Archive for December, 2014

Strong Side Loses At Falkirk

December 22, 2014

Falkirk 2 Rangers 0

A strong Rangers side went down at Falkirk Stadium in the Development League tonight, Rangers had the better of the first half and missed a few chances before falling behind seven minutes before the break. The home side dominated the second-half doubling their lead on the hour and running out comfortable winners with Rangers failing to muster a serious effort on goal in the second period.

In the opening minute Darren Ramsay’s free-kick from midway inside the Falkirk half and left of centre was missed by all outfield players and Graham Bowman had to dive  to prevent the ball sneaking in at his left hand post. Two minutes later Kyle Hutton won possession and his pass released Ryan Hardie inside the left side of the penalty area but Graham Bowman was up to his effort diving to his right to turn the ball wide.

Midway through the half a long ball left an offside looking Ryan Hardie in the clear, he advanced into the box but shot across goal and wide of the far post. With minutes it was home striker Scott Shepherd that looked offside and he broke into the right side of the box but he could only find the side netting with his shot.

Just after the half hour David Templeton broke forward before playing in Danny Stoney on the left side of the box, but his shot was straight at Graham Bowman who saved comfortably. Within sixty seconds a slip in the Falkirk defence presented the ball to Ryan Hardie who teed up Darren Ramsay on the edge of the box, again the effort was straight at keeper Graham Bowman.

Seven minutes before the break an exchange of passes between Robbie McNab and Thomas Grant setup a chance for Kevin O’Hara that Lee Robinson saved low to his left. When the resultant corner was cleared from the box it went as far as Liam Rowan wide on the right and his cross found the unmarked Liam Dick to head past Lee Robinson.

Half-Time:- Falkirk 1 Rangers 0

Rangers made three substitutions at half-time with Scot Whiteside, Junior Ogen and Scott Roberts replacing Ryan Sinnamon, Kyle Hutton and David Templeton. Falkirk were having the better of the opening exchanges and doubled their lead on the hour, Alex Cooper cut in from the right touchline to the angle of the box and sent an unstoppable left foot shot past Lee Robinson and into the net at the far post. Rangers then had to see out the remainder of the game with ten men when Junior Ogen had to leave the field injured a couple of minutes later.

The home side were now in total control and were passing the ball well with Rangers rarely in possession and also rarely out of their own half. The closest Falkirk came to increasing  their lead came seven minutes before the end, Robbie McNab laying the ball back into the path of David Smith who forced a save from Lee Robinson.

Falkirk 2 Rangers 0

Falkirk:- Graham Bowman; Liam Rowan (Mark Finlayson 79mins), Cameron Eadie, Alan Maybury, Liam Dick; David Smith, Robbie McNab, Thomas Grant, Alex Cooper (Tony Gallagher 79mins); Scott Shepherd, Kevon O’Hara (Chris Snedden 82mins).

Not Used:- Michael Fairbanks (Gk), Connor Hogg, Marcus Cather, Grant Hamilton.

Rangers:- Lee Robinson; Ryan Sinnamon (Scot Whiteside HT), Marius Zaliukas, Sebastien Faure, Ross McCrorie; Darren Ramsay, Kyle Hutton (Junior Ogen HT), Andy Murdoch, David Templton (Scott Roberts HT); Danny Stoney; Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Liam Kelly (Gk), Kris Gibson, David Browlie

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Late Glasgow Cup Winner

December 15, 2014

Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 0

A Ross McCrorie header six minutes from time was enough to give Rangers a win they deserved in a game they dominated from start to finish. Only in Scotland would a competition’s rules change halfway through, what was originally a home and away round robin was recently changed to a single game round robin with the bottom team being eliminated and the remaining four meeting in semi finals. With all other games already played the only thing at stake was who would have home advantage in the subsequent semi final.

Despite newspaper and internet speculation there was no change in the home dugout as the teams kicked off at Murray Park with Rangers creating the first chance. There were eight minutes on the clock when Liam Burt swung in a corner from the left and Jack Thomson’s header forced the Thistle keeper to tip over. A couple of minutes later another Liam Burt corner again from the left was headed goalwards by Ross McCrorie this time it was cleared from the line at the near post by a defender.

Just before the twenty-minute mark Kyle Bradley broke forward on the right and when he entered the box he charged down a defender’s clearance and poked the ball past the keeper but the ball slide just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Ten minutes later Kyle Bradley again broke down the right before playing a one-two with Grant Nelson and shooting just wide of the same left hand post.

