inside the right side of the penalty area. The Rangers striker then got on the end of Jordan Houston’s cross from the right and the keeper made an even better save diving to his left to parry his header. When the ball broke to Zak Rudden on the edge of the box, this time he beat the keeper only to see the ball come back off the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later Rangers took the lead, Jordan Houston sent Cammy Palmer towards the byline on the right and when he pulled the ball back Stephen Kelly was well placed to finish from around eight yards. Rangers were in front for less than five minutes, when the defence failed to clear a corner from the left it eventually fell for a Saints player to shoot past Josh Donaldson.

Rangers were soon back in front though, when the ball was cleared  following a Rangers attack Rhys Breen knocked it over the advancing defence to find Jack Thomson who beat the offside trap and he had time to move the ball inside on to his left foot and place the ball beyond the keeper. Just after the half-hour the St.Mirren centre back won the ball on the halfway line before going for goal from around thirty yards that had Josh Donaldson stretching to tip over.

As the half entered the final ten minutes St.Mirren created a chance deep inside the right side of Rangers penalty area that had Josh Donaldson diving to his right to save. Rangers capitalised by scoring twice in as many minutes. A great turn on the left side of the penalty area from Zak Rudden created the space to drive the ball across the six yard box where Mati Zata arrived to fire into the net from close range. Scott Gray then delivered a corner from the right and with the Saints defence struggling to clear,  the ball eventually landed for Rhys Breen to score from close range.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 St.Mirren 1

Rangers started the second half on the front foot, Zak Rudden attacked down the left and when he found Mati Zata on the edge of the box the keeper saved low to his left. The visitors replied by attacking through the middle and Josh Donaldson was called into action saving low to his right.

On the hour mark Jordan Houston’s corner from the right fell for Jack Thomson around the penalty spot but he could only shoot straight at the keeper. Ten minutes later Jordan Houston and Scott Blacklaw combined on the right and when the ball broke kindly for the latter he shot narrowly over.

A superb run from Saint’s midfielder a minute later took him past a couple of defenders as he made his way to the left hand byline and when he played the ball into the middle his colleague shot past Josh Donaldson. Rangers replied with a Zak Rudden attack down the left his ball into the box broke for Carlo Pignatiello who passed across the box to Scott Blacklaw, his shot beat the keeper but a defender got back to clear off the line.

A minute later Aaron Reid’s low corner from the right was flicked on by Zak Rudden’s heel but Cammy Wray could only head over at the back post. The next Rangers goal wasn’t delayed long, Lewis Mayo sent Zak Rudden down the right and he went past two defenders on the byline before finding the net from a narrow angle.

The next chance came when Jordan Houston chased the ball down the left and when his ball into the box was cleared to the edge of the area Carlo Pignatiello brought out a fine one-handed save from the keeper. The final chance of the game was created and executed by Jordan Houston, he flicked the ball over the head of a defender before bringing out a save from the Saints keeper low to his left.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 St.Mirren 2

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

Footenote:- Goals from Tom Walsh, Darren Ramsay & Ryan Hardie gave Rangers their first win in four attempts in this season’s Development League.

Narrow Win For 17’s

September 13, 2014

Rangers 1 St. Mirren 0

An Aidan Wilson header proved enough to give Rangers Under 17’s a win at Murray Park this morning, the Ibrox youngsters should have had the game wrapped up but a failure to covert chances saw them hang on in the closing stages as the visitors came close to an equaliser. Fresh from what was the best performance from the first team for quite some time, Ally McCoist took in the second half of the game from the sidelines.

Rangers came close to taking the lead on twelve minutes, Josh Jeffries delivered a corner from the left which was met on the volley by Kyle Bradley and the Saints keeper just managed to stop the ball crossing the line with his legs. Just less than ten minutes later Josh Jeffries attacked the right side of the St.Mirren penalty area before cutting inside and going for goal with his left foot with the visitor’s keeper getting down to his left to turn the ball wide of the post.

Only a couple of minutes later Max Ashmore found Aidan Wilson overlapping down the right and his superb cross looked perfect for Kyle Clark to give Rangers the lead but he miscued his header and the ball went high over the bar. Another enterprising overlap from Aidan Wilson took him to the byline on the right, his low cross forced a unorthordox clearance from the Saints keeper as kicked the ball away from Andy Dallas.

