Archive for May, 2015

Cup Final Defeat For Youths

May 22, 2015

Rangers 2 Celtic 5

Rangers Under 20’s were pretty much second best in last night’s Youth Cup Final at Hampden. They struggled to cope with Celtic’s attacking three and defended poorly for the first three goals that effectively killed the tie.

Yet Rangers were first to have a serious effort on goal on eight minutes, Fraser Aird winning possession midway inside the Celtic half before passing to Darren Ramsay who shot narrowly over from around twenty-five yards. Ten minutes later Kevin Mbabu got on the end of a Darren Ramsay corner from the left but his header went high over the bar.

Within two minutes Celtic took the lead, Kieran Tierney’s corner from the right was deep towards the back post and when it dropped over the heads of the players in the centre and  cannoned off the legs of Luca Gasparotto towards goal where Sam Wardrop forced the ball over the line from close range. Rangers were behind for less than a minute, when Jamie Mills ball into the box eluded Ryan Hardie there seemed little danger but a lack of communication between Calum Waters and keeper Jordan Hart saw the full-back nod the ball past his own keeper for an Own Goal.

Just over a further five minutes had passed when Rangers fell behind again, Aidan Nesbitt attacked the right side of Rangers box and although Ross McCrorie and Jamie Mills had doubled up on him he tricked his way past the two defenders before shooting across Liam Kelly and into the far corner. Rangers tried to respond just after the half hour, Ryan Hardie laying the ball back to Ryan Sinnamon on the right and his cross to the back post was volleyed narrowly wide of the far post by Jamie Mills.

Celtic then capitalised on that missed chance by increasing their lead within a couple of  minutes, Aidan Nesbitt crossed from the byline on the right and Luke Donnelly had time to bring the ball down turn past his marker and poke the ball past Liam Kelly. A couple of minutes before the break slackness in the Celtic defence gave Rangers a shooting opportunity. Eoghan O’Connell’s pass across his own goal twenty-five yards out was picked up by Darren Ramsay but his shot was too straight and Jordan Hart saved comfortably.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 3

With Celtic content to sit on their lead and Rangers unable to make any in roads as an attacking force the game went through a flat period and there was an hour gone when Luke Donnelly passed inside from the left for Paul McMullen to turn on the edge of the box before shooting narrowly past Liam Kelly’s right hand post. With the game entering the final twenty minutes Celtic scored again, the ball was played in from the left, dummied by Paul McMullen and picked up by Luke Donnelly who found Aidan Nesbitt in  space inside the right side of the box where he took a touch before shooting past Liam Kelly.

It was to get worse for Rangers two minutes later, a pass back put Craig Halkett under pressure and he caught Kieran Tierney on the right hand angle of the box which the referee judged to be inside the box and awarded a penalty with Aidan Nesbitt converting the spot-kick. Celtic threatened to score again when Luke Donnelly’s pass allowed Paul McMullen to out pace Craig Halkett through the inside left channel, his attempted chip was saved at a stretch by Liam Kelly with Craig Halkett clearing behind for a corner.

Rangers then had a chance to make the scoreline a bit more respectable with Ryan Hardie breaking into the right side of the penalty area, his effort from a tight angle being deflected behind by the legs of Jordan Hart. Rangers did get that second goal in the final minute, Tom Walsh sending Ryan Hardie to the byline on the left from where he picked out Dylan Dykes who evaded a defender before shooting past Jordan Hart.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 5

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Ross McCrorie (Dylan Dykes HT); Kevin Mbabu (Jamie Burrows HT); Tom Walsh, Fraser Aird, Jamie Mills; Darren Ramsay (Scott Roberts 71mins); Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Danny Stoney.

Celtic:- Jordan Hart; Sam Wardrop (Fiacre Kelleher 79mins), Eoghan O’Connell (Jamie McCart 90mins), Stuart Findlay, Calum Waters; Aidan Nesbitt, Jamie Lindsay, Connor McManus, Kieran Tierney (Calvin Miller 83mins); Paul McMullen, Luke Donnelly.

Not Used:- Colin McCabe (Gk), Mark Hill.

