Rangers 3 Hibernian 3
A host of missed chances, a fine display from the Hibs and the fact that the visitors converted 75% of their chances meant Rangers Under 15’s had to settle for a draw at Murray Park this afternoon. There was only five minutes on the clock when the visitors took the lead from the penalty spot, With Rhys Breen and Jack Donaldson leaving a through ball to each other the Hibs players nipped in between them and Jack Donaldson was forced to bring him down for a clear penalty which was blasted straight down the middle and into the net. Rangers were only behind for four minutes, Zak Rudden sent Jordan Houston down the right, he skipped past a defender on the byline before picking out the Rangers centre forward who had continued his run into the box to shoot past the keeper.
Midway through the half Rangers took the lead, Jordan Houston and Mati Zata combined in midfield before the latter’s pass sent Zak Rudden through the inside left channel, he continued into the box before shooting past the keeper. Just before the half-hour a Mati Zata pass sent Zak Rudden through in a similar position, on this occasion he was thwarted by the keeper who dived to his left to save.
As the half entered the final ten minutes the Rangers defence struggled to clear a corner from the left, when the ball fell for a Hibs player his shot seemed to be heading for the top corner till Jack Donaldson threw himself high to his left to turn the ball over. Rangers replied when a Carlo Pignatiello pass sent Jordan Houston clear and into the left side of the penalty area, he opted to try to round the keeper who bravely dived and his feet and dispossessed the Rangers attacker.
A few minutes before the break Jack Thomson broke from midfield and went passed a couple of defenders before firing in a powerful shot from the edge of the box that the Hibs keeper parried before his defence cleared.
Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Hibernian 1
Rangers created an early opportunity at the start of the second half, Jack Thomson in possession just outside the left side of the Hibs box passed inside to Reece Rintoul who’s strike forced the keeper to leap and tip the ball over. Midway through the half Jordan Houston played the ball forward on the right, Zak Rudden showed great skill with a head flick the took him clear of a defender and he headed towards the byline, his cutback picked out Reece Rintoul who’s shot was netbound until the keeper threw himself to his right to turn the ball wide.
Rangers extended their lead with seventeen minutes remaining, from a Hibernian goal-kick Stephen Kelly headed the ball back towards the penalty box, Zak Rudden outpaced the defence and broke into the box to shoot past the keeper. With the game inside the final ten minutes Hibs reduced the deficit, the attack came down the left and into the penalty area, Lewis Muir did well to block the initial effort but was left helpless as the rebound was fired into the net.
Rangers responded immediately and a superb pass found Zak Rudden deep inside the left side of the Hibs box, his shot was good and on target but he was denied by the keeper who dived to his left to touch the ball wide of the post. The visitor’s capitalised on their keeper’s excellence by drawing level with six minutes remaining, they opened up the centre of Rangers defence to create the space for a shot from around the penalty spot past Lewis Muir.
With the game entering injury time Jack Thomson passed the ball to Scott Gray out on the left, his cross beat the keeper but bounced clear off the face of the crossbar. There was still time for once last Rangers chance, Zak Rudden got to the byline on the right, his centre picked out Matthew Shiels who didn’t connect with his shot cleanly and although he beat the keeper a defender got back to clear from the line.
Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Hibernian 3
Rangers:- Jack Donaldson (Lewis Muir 61mins); Cammy Wray (Reece Rintoul), Lewis Mayo, Rhys Breen, Scott Gray; Mati Zata (Scott Blacklaw 61mins), Jack Thomson, Carlo Pignatiello (Stephen Kelly HT), Cammy Palmer (Matthew Shiels 33mins); Jordan Houston; Zak Rudden.
Footnote;- Meanwhile through at the Hibs Training Centre in Tranent Rangers U13’s recorded a 4-1 win, with goals from Ally Munro (2), Matt Yates & Robbie Fraser, while the U14’s went down by 4-2. I don’t have any further details.