Rangers next chance came from a free-kick just outside the penalty area, Jason Krones powerfully struck shot was parried low to his right by the Thistle keeper with his defence following up to clear. Right on the stroke of half-time Ross McCrorie rose to meet Max Ashmore’s corner from the right but his header rebounded from the keeper’s left hand post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Partick Thistle 0

Rangers continued to dominate after the break with the first chance coming just before the hour, Kyle Clark won possession on the right side of the box, he passed inside to Sam Jamieson who shot straight at the keeper. On seventy-two minutes Ross McCrorie broke from defence, his attempted pass on the edge of the box broke back to him off a defender but he was foiled as the keeper blocked his shot with his legs.

As the game approached the final five minutes Rangers grabbed the winner, from a free-kick wide on the right just inside the Thistle half Grant Nelson delivered into the box where Ross McCrorie rose to head past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 0

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Kyle Bradley, Jason Krones, Ross McCrorie, Lewis White; Ross Lyon, Liam Burt (Kyle Clark 55mins), Jack Thomson, Grant Nelson; Max Ashmore (Andy Dallas 65mins); Sam Jamieson (Kieran Balfour 82mins).

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Premyslaw Dachnowicz.

13’s Provide This Weekend’s Youth Football Fix

December 14, 2014

Rangers 13’s 3 Ayr United 14’s 1

With Saturday’s Glasgow Cup tie and the others youth fixtures scheduled for that day being called off, Sunday’s game at Murray Park between Rangers Under 13’s and Ayr United’s Under 14’s was the only game I could take in this weekend. It was a good test for the young Rangers side in a game that they were generally in control of and emerged worthy winners.

Rangers took an early lead with a goal originating from Kai Kennedy’s corner from the right, the ball eventually reached Euan Deveney at the back post, he drove the ball across goal where it was turned past the keeper by Harry Livesey from close range. The next chance came when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box, the ball eventually found its way to Ally Munro just outside the left side of the box and his shot was only just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Before the end of the period some good passing from Ayr United worked the ball to the right side of the box and a dangerous cross was sent into the area where Ally Munro cleared the danger by heading over his own crossbar. It was the visitor’s who threatened first at the beginning of the second period with an opportunity opening on the left hand side of the box but the shot was across goal and wide of the far post.

On Ayr’s next attack it took a brave Luke Scullion save  to prevent a goal, their attacker went past a couple of defenders and into the box with the Rangers keeper coming from his line to save at the Ayr player’s feet. Rangers capitalised by going to the other end and increasing their lead, Ryan ????? crossed into the box from the right, the ball was collected by Jason Campbell who turned to fire past the keeper.

The Rangers striker came close to a second  when he got on the end of Ally Munro’s run and cross from the right but his header slipped wide of the keeper’s right hand post. It was into the second half of the third period when Ayr pulled a goal back, Lewis Budinauckas clearance was headed back leaving the Ayr attacker to continue into the box and shoot past the advancing Rangers keeper. Rangers soon restored their two goal lead and completed the scoring, when a cross from the left was headed out it only went as far as Callum Biggar who beat the keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Ayr United 1

Rangers Squad:- Luke Scullion (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ally Munro, Euan Deveney, Gary Greig, Harry Livesey, Ciaran Dickson, Ryan Muir, Ryan Docherty, Jason Campbell, Kai Kennedy, Matt Yates, Callum Biggar, Steven Bradley, Kyle McClelland.

Youths Progress In Cup

December 7, 2014

Queen of the South 0 Rangers 2

Rangers Under 20’s progressed to the fifth round of the Youth Cup at Palmerston this afternoon, the tie was still in the balance until Ryan Hardie scored Rangers second a couple of minutes before the final whistle. The young Rangers side deserved their win over the ninety minutes with Queen’s having their best spell in the twenty minutes before the break.

Rangers were first to threaten on three minutes when Tom Walsh on the left, passed inside to Darren Ramsay who’s shot from the edge of the box took a slight deflection forcing the keeper to save low to his left. Just under ten minutes later the home side threatened with a shot from the edge of the box that was just wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post.

Within a couple of minutes Rangers missed a great chance to take the lead, when a corner was cleared from the Queen’s penalty area Adam Wilson’s cross from the left found Ross McCrorie totally unmarked right in front of goal but he miscued his header and the ball went well wide of the far post. Rangers continued to press and Tom Walsh cut in from the left before shooting over.

