Hibernian 4 Rangers 1
Rangers Development/Under 20 squad lost their fourth in six league games at Ainslie Park last night. It was my first trip to the home of Spartans and Greg Pascazio was listed in the Rangers starting lineup, but when the teams took the field his place in defence was taken by David Brownlie wearing the number 10 shirt. Rangers started brightly but as the half progressed the home side got on top but in truth neither side were seriously threatening the others goal.
There was half-an-hour on the clock before the first real chance of the game, Jake Sinclair attacked the centre of Rangers defence and he was soon deep into the penalty area, just when it looked likely he would score a superb Sebastien Faure challenge cleared the ball for a corner. Five minutes later Sam Stanton attacked down the left and went past David Brownlie with Lee Robinson saving bravely at the Hibs player’s feet.
Just before the break Rangers lost Darren Ramsay to injury with Junior Ogen coming on to take his place in midfield.
Half-Time:- Hibernian 0 Rangers 0
Eight minutes after the break a mixup between keeper Kleton Perntreou and Neil Martynuik almost presented a goal to Ryan Hardie, as the three players converged the ball rebounded off the Rangers striker and behind for a goal-kick. Midway through the half the home side missed a great chance to take the lead, Lewis Allen crossed from the right hand byline on to the head of Scott Martin but his close range header went narrowly wide of the far post.
Rangers capitalised on that let off by going straight up the other end and taking the lead, Danny Stoney played the ball up to Ryan Hardie on the edge of the box, a superb turn took him clear of Jordan McGregor and he shot high past Kleton Perntreou. Just as the game entered the final quarter-of-an-hour Hibernian equalised. The goal was both a defensive error and exquisite finish, David Brownlie failed to gather the ball just inside his own half and when Sam Stanton gained possession he saw Lee Robinson off his line and fired the ball over the keeper and into the net off his left hand post.
Two minutes later the home side were in front, Sam Stanton cutting in from the left past two defenders before beating Lee Robinson low to his right. Hibs made the game safe with six minutes remaining, in the initial attack Alex Harris went past Kris Gibson as he attacked on the left, Lee Robinson managed to block his shot from a tight angle. Seconds later the Hibs midfielder was in possession again, this time when he cut in past Kris Gibson he had the space to prod the ball past the Rangers keeper.
A couple of minutes later David Brownlie was woefully short with a pass back allowing Sam Stanton to take the ball past Lee Robinson and roll the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick. Rangers did manage another shot on goal in the final seconds, Junior Ogen passed from right to Scott Roberts on the left hand angle of the box, he cut inside before going for goal with Kleton Perntreou diving to his left to save comfortably.
It was another disappointing performance with nobody in the Rangers team reaching the level of performance of the three Hibs players with first team experience, Danny Handling, Alex Harris and Sam Stanton.
Full-Time:- Hibernian 4 Rangers 1
Hibernian:- Kleton Perntreou; Aaron Dunsmore (Jordan Sinclair 83mins), Jordan McGregor, Neil Martyniuk, Callum Crane; Alex Harris, Scott Martin, Danny Handling, Sam Stanton; Jake Sinclair; Lewis Allen.
Not Used;-Sean Brennan (Gk), Gareth McCaffrey, Conor Duthie, Max Todd.
Rangers:- Lee Robinson; Kris Gibson, David Brownlie, Sebastien Faure, Ryan Finnie; Darren Ramsay (Junior Ogen 43mins), Kyle Hutton, Andy Murdoch, Scott Roberts; Danny Stoney, Ryan Hardie.
Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Adam Wilson, Jordan Hammill.