Rangers pressure paid off as the half entered the final ten minutes, Josh Jeffries swung a corner from the right towards the back post where Aidan Wilson rose highest to power a header past the keeper. Despite their dominance Rangers could have gone in level at the break when the visitors came close in the half’s dying seconds, the attack came down the left and when the ball was played inside to the edge of the box the striker’s shot beat Robbie McCrorie but bounced clear off his right hand post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 St.Mirren 0

Rangers had a great chance five minutes after the break, Jamie Barjonas sent a superb pass inside the right full-back to setup a chance for Grant Nelson who’s effort from a narrow angle was turned wide by the keeper. Jamie Barjonas was the architect of Rangers next chance, setting up Josh Jeffries to try his luck from distance, the short was powerful enough but straight at the keeper.

Rangers increased the pressure as the hour mark approached, Jamie Barjonas passing to Ross Lyon on the right hand angle of the box and his shot was just too high. Within seconds Max Ashmore picked out Grant Nelson inside the right side of the box, as he was challenged by a defender the ball broke across the goal with Kyle Clark looking certain to score but was denied by a fine brave save by the Saints keeper.

Midway through the half Lewis White sent Kyle Clark down the left and he picked out Kieran Balfour on the edge of the box, again the shot was powerful but too straight as the keeper saved comfortably. With ten minutes remaining the visitor’s looked likely to draw level, the attack was created on the left and when their attacker was picked out around the penalty spot his shot beat Robbie McCrorie but his brother Ross popped up to clear from the line.

With four minutes remaining Saints sent a free-kick from wide left and close to the halfway line into the box, when it was headed clear the ball was gathered by a St.Mirren player, his shot took a deflection but there seemed little danger until the ball squeezed under the body of Robbie McCrorie diving to his right and just wide of the post. Another free-kick and clearance setup a final chance for St.Mirren in injury time with this time, Robbie McCroie getting down to his left to push the shot away.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 St.Mirren 0

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Aidan Wilson (Robbie Smith 53mins), Kyle Bradley (Kieran Balfour 62mins), Ross McCrorie, Lewis White; Ross Lyon, Jamie Barjonas (Trialist No 17 73mins), Max Ashmore, Kyle Clark (Trialist No 18 86mins); Josh Jeffires; Andy Dallas (Grant Nelson HT)

Friendly Defeat For Youths

September 11, 2014

Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 2

Rangers youths lost two late goals and suffered another defeat at Murray Park this afternoon, this time it was against a mainly Kilmarnock Under 18 side. The game was arranged to give game time to players coming back from injury and those that have been on the fringes of the Development League games. Despite the goals being late in the game it was another poor performance with the Killie youngsters being more comfortable in possession and carrying the greater threat.

Rangers suffered and early blow when Jamie Burrows went down under a challenge in the eighth minute, and had to be stretchered from the field and replaced by Josh Jeffries. It was the substitute that came close to opening the scoring just before the quarter-hour, his pass sent Adam Wilson down the left and when he returned the ball to Josh Jeffries on the edge of the box, his shot went wide off the outside of Devlin Mackay’s right hand post. Midway through the half Adam Hodge broke from defence before passing to Aaron Splaine, he moved the ball on to Greg Kiltie on the edge of the box and his pass freed Jack Whittaker inside the box but he shot wide of Robbie McCrorie’s left hand post.

On twenty-seven minutes Dean Hawkshaw in possession on the right passed inside to Aaron Splaine who turned Junior Ogen before forcing a save from Robbie McCrorie from around thirty yards. Aaron Splaine then broke forward on the half hour before firing narrowly over from the edge of the box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

Rangers took an early lead after the break, Ryan Hardie outpaced the Kilmarnock defence and onto Junior Ogen’s through ball, Devlin Mackay saved his initial effort, but the striker followed up to net the rebound. Less than five minutes later only a brilliant Robbie McCrorie save kept Rangers in front, when a cross came in from the left Scot Whiteside headed the ball up in the air, it was then met on the volley by Scott McLean from around ten yards and the Rangers keeper turned the ball over with a stunning save.

On Killie’s next attack it was the woodwork that denied them an equaliser, from a free-kick outside the left side of the penalty area Aaron Splaine’s strike went wide off the outside of the far post. Rangers tried to reply with Darren Ramsay breaking forward and passing to Jordan Hamill who shot wide of the keeper’s left hand post from the edge of the box.