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Youth Round Up

May 17, 2015

Before heading to Ibrox I took the opportunity to head over to Murray Park this morning with the U13’s and 14’s scheduled to take on Hearts. As is the norm I take in the older age group, but today’s game turned out to be a non event with Rangers running up a high score. I believe Hearts had promoted a few players through out the age groups this may have had an impact on the scoreline if not the result.

Rangers 14 Hearts 0

Not so much a match report more of just a run down on the goals. The opener came on six minutes when Dapo Mebude sent off on a solo run from halfway, going past two defenders and into the box before shooting past the keeper. Hearts then held out until the twenty-minute mark when Dapo Mebude passed to Keiran McKechnie who attacked through the inside right channel, going past a defender and into the box and shooting past the keeper.

The final goal of the period came with a minute remaining, it was another solo effort this time from Billy Gilmour slaloming past three defenders inside the right side of the box before firing into the net. The first goal of the second period came on eight minutes, Ross ????? pass sent Owen McGinty down the left hand side, his low cross was met first time by Dapo Mebude, the keeper blocked his initial effort but was helpless as he knocked in the rebound.

The same players combined to create the next goal six minutes later, Owen McGinty in possession on the left hand angle of the box passing along the eighteen yard line for Dapo Mebude to beat the keeper from the edge of the box. Goals were coming at regular intervals, the next coming after a gap of seven minutes, Nathan Patterson attacking on the right, going past two defenders to the byline before picking out Dapo Mebude who fired high into the net.

There was still time for another goal before the end of the period, Billy Gilmour going past a defender in midfield before sending Keiran McKechnie through the middle, he continued into the box and made no mistake. Rangers scored again in the opening minute of the final period, Nathan Patterson made his way along the right hand byline, when his ball into the box was cleared Ross ????? shot into the net from the edge of the box.

The ninth goal came when Billy Gilmour sent Nathan Patterson down the right, his low cross found Keiran McKechnie who’s effort was cleared from the line but only as far as Dapo Mebude who knocked the ball into the net. The next goal was created when Dapo Mebude and Lewis McGrattan exchanged passes on the right side of the box before playing in the overlapping Jay Mack who found the net via the near post.

Rangers continued to look to add to their tally and when Lewis McGrattan sent Dapo Mubude down the right his low cross was converted by Nathan Patterson. The next goal was Dapo Mebude’s sixth, racing clear from the halfway line before cutting inside a defender on the left side of the box and curling the ball past the keeper.

Rangers were now almost scoring by the minute, the next goal coming when Jay Mack passed to Dapo Mebude just outside the right side of the box, his neat back-heel finding Billy Gilmour inside the penalty area who beat the keeper from a tight angle. The scoring was complete when Billy Gilmour’s pass sent Owen McGinty  through on the left side of the penalty area and he found the net with a sublime chip over the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 14 Hearts 0

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Brian Kinnear (Gk), Nathan Paterson, Andy Rodden, Aiden Gibb, Danny Finlayson, Ben Williamson, Kieran McKechnie, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Lewis McGrattan, Zack Butterworth, Owen McGinty, Jay Mack, Ross ?????

Footnote:- On an adjacent pitch Rangers U13’s recorded a 4-1 win the goals coming from Kai Kennedy, Ciaran Dickson, Steven Bradley & Callim Biggar. Later on Rangers U12’s beat Airdrie’s U13’s 4-0, Robbie Fraser and a Dire Mebude hat-trick.

Yesterday the U17’s played out a goalless draw against Hearts at Riccarton, with Sam Jamieson missing a penalty.

League Season Ends On A High

May 14, 2015

Rangers 4 Hamilton Accies 0

Rangers Under 20’s brought the curtain down on their league season with a fine win against Hamiton Accies at Forthbank tonight. Fielding only under 20 players it was their best performance for some time and they ran out comfortable winners.

Yet it was Accies who came close first on fourteen minutes, Steven Boyd passed to Danny Armstrong who was just right of centre and twenty-five yards from goal, his shot beat Liam Kelly but crashed back of the crossbar. Rangers responded by taking the lead six minutes later, from a free-kick on the right touchline and around twenty yards out Jamie Mills sent a free-kick to the back post where it broke of Ben Reilly into the path of Luca Gasparotto right in front of goal and he beat Darren Hill from close range.

