Celtic 2 Rangers 1
The weekend’s Derby fixtures were completed when Rangers & Celtic’s Under 17’s met at Barrowfield, it has become clear over the weekend there has been a change of emphasis at Celtic as once again they were much bigger physically that their Rangers counterparts. Rangers were struggling to get out of their own half in the early stages as Celtic put them under pressure from a series of corners.
The home side took the lead from the latest of these corners on seven minutes, when the ball was sent into the box from the right it was headed past Robbie McCrorie. Rangers responded by equalising four minutes later, a superb Jamie Barjonas pass split the Celtic defence and Kyle Clark won the race with the Celtic keeper to prod the ball past him and into the net.
On twenty-five minutes a superb double save from Robbie McCrorie kept Rangers level, when the ball was played into the Rangers penalty box it broke to an attacker on the edge of the six yard box with the Rangers keeper making a fine block and he was quickly back on his feet to do the same again from the rebound. Just before the half-time break Rangers were reduced to ten men when Jamie Brandon received a second yellow to join “youth supremo” Jimmy Sinclair who had been sent from the technical area earlier and forced to watch the game from the long grass behind the goal.
Half-Time:- Celtic 1 Rangers 1
Five minutes after the break we had the bizarre situation where Rangers were restored to the full complement of eleven players, it seems that it been forgotten that under the rules of the development league games, teams can replace the carded player after the break. Celtic continued to have the bulk of possession but were creating little and Robbie McCrorie was rarely troubled.
Rangers relieved a bit of pressure on the hour when Max Ashmore sent Sam Jamieson down the left and his pass into the box gave Jamie Barjonas a shooting chance but his effort was straight at the keeper. The home side almost took the lead when a cross from the right bounced clear off the crossbar five minutes later.
A couple of minutes into injury time a corner from the right setup a bit of head tennis inside the Rangers penalty area, and it looked that the young Rangers side, which was now mainly first year 17’s had secured a draw when Kieran Wright dived to his right to turn a close range header round the post. But when the subsequent corner from the left fell kindly for the Celtic midfielder just inside the right hand angle of the box, he sent an unstoppable shot into the net via the underside of the cross-bar.
It was cruel on a young Rangers squad that included nine first years against a Celtic side made up exclusively of second year 17’s.
Full-Time:- Celtic 2 Rangers 1
Rangers Squad:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Kieran Wright, Aidan Wilson, Jamie Brandon, Jason Krones, Ross McCrorie, Max Ashmore, Kyle Clark, Jamie Barjonas, Sam Jamieson, Liam Burt, Ross Lyon, Josh Jeffries, Kyle Bradley, Lewis White, Grant Nelson, Andy Dallas