Midway through the half Kilmarnock broke down the left through Andrew Sibbald, he moved the ball into Greg Kiltie who setup a shooting chance for Dylan Pooler that had Robbie McCrorie stretching to turn the ball over. The Rangers keeper was called into action again a few minutes later, diving to his left to save Jack Whittaker’s effort from distance.

Around the seventy-five minute mark Rangers had a chance from a free-kick on the edge of the Killie penalty area, Scott Roberts stepped up but his effort was just too high. An attempted clearance from a Killie defender broke back to Darren Ramsay on the edge of the box, he tried to prod the ball over Devlin Mackay but the keeper saved.

Darren Ramsay then won the possession before passing inside to Scott Roberts but his shot was straight at Devlin Mackay. Kilmarnock then hit Rangers with two goals in the dying minutes, both goals were setup by players released by the current youth regime. When Sam Liddington hit the byline on the left his low cross was knocked past his own keeper by Greg Pascazio. Greg Kiltie then attacked then attacked through the inside right channel before his reverse pass released Dylan Pooler to continue into the box and slot the ball past Robbie McCrorie.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 2

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; David Browlie (Ross McCrorie 81mins), Greg Pascazio, Scot Whiteside (Lewis White 72mins), Adam Wilson; Scott Roberts, Jordan Hamill, Junior Ogen, Darren Ramsay; Ryan Hardie, Jamie Burrows (Josh Jeffries 11mins).

Not Used:- Kieran Wright

Kilmarnock;- Devlin Mackay; Dean Hawkshaw, Adam Hodge, David Syme, Greg Taylor; Ross Davidson; Scott McLean, Aaron Splaine, ????? Daly; Greg Kiltie, Jack Whittaker

Subs:- Sam Liddington, Andrew Sibbald, Adam Frizzel, Dylan Pooler

Win For Scotland’s 15’s

September 9, 2014

Scotland 2 Switzerland 1

With a big Rangers contingent in the squad and a nice night to be watching a game of football  I went along to Forthbank to take in Scotland’s 15’s game against Switzerland. It is always interesting to compare Scottish teams against continental opposition and the young Scot’s came from behind to win a game that could have gone either way.

The first real threat to either goal came on thirteen minutes, Kristi Marku sent Scott Gray heading towards the byline on the left and the full-back’s cross flashed across the face of goal with Zak Rudden just arriving too late. Three minutes later Christian Antoniazzi won the ball on the left side of the penalty area but his shot was straight at Joshua Neuenschwander in the Swiss goal.

The visitor’s were technically good and comfortable in possession but at this stage were not threatening the Scotland goal, and it was Scotland who missed the chance of the half on twenty-seven minutes. Zak Rudden sent Jack Aitchison through the inside right channel and he continued into the box before shooting, the majority of spectators thought he had opened the scoring only to realise the shot had only found the side netting. A couple of minutes before the break Kristi Marku’s long diagonal pass found Jack Aitchison on the right side of the box, he laid the ball back into the path of Elliot Watt but his shot lacked a bit of power and was comfortably saved by Joshua Neuenschwander.

Half-Time:- Scotland 0 Switzerland 0

Scotland came close in the opening minute of the second half when Zak Rudden chased a long ball from Elliot Watt into the right side of the box but he was denied by Joshua Neuenschwander who turned the ball wide of his near post. The Swiss replied a couple of minutes later, Granit Haliti sent Lorenzo Gonzalez through on the right side of Scotland’s box, Josh Donaldson came from his line to make a fine block and the defence cleared.

The half was ten minutes old when the Swiss took the lead, the attack started on the right and when Lorenzo Gonzalez found space on the right side of the penalty area his shot rebounded of the inside of the near post and rolled across goal where Nishan Burkhart knocked the ball into the net. Five minutes later from a free-kick close to the touchline on the right and ten yards from the byline was delivered by Scott Gray’s left foot, it was met by Mati Zata at the back post but he couldn’t connect with a clean header and could only knock the ball wide.

The equaliser was only delayed a further minute, Zak Rudden broke into the left side of the penalty area and was tripped by Fabiano Pereiera with the referee pointing to the spot, Elliot Watt took the spotkick sending the keeper the wrong way. Just after the half’s midpoint Granit Haliti broke forward before passing to Lorenzo Gonzalez on the right side of the box, the striker unselfishly returned the ball to Granit Haliti on the penalty spot and only a superb Josh Donaldson save prevented the Swiss restoring their lead.