Within sixty-seconds the home side missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock, a cross from the right broke to their striker right in front of goal but he dragged his shot wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post. Rangers replied with an enterprising run from Ross McCrorie that took him into the left side of the penalty area with the keeper saving at his near post.

On twenty-seven minutes Tom Walsh sent a corner from the left towards the far post where Ryan Hardie headed just wide. Queen’s went straight to the other end and came close to breaking the deadlock, their striker latched on to a slack Adam Wilson pass, went  past Greg Pascazio into the box and was only denied when Liam Kelly blocked his shot with his foot.Soon after a pass from the left-wing into that side of the penalty area  setup another shooting chance that had Liam Kelly diving to tip over.

Half-Time:- Queen of the South 0 Rangers 0

Rangers came out the blocks quickly at the start of the second half and soon had the home defence under pressure, from Ryan Sinnamon’s right-wing cross Ryan Hardie headed just wide of the far post. Two minutes later Ryan Hardie held the ball up inside the box before teeing up Tom Walsh for a shot that the keeper saved.

A minute later Rangers came closer still, Ryan Hardie got a flick on to a long ball and Darren Ramsay’s volley from the from the edge of the box left the keeper stranded but the ball bounced clear off the inside of his left hand post. Rangers early second half pressure was to pay off when they took the lead soon after, Tom Walsh delivered a corner from the left and Scot Whiteside’s near post header beat the keeper and the defenders on the goal line.

There then followed a period where goalmouth action was at a premium until the move of the game created a chance for Rangers with nine minutes remaining, Scott Roberts cut in from the left past two defender before spreading the play to Ryan Sinnamon on the right, he passed inside to Darren Ramsay who’s pass released  Tom Walsh inside the right side of the box, the move deserved a goal but the home keeper saved at his near post.

As the game entered the last couple of minutes Ryan Hardie made some progress on the right hand byline before picking out Darren Ramsay on the edge of the box who’s shot was only just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. With clock ticking down Rangers made the game safe by scoring a second, Scott Roberts on the left passed inside to Darren Ramsay who’s drive from fully thirty yards crashed off the crossbar, the ball went high into the air allowing Ryan Hardie to make up the ground and nod the rebound past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Queen of the South 0 Rangers 2

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Scot Whiteside, Greg Pascazio, Ross McCrorie; Kris Gibson; Darren Ramsay, Adam Wilson (Scott Roberts 70mins), Andy Murdoch, Tom Walsh; Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Junior Ogen, David Brownlie, Ross Lyon.

Rangers 9 Forth Valley 0

Before heading to Dumfries I took in the Under 15’s game against Forth Valley at Murray Park in the morning, where Rangers Under 15’s supplemented by Under 16’s Andy Dallas and Premyslaw Dachnowicz recorded a high scoring win.

Rangers took the lead almost straight from kick-off, Stephen Kelly releasing Andy Dallas on the left and when his low cross came into the box Premyslaw Dachnowicz was on hand to shoot past the keeper. Within a couple of minutes Zak Rudden tried his luck from distance with his effort only just going wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Within in a minute Rangers scored their second, Andy Dallas released the overlapping Scott Gray who headed to the byline and when his low cross arrived in the box Zak Rudden converted from close range. Just before the quarter-hour Andy Dallas’s shot from the right side of the box was saved, Dylan Patterson fired the rebound across goal where it was collected by Zak Rudden who teed up Stephen Kelly who hit the bar from the edge of the box.

Five minutes later Jordan Houston in possession on the left passed inside to Stephen Kelly, on this occasion it took a touch from the keeper to divert his shot from the edge of the box on to the crossbar. Midway through the half Andy Dallas and Dylan Patterson exchanged passes on the edge of the box to set up Zak Rudden who on this occasion shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Forth Valley created their first real chance a few minutes later with an attack that took them into the right side of the Rangers box with Josh Donaldson standing tall to save at his near post. Rangers were soon back on the attack and when Andy Dallas cut in from the left the Forth Valley keeper saved his shot at his near post.

Seven minutes before the break Zak Rudden was played through with the keeper saving bravely at his feet, Dylan Patterson followed up to fire the rebound goalwards with a defender getting back on his line to clear. Within in a minute Zak Rudden was trying his luck from the edge of the box that the keeper saved low to his right.

Three minutes before the break Rangers scored a third, the initial attack came when a neat Zak Rudden flick sent Andy Dallas clear with the keeper diving to his left to turn the ball wide for a corner Rangers took a short corner that allowed Scott Gray to fire in a left foot shot the keeper parried into the path of Zak Rudden who knocked the ball into the net. The final chance of the half came with Cammy Palmer winning possession on the right before passing forward to Jordan Houston who continued into the box and shot across goal and wide.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Forth Valley 0

Early in the second half Rhys Breen played the ball over the top of the Forth Valley defence that sent Zak Rudden through to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper. Within two minutes an Andy Dallas pass released Zak Rudden inside the right side of the box, as the keeper dived at his feet he lifted the ball over him with a neat chip.

Near the hour mark Zak Rudden progressed a long the left hand byline leaving two defenders in his wake, the keeper saved his effort from a narrow angle but Andy Dallas was well placed to net the rebound. The next goal soon followed, Andy Dallas broke into the right side of the area, from his cutback Zak Rudden’s initial shot was blocked but he followed up to knock the ball into the net.

Number eight came when Premyslaw Dachnowicz cut in from the right and passed to Zak Rudden, his shot from the edge of the box was saved but Premyslaw Dachnowicz made up the ground to beat the keeper to the rebound and prod the ball home. The scoring was completed when Rhys Breen sent Scott Gray heading to the byline on the left, from his low cross Zak Rudden found the net with a neat back-heel.

Full-Time:- Rangers 9 Forth Valley 0

Rangers Squad:- Josh Donaldson (Gk), Lewis Muir (Gk), Cammy Palmer, Scott Gray, Lewis Mayo, Rhys Breen, Stephen Kelly, Premyslaw Dachnowicz, Mati Zata, Jordan Houston, Zac Rudden, Andy Dallas, Dylan Patterson, Cammy Wray, Aaron Reid.

Well At Least The 17’s Won

December 4, 2014

Rangers 4 Aberdeen 0

The previous two nights I had watched what was arguably the two poorest performances I have witnessed from Rangers teams in the few thousand games I have watched over the years. Tonight’s game was a clash in the new competitive Under 17 league with Aberdeen visiting Murray Park, with the Ibrox youngsters running out comfortable if unspectacular winners.

The first chance came when Max Ashmore found himself in space for a shooting opportunity inside the right side of the Aberdeen penalty area that the keeper saved at his near post. Aberdeen replied with an attack that took them to the byline on the right and when the ball was cutback their striker volleyed over from close range.

On the tenth minute Rangers took the lead from a rather soft penalty award, Kyle Bradley crossed from the right and the referee judged that a push on Max Ashmore was enough to point towards the spot with Sam Jamieson stepping up to covert. On the quarter-hour Max Ashmore passed to Jamie Brandon advancing on the left and his daisy cutter from distance took a slight deflection and was only just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Midway through the half Kyle Clark passed to Sam Jamieson on the left hand angle of the box, he cut inside before teeing up Grant Nelson who’s shot from the edge of the box forced the keeper to dive to his left to save. Five minutes later Kyle Bradley broke forward from right-back before passing to Ross Lyon, his cross to the back post was volleyed goalwards by Kyle Clark with a defender clearing from the goal line.

Aberdeen then came close on the half hour, a free-kick midway inside Rangers half went deep inside Rangers box which their centre back got on the end of but could only find the side netting. Within a couple of minutes a shot from around twenty-five yards had Robbie McCrorie saving to his left.The final opportunity of the half came at the other end with Ross Lyon testing the keeper from the edge of the box.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Aberdeen 0

Two goals in the early minutes of the second-half gave Rangers a three goal lead and pretty much made the game safe. Jamie Barjonas sent a free-kick from wide left deep into the Aberdeen penalty area where Jason Krones rose to glance a header past the keeper. With in sixty seconds Liam Burt took on the full-back on the left side of the box, as he crossed from the byline he was caught by a late challenge and the referee pointed to the spot, Sam Jamieson again making a fine job of converting the penalty.

As the hour approach a poor pass forced Robbie Smith’s header to give possession away, Aberdeen advanced to the edge of the box and when the shot took a significant deflection off Jason Krones, Robbie McCrorie somehow changed direction to produce a brilliant save high to his right. Ten minutes later from a low driven corner from the right the visitor’s struck the crossbar with a shot from around twelve yards.

