Rangers 0 St. Johnstone 0 Rangers win 3-2 on penalties
Rangers edged out St.Johnstone in a penalty shootout after a goal less 120 minutes in today’s youth cup tie at Ibrox. With shootout tied a 2-2 after four penalties each Liam Kelly dived low to his right to save Paul Esslemont’s penalty it set it up for Ryan Hardie to beat Mark Hurst from the spot and take the Rangers youngsters through to the semi final.
The first opportunity came on nine minutes, Tom Walsh wining possession on halfway and driving towards the edge of the box but his shot was straight at Mark Hurst. Goalmouth action was at a premium and their was almost half an hour on the clock whe Darren Ramsay sent a free-kick from halfway into the St.Johnstone box, the defensive header fell for Fraser Aird whose shot through a ruck of players was cleared just in front of goal.
Half-Time:- Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0
The opening minute of the second half came close to providing an opening goal for Rangers, it cam from a St.Johnstone throw in close to their corner flag on the right, Fraser Aird won possession and fed Ryan Hardie who picked out Darren Ramsay who was denied from around eight yards when Mark Hurst got down low to his right to save. The visitors had shown little in an attacking sense up till now and the hour mark approached when Aaron Comrie flashed the ball low across the Rangers goal with no takers.
Within a minute a Ross Lyon corner from the right was headed out to the edge of the box where Fraser Aird gathered before firing narrowly over. Saints then missed a great chance to take the lead on sixty-five minutes, the ball ricocheted into the path of Kyle Lander sending him clean through with Liam Kelly racing from his line to blocked the shot with his legs.
Just over five minutes later Rhys Evans passed inside from the left to Paul Simpson who turned back onto his left foot to test Liam Kelly from twenty-five yards with the Rangers keeper diving to his left to parry. With the final ten minutes approaching a superb piece of skill from Ross Lyon took him past two defenders of the right before sending Tom Walsh to the byline, he picked out Fraser Aird and it took a super block from Aaron Comrie to prevent a goal.
End of Ninety Minutes:- Rangers 0 St. Johnstone 0
Rangers had the first opportunity in extra time when Ryan Hardie helped on Tom Walsh’s cross from the right but Craig Halkett volleyed over. There was another opportunity for Rangers just after the break in extra time, Dylan Dykes and Tom Walsh exchanged passes to create a shooting opportunity for Ryan Hardie but his effort was straight at Mark Hurst.
It was the visitors that had the final chance in that dying seconds of extra time, Paul Simpson played the ball wide to Connor McLaren on the left, he moved it on to Kyle Lander inside the left side of the box and his shot across goal was just missed by Paul Esslemont. So it was on to the dramatic penalty shoot out where Liam Kelly and Ryan Hardie were to emerge as the Rangers heros.
Full-Time:- Rangers 0 St. Johnstone 0 Rangers win 3-2 on penalties
Kyle Lander Scored 0-1
Tom Walsh Scored 1-1
Connor McLaren Saved to right hand side 1-1
Fraser Aird Scored 2-1
Brodie Gray Wide of left hand post 2-1
Scott Roberts Saved to right hand side 2-1
Jason Kerr Scored 2-2
Dylan Dykes Saved to left hand side 2-2
Paul Esslemont Saved to right hand side 2-2
Ryan Hardie Scored 3-2
Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Craig Halkett, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Mills; Fraser Aird, Dylan Dykes, Tom Walsh, Darren Ramsay (Scott Roberts 70mins); Junior Ogen (Ross Lyon 59mins); Ryan Hardie.
Not used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Kris Gibson, Greg Pascazio.
St.Johnstone:- Mark Hurst; Aaron Comrie, Alex Kitchen, Jason Kerr, Rhys Evans; Jack Parr (Paul Esslemont 74mins), Scott Wilson (Brodie Gray 61mins), Matthew Buchanan, Conor McLaren; Paul Simpson; Kyle Lander.
Not Used:- Morgan Reid, Ben McKenzie, Matthew Aitken.