After being away for the past week it was my first opportunity to watch a youth game this afternoon. The opponents for this week’s fixtures were Forth Valley, with the 17’s playing at Stirling University and the 15’s fixture being played later this week it was Murray Park for me to take in the under 14’s fixture.
Rangers 12 Forth Valley 4
With Rangers running out very comfortable winners in a high scoring game, it is more a round-up of the goals rather than a match report this week.
Rangers opened the scoring when Billy Gilmour in possession just outside the right side of the box made his way along the eighteen yard line before teeing up Ben Williamson who found the net from the edge of the box. The second goal came when a poor pass back put keeper Andy McNeil under pressure and he was dispossessed by Dapo Mebude who then had a simple task to roll the ball into the net.
Rangers third goal and the final goal in the first period came when Dapo Mebude latched on to a through ball and showed good strength to shrug of the attentions of a defender before continuing into the box and shoot past the keeper. Rangers soon added to their tally in the second period, Billy Gilmour spread the play to Andy Rodden out on the left and his low cross was converted at the back post by Scott Blacklaw.
Rangers next goal came when Andy Rodden spotted Scott Blacklaw free on the right side of the box and caught out the visitor’s defence with a quick-free kick to the Rangers midfielder who rolled the ball across goal for Niyah Joseph to tap the ball into the net. Rangers next goal came from a quick break from a Forth Valley corner, Billy Gilmour sent Nathan Patterson towards the halfway line, his first time pass into the middle saw Kieran McKechnie’s great first touch take him clear of the defence to calmly slot the ball past the keeper.
Credit to the visitors who continued to attempt to play football encouraged by Kenny Shiels from the sidelines and the next goal saw them reduce the deficit. When a corner from the left was cleared to the edge of the box Kyle Mitchell volleyed goalwards, the shot was parried by Brian Kinnear but Jay Bridgeford was on hand to net from close range. Rangers were soon back at the other end and increasing their tally, Ben Williamson screwed his shot from the edge of the box but the ball landed at the feet of Andy Rodden on the left hand byline and he rolled the ball across goal for a Dapo Mebude tap in.
The game was now in a period of end to end action and when Conner McBride sent Wilson Romanis down the left and into Rangers penalty area he went down when challenged by Nathan Patterson and the referee pointed to the spot, he stepped up to covert the penalty area. Within minutes Forth Valley reduced Rangers lead further, following a corner the ball fell kindly for Yusur Hussain, Brian Kinnear got a touch to divert the ball on to his right hand post but if flashed across goal where Jay Bridgeford nodded into the net from a few yards.
Rangers were the first scorers in the final period, a superb Dapo Mebude cross field pass found Scott Blacklaw breaking into the right side of the box, good chest control setup a shooting chance that Callum Erskine tipped onto his left hand post but straight to Niyah Joseph who knocked the ball into the net. A Danny Finlayson pass sent Kieran McKechnie down the left, he showed great close control to take the ball away from keeper and defender before presenting a simple chance for Niyah Joseph who netted from almost on the goal line.
Next goal was yet another for Niyah Joseph, Billy Gilmour’s shot from the edge of the box hit the Rangers striker but fell perfectly for him to beat the keeper with a neat finish. His fifth goal soon followed, Niyah Joseph latched on to a slack Yusur Hussain passback to round Callum Erskine and roll the ball into the net.
Rangers final goal was created by Steven Nicholls and Andy Rodden on the left, from the latter’s low cross Niyah Joseph’s effort was blocked by the legs of Callum Erskine who was left helpless when Scott Blacklaw netted the rebound. There was still time for Forth Valley to grab a fourth goal, following a neat passing move Connor McBride played Jay Bridgeford in on the left side of the penalty area and he shot across Brian Kinnear and into the net.
Full-Time:- Rangers 12 Forth Valley 4
Rangers:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Andy Rodden, Ruarhdi McIntyre, Danny Finlayson, Ben Williamson, Scott Blacklaw, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Lewis McGrattan, Niyah Joseph, Kieran McKechnie, Aiden Gibb, Steven Nicholls.
Forth Valley:- Andy McNeil (Gk), Callum Erskine (Gk), Mark Munro, Jay Bridgeford, Leyton Wardrope, Jordan Armstrong, Kyle Mitchell, Jack Hodge, Dominic Lavalle, Robbie McMillan, Kyle Green, Wilson Romanis, Connor Gamble, Phil Gillespie, Andy Johnston, Yusur Hussain, Connor McBride.
Footnote:- At the same time Rangers under 13’s recorded a 3-1 win, the goals coming from Ciaran Dickson, Reegan Aitken and Jason Campbell. At Stirling University the score was a bit narrower at 3-2 for the under 17’s, the scorers being Grant Nelson, Jack Thomson & Zak Rudden.