Rangers replied when Robbie Smith got on the end of Max Ashmore’s free-kick from midway inside the ‘Dons half, with his header drifting just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. As  the game entered the final ten minutes Ross Lyon and Liam Burt combined to send Kieran Balfour through on the left side of the box but his shot was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

With seven minutes remaining Rangers scored a fourth, a superb Kieran Balfour pass inside the left-back saw Andy Dallas hold off a defender before  beating the keeper with a cool finish. Andy Dallas then turned provider by laying the ball back into the path of Jamie Barjonas who shot narrowly wide of the keeper’s right hand post. In the final attack Andy Dallas got to the byline of the right, from his cutback  Kieran Balfour’s shot was blocked and Ross Lyon’s follow up was saved by the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Aberdeen 0

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Kyle Bradley, Jason Krones, Robbie Smith, Jamie Brandon (Lewis White 55mins); Ross Lyon, Jack Thomson, Kyle Clark (Jamie Barjonas HT), Grant Nelson (Liam Burt HT); Max Ashmore (Kieran Balfour 74mins); Sam Jamieson (Andy Dallas 78mins).

Not Used:- Kieran Wright.

15’s Win At Ralston

December 1, 2014

St.Mirren 1 Rangers 6

Rangers Under 15’s had a comfortable win at Ralston tonight despite falling behind in the first half, once the Ibrox youngsters had edged ahead on the stroke of half-time the result was never in doubt. Rangers had the first serious effort on goal after ten minutes, Reece Rintoull cutting in from the left before firing a powerful shot that was straight at the keeper.

The home side then responded by taking the lead eight minutes later with a superbly worked goal, a fast, neat exchange of passes opened up the centre of the Rangers defence allowing their player to penetrate the penalty area and shoot past Josh Donaldson. Just before the half hour Zak Rudden combined with Jordan Houston with the latter lobbing the ball over the defence to Stephen Kelly breaking into the box but he was denied by the home keeper.

Within a minute Scott Gray’s pass released Jordan Houston breaking into the left side of the penalty area with the Saints keeper saving low to his left. Rangers were now creating chances at regular intervals and the next one came from a Scott Gray cross from the left , Stephen Kelly cushioned the ball back to Jordan Houston on the edge of the box, with his shot was saved by the keeper.

The Saints defence eventually succumbed to the Rangers pressure with the equaliser coming eight minutes before the break, when the ball was played up to Zak Rudden a superb first time flick released Stephen Kelly on the left side of the box, he exchanged passes with Cammy Palmer before slotting past the keeper. Rangers were soon threatening again, Stephen Kelly’s pass forcing the keeper to rush from his line to save bravely at Jordan Houston’s feet, Zak Rudden followed up and latched on to the rebound with the keeper producing another fine save.

Rangers eventually got in front on the stroke of half time and it was a disaster for the Saints keeper who had been keeping Rangers at bay. Stephen Kelly made the pass up to Jordan Houston on the edge of the box, the keeper appeared to have the shot covered but it slipped from his grasp and through his legs and into the net.

Half-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 2

There was only six minutes gone in the second-half when Scott Gray raced past the full-back to the left hand byline, Zak Rudden met his cutback on the edge of the six yard box with the Saints keeper saving a point-blank range and the Rangers striker blazing the rebound over. The same two players combined a minute later, Scott Gray’s pass sending Zak Rudden clear on the left, as he made his way into the penalty area the keeper came from his line to block.

In Rangers next attack the keeper was left helpless, a step over  on the edge of the box from Reece Rintoull took him past a defender and the ball onto his right foot before sending a shot over the keeper and into his top right hand corner. Rangers continued their whirlwind start to the second half and the chances were coming by the minute, Stephen Kelly’s pass releasing Jordan Houston on the left side of the box, the Saint’s keeper was again up to the task coming out to block.

Another minute and another chance, Jordan Houston’s pass allowing Zak Rudden to race into the right side of the penalty area before shooting across the keeper into the far corner of the net. Midway through the half Rhys Breen broke forward from defence and played a one two with Dylan Patterson before crashing a shot off the crossbar from the edge of the box.

The scoring was completed with a two goal burst in the final minute, the first came when Matthew Shiels sent a ball over the top of the Saint’s defence and Zak Rudden won the race with the keeper to prod the ball into the net. There was still time Jordan Houston to send in a low driven corner from the left into the box where Rhys Breen arrived to volley past the keeper.

Full-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 6

Rangers:- Josh Donaldson (Lewis Muir 60mins); Cammy Wray, Lewis Mayo (Jack Wilson 60mins), Rhys Breen, Scott Gray; Cammy Palmer (Billy Gilmour 70mins), Stephen Kelly (Dylan Patterson 65mins), Mati Zata, Reece Rintoull (Matthew Shiels 70mins); Jordan Houston; Zak Rudden.