The visitors where shouting for a penalty nine minutes before the break when Danny Armstrong went down when challenged by Fraser Aird close to the byline inside the right side of Rangers penalty area but the referee waved their claims away. Rangers replied within a couple of minutes with Ryan Sinnamon passing to Jamie Burrows who entered on the right hand angle of the penalty area before testing Darren Hill who saved low at his near post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 0

Hamilton were first to create a chance after the break, Scott McMann played a one-two with Danny Armstrong on the left side of the box and his shot was diverted wide and into the side netting. Rangers were soon back on the attack, Darren Ramsay fed Scott Roberts wide on the left, he cut inside before going for goal that had Darren Hill stretching to tip over. From Darren Ramsay’s corner from the right Luca Gasparotto’s header was blocked on the line and he didn’t quite get a true connection on the rebound allowing Darren Hill to save.

Within a minute Scott Roberts on the left found Jamie Mills inside the box, with the Accies defence eventually forcing the ball out of the area it was collected by Dylan Dykes who ‘s shot from the edge of the box bounced clear from the crossbar. Rangers doubled their lead on sixty-five minutes, Darren Ramsay cut in from the right and let fly from twenty-five yards, Darren Hill appeared to have the shot covered but let the ball slip through his grasp and into the net.

Rangers increased their lead five minutes later, Dylan Dykes pass from inside his own half sent Ryan Hardie down the right, he cut into the penalty area and past Colin Granger before beating Darren Hill at his near post. As the final quarter-hour approached Rangers hit Accies with a quick break, Dylan Dykes  passing to Ryan Hardie who sent Fraser Aird through the inside left channel but his attempted chip lacked a bit of elevation and Darren Hill saved.

Accies showed they could still threaten Rangers goal when Danny Armstrong won possession and he attacked the Rangers box, the ball broke for Marc Kelly who shot just wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post. With five minutes remaining Rangers scored a fourth, Fraser Aird passed inside Scott McMann and Dylan Dykes got to the ball on the byline, his pass into the box was laid back into the path of Callum Gallagher by Ryan Hardie and the Rangers striker fired past Darren Hill from just inside the box.

In the last action of the match Steven Boyd showed neat skills to set up Ross Cunningham deep inside Rangers penalty area but he was denied by a superb Liam Kelly save to ensure the fine performance also ended with a clean sheet.

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Ryan Sinnamon, Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Jamie Mills; Jamie Burrows (Dylan Dykes 56mins), Fraser Aird, Kevin Mbabu, Danny Stoney (Scott Roberts 56mins); Darren Ramsay (Callum Gallagher 75mins); Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), Greg Pascazio.

Hamilton Accies:- Darren Hill; Ben Reilly, Shaun Want, Colin Granger, Scott McMann (Rico Quitongo 87mins); Jack Simpson; Danny Armstrong, Steven Boyd, Greg Docherty (Ross Cunningham 83mins);Ryan Tierney, Nicolas Sumsky (Marc Kelly 76mins).

Not Used:- Alex Marshall, Jack Harrison, Scott Granger. Conor Scullion.

Late Leveller For Killie

May 14, 2015

Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 1

Rangers Under 17’s dropped a further two points when Killie grabbed a late equaliser at Murray Park last night. With both sides missing players due to International call ups, injury and exams the game had an end of season feel to it. Rangers dominated possession in the first half with Killie having the upper hand after the break culminating in a late equaliser.

Rangers threatened first after twelve minutes when a neat back-heel from Ross Lyon setup a shooting chance for Jamie Barjonas at the edge of the box that the keeper saved comfortably. A further quarter-hour had passed when Josh Jeffries played the ball to Jamie Barjonas on the edge of the box where he made space to turn and shoot but again it didn’t give the keeper too much trouble.

Rangers took the lead just after the half hour, Ross Lyon’s pass sent Josh Jeffries breaking towards the left side of the box from where he shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net. Killie responded immediately with an attack on the left side of the box with the attempted lob drifting wide of Kieran Wright’s left hand post.

