All Square At Rugby Park

Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 1

An unusual evening kick-off meant I got the rare chance to take in a Development League match tonight at Rugby Park, where Rangers were held by a young Kilmarnock side. The home side were first to threaten when Greg Taylor, in possession outside the left side of the penalty area played the ball to Lee Miller on the edge of the box who laid it back into the midfielder’s path and his powerful drive clipped the top of Liam Kelly’s crossbar on the way over. Rangers replied with a Jamie Mills free-kick delivered from the right which was headed clear to the left hand angle of the box where Fraser Aird sent a shot narrowly over.

Killie immediately went straight up the other end and took the lead, when the ball was played up to the feet of Lee Miller his flick saw Greg Kiltie win the race with Greg Pascazio before rounding Liam Kelly and rolling the ball into the net. Midway through the half Scott McLean took on Jamie Mills close to the byline on the right before crossing for Lee Miller to head narrowly over.

The home side were continuing to look the most likely and just after the half-hour Paul Cairney drove at the centre of the Rangers defence before playing Greg Kiltie in on the right side of the box, but he shot across Liam Kelly and wide of the far post. Within two minutes Rangers were unfortunate not to draw level, Ryan Sinnamon’s cross from the right found its way to Robbie Crawford at the back post, his shot beat Conor Brennan but he was denied by a superb goal line clearance from David Syme.

A fine move from Killie then carved open the Rangers defence and it took a brilliant Liam Kelly save to prevent a second goal. Greg Taylor started the move with a pass inside Greg Pascazio to Greg Kiltie, his cross bounced at the back post where Scott McLean nodded the ball back to Lee Miller, who ‘s shot looked netbound until the Rangers keeper dived to his right to turn the ball wide. The final chance of the half was another for the home side, a slack Scot Whiteside pass was intercepted by Scott McLean who released Greg Kiltie inside the right side of the penalty area and his shot from a narrow angle needed a touch from Liam Kelly to divert the ball wide.

Half-Time:- Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 0

It was the home side who were first to threaten with Euan Smith driving forward before firing over from around twenty-five yards. Five minutes later Rangers were level, Ryan Sinnmon broke on the right and he picked out Darren Ramsay arriving on the edge of the box to shoot past Conor Brennan.

Kilmarnock were reduced to ten men on the hour when Aaron Splaine was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Dylan Dykes, a decision that was a touch harsh in my opinion. The expected push from Rangers for a winner never materialised and the home side comfortably held on for a draw with neither side seriously threatening to grab a winner.

Full-Time:- Kilmarnock 1 Rangers 1

Kilmarnock:- Conor Brennan; Dean Hawkshaw, Lewis Clark, David Syme, Sam Liddington; Scott McLean, Euan Smith (Aaron Splaine 52mins), Greg Taylor, Paul Cairney (Mark Dempster 62mins); Lee Miller (Dylan Pooler HT), Greg Kiltie.

Not Used:- Devlin Mackay (Gk), Jack Whittaker.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Greg Pazcasio (Dylan Dykes HT), Craig Halkett, Scot Whiteside, Jamie Mills (Scott Roberts 66mins); Ryan Sinnamon, Fraser Aird, Robbie Crawford, Callum Gallagher; Darren Ramsay (Danny Stoney 75mins), Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), Kris Gibson, David Brownlie, Ross Lyon.

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