Scotland made the most of their keeper’s excellence by going up the other end and taking the lead, Jack Aitchison chased a defender towards the byline on the right before winning possession, he went past another defender before cutting the ball back to Zak Rudden, despite Joshua Neuenschwander getting a hand to the shot he couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the line. The visitor’s then missed a great chance to draw level as the clock ticked down, Alessandro Stabile broke forward and passed to Tim Staubli on the edge of the box, his layoff sent the impressive Lorenzo Gonzalez clear, as Josh Donaldson came from his line he knocked the ball past the keeper but just wide of his right hand post. There was still time for Kristi Marku to try his luck from distance which Joshua Neuenschwander saved diving to his right.

Full-Time:- Scotland 2 Switzerland 1

Scotland:- Josh Donaldson (Rangers); Kieran Freeman (Dundee United), Jack Thomson (Rangers), Daniel Church (Celtic), Scott Gray (Rangers); Jack Aitchison (Celtic), Elliot Watt (Preston North End), Kristi Marku (Celtic), Christian Antoniazzi (Celtic); Stephen Kelly (Rangers); Zak Rudden (Rangers).

Subs:- Mati Zata (Rangers) For Stephen Kelly (50 Mins).

Not Used:- Joshua Rae (Celtic), Kerr McInroy (Celtic), Christ Mayuba (Birmingham City), Andrew Irving (Hearts), Thomas Halleran (Forth Valley), Chris Hamilton (Hearts), Callum Sheridan (Hamilton Accies)Lewis Mayo (Rangers), Jordan Houston (Rangers), Lewis Hutchison (Aberdeen).

Switzerland:- Joshua Neuenschwander (Young Boys); Christopher Lungoyi (Servette), Bertrand Tusiama (Servette), Yannick Marchand (FC Basel), Goiele Stumpo (FC Rapperswil Jona); Tim Staubli (FC St-Gall), Fabiano Pereira (FC Fribourg), Alexis Antunes (Servette), Nishan Burkhart (FC Zurich); Granit Haliti (Servette); Lorenzo Gonzalez (Servette).

Subs:- Nicolas Kunzli (FC Zurich) For Christopher Lungoyi (Half-Time), Alessandro Stabile (FC Basel) (49 Mins).

Not Used:- Killian Gravante (FC Sion), Lorenzo Di Michelangeli (FC Luzern), Luca Buhlmann (FC Luzern), Noah Okafor (FC Basel), Sandro Theler (FC Sion), Martin Kunz (Grasshoppers), Yannick Lanker (FC Wil 1900).

Last Gasp Winner For 17’s

September 7, 2014

Rangers 1 Motherwell 0

Having suffered the agony of losing a last-minute goal against Celtic on Monday the shoe was on the other foot as Rangers grabbed a late winner against Motherwell at Murray Park this afternoon. It was another poor game with little quality from either side and goalmouth action was at a premium.

There was twenty minutes on the clock before either keeper was tested, when Rangers were awarded a free kick around twenty-five yards from goal Max Ashmore stepped up and least forced a save from the Motherwell keeper low to his right. The visitors were creating nothing in the way of chances and Rangers were only slightly better, three minutes before the break Jamie Barjonas strode forward before shooting from distance but his effort was straight at the keeper.

Half-Time:- Rangers o Motherwell o

The second half followed a similar pattern with little in the way of goalmouth action, there was less than twenty minutes remaining when Motherwell created their first and only real chance of the game. The move was built down the left and an interchange of passes created the space for a pass inside, the shot from the edge of the box had Robbie McCrorie stretching to turn the ball over. Five minutes later Lewis White got to the byline on the left, when his cross came in it was cleared to the edge of the box and Grant Nelson’s strike looked sure to give Rangers the lead till the ‘Well keeper dived to his left to turn the ball over.

Just as a goalless draw looked likely a bit of quality produced what had looked like an unlikely winner, Ross McCrorie won the ball on halfway before flicking the ball over an attacker and picking out Grant Nelson breaking into the left hand angle of the box with a great pass, a superb first touch took him past a defender and he beat the keeper with a cool finish.

One note of disappointment, having had a wee dig a Celtic for not using four substitutes in what are supposed to be Development Fixture last week, its only right I should point out that Rangers keeper Kieran Wright didn’t get any game time.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Motherwell 0

Rangers Squad:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Aidan Wilson, Kyle Bradley, Ross McCrorie, Jason Krones, Max Ashmore, Trialist No 7, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Josh Jeffries, Kyle Clark, Lewis White, Ross Lyon, Liam Burt, Trialist No 20, Grant Nelson, Andy Dallas, Kieran Balfour.

Development League Low

September 3, 2014

Hamilton Accies 3 Rangers 0

Having witnessed the opening Development League game against Partick Thistle at Firhill I thought it would be a season’s low in terms of performance. Tonight’s display at New Douglas Park at least ran it close and was possibly a new low. Yet early in the game there was no real indication of what was to come, as Rangers created a couple of half chances.

Just after the quarter-hour mark Fraser Aird attacked down the right and went past Scott McMann before stepping inside Mikey Devlin and bringing out a save from Darren Hill low to his right. Less than a minute later Fraser Aird tested the keeper again, this time from around twenty-five yards and Darren Hill again got down to his right to turn the ball wide of his post.

Midway through the half a quick Kris Gibson free-kick gave Tom Walsh a chance on the left side of the Hamilton penalty area but his shot was into the side netting. As the half hour approached Kyle Hutton moved the ball to his left for the overlapping Kris Gibson to shoot from the left hand angle of the box with Darren Hill saving as his near post.

The home side then took the lead with their first real effort on goal on thirty-three minutes, Jaison McGrath picked up a flick on just outside the right side of Rangers penalty area, he cut inside before laying the ball into the path of Steven Boyd who beat Lee Robinson low to his left from just outside the penalty area. Accies came close to a second goal six minutes later, from Danny Armstrong’s free-kick close to the byline on the left Mikey Devlin rose to head back across goal and just wide of the far post.

The goal was delayed barely sixty seconds, there seemed little danger when Greg Docherty elected to shoot from a round thirty yards until Lee Robinson allowed the ball to slip through his grasp and into the net. Rangers tried to respond when Andy Murdoch passed to Darren Ramsay on the left side of the box, he had an opportunity to shoot first time but elected to cut inside onto his stronger right foot and shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Halft-Time:- Hamiton Accies 2 Rangers 0

The home side continued to have the upper hand and ten minutes after the break Jaison McGrath broke forward before firing a powerful shot straight at Lee Robinson. The third goal came on seventy minutes, when Luca Gasparotto allowed a long ball to bounce inside Rangers penalty area Eamonn Brophy got the better of the aerial challenge and when the ball landed at his feet he spun to shoot past Lee Robinson low to his right.

From here on in the home side looked much more likely to increase their lead then Rangers reducing the deficit, Accies having a decent shout for a penalty and picking up a bizarre yellow card when their player was clearly fouled on the edge of Rangers penalty area. Former Rangers player Ben Reilly had the best chance to increase their lead breaking into the right side of the box but he failed to execute his attempted chip properly and the ball was easily saved by Lee Robinson.

The most disappointing aspect was that after Accies third goal the body language of the players and silence from the dugout suggested this Rangers side had given up. Was it a new low after Firhill ? It was close, but in my opinion the desperation of throwing a centre back upfront and the bizarre sight of Callum Gallagher finishing the game at left back means the Firhill game just edged it.

Full-Time:-Hamilton Accies 3 Rangers 0

Hamilton Accies:- Darren Hill (Blair Currie 80mins); Craig Watson, Shaun Want, Mikey Devlin, Scott McMann; Darren Lyon; Danny Armstrong (Ben Reilly 60mins),Steven Boyd (Jack Simpson 61mins), Greg Docherty; Eamonn Brophy, Jaison McGrath.

Not Used:- Jack Harrison, Darren Smith, Ryan Tierney, Colin Granger.

Rangers:- Lee Robinson; Sebastien Faure, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Kris Gibson (Ryan Finnie 58mins); Fraser Aird, Andy Murdoch, Kyle Hutton, Darren Ramsay (Junior Ogen 77mins); Tom Walsh (Scott Roberts 55mins); Kyle McAusland.

Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), David Brownlie, Jordan Hamill.