Eight minutes before the break Jamie Barjonas tried to catch the keeper out from a free-kick outside the left side of the penalty area by firing at the near post with the keeper reacting to turn the ball wide. When the corner was cleared to the edge of the box Ross Lyon gathered before firing narrowly over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 0

Kilmarnock came much more into the game after the break and were probably edging the possession, but in truth neither side were seriously threatening their opponent’s goal. It looked like it would remain that way until the final couple of minutes. The Killie striker went past Jason Krones as they attacked down the right and headed to the byline, his ball across the penalty area was missed by the first attacker but his colleague following up shot past Lewis McMinn.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Kilmarnock 1

Rangers:- Keiran Wright (Lewis McMinn HT); Jamie Brandon, Kyle Bradley, Jason Krones, Lewis White; Ross Lyon, Kieran Balfour, Max Ashmore, Josh Jeffries; Jamie Barjonas (Mati Zata 55mins); Premyslaw Dachnowicz (Grant Nelson HT).

Not Used:- Jordan Houston, Lewis Mayo, Rhys Breen.

Come Back Win For Youths

May 11, 2015

Rangers 3 Partick Thistle 2

With an hour on the clock, trailing by two goals and having been second best in the game a Rangers win looked unlikely. Then a break at a free-kick brought Rangers back into the game and was the catalyst to turn the game around.

Rangers had the first chance after eighteen minutes, Fraser Aird sent Callum Gallagher down the right and he went past James Penrice on the left hand byline before cutting the ball back for Fraser Aird who shot across goal and wide of the far post. Thistle responded by taking the lead three minutes later, Dominic Docherty’s cross from the left had Luca Gasparotto stretching to head clear and when the ball dropped at the edge of the box Matthew McInally met it full on the volley to beat Liam Kelly low to his left.

Six minutes later Ryan Hardie won possession inside Thistle’s half before exchange passes with Callum Gallagher  and breaking into the box, but he delayed his shot allowing defenders to get back to block his and Callum Gallagher’s shot from the rebound. Within sixty seconds Shane Ferguson broke forward before shooting from around twenty-five yards that had Connor Cullen diving to his left to punch clear.

Just after the half-hour Dominic Docherty’s pass sent Andrew McCarthy through and it took a great Remie Streete challenge to clear as he entered the penalty area.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Partick Thistle 1

Ten minutes after the break the ball was played out to Declan McDade wide on the right and when he sent a low cross towards the near post Kevin Nisbet was first to the ball and poked it past Liam Kelly from close range. Just after the hour Rangers got the break that got them back into the game, Darren Ramsay’s free-kick from wide left and ten yards from the byline was missed by everyone and found the net at the far post. Within a minute Ryan Hardie latched on to a long ball on the left side of the penalty area and shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Rangers then came close from three successive corners, all from the left and all taken by Darren Ramsay. From the first Luca Gasparotto headed back across goal and Dylan Dykes couldn’t quite force the ball over the line as it was deflected behind. From the next flag kick Remie Streete’s goal bound header was cleared off the line by James Pernice. From the third in two minutes Connor Cullen got down to save Jamie Burrow’s header.

Rangers pressure was to tell when they drew level two minutes later, Jamie Burrows hit the byline on the right and picked out Jamie Mills arriving to fire high into the net. With twelve minutes remaining Declan McDade sent a corner from the left deep beyond the back post, Dale Keenan’s header was diverted over from close range by the head of Neil McLaughlin.

Rangers then grabbed what proved to be the winner on eighty-three minutes, Jamie Mills robbed a defender and raced clear, as he entered the box he had the option of rolling the ball to Ryan Hardie on his right but he had the confidence continue and slot the ball past Connor Cullen.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Partick Thistle 2

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Craig Halkett, Remie Streete, Luca Gasparotto; Fraser Aird, Darren Ramsay, Dylan Dykes (Danny Stoney 80mins), Shane Ferguson (Jamie Burrows HT), Jamie Mills; Callum Gallagher, Ryan Hardie.

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), Ryan Sinnamon, Scott Roberts, Greg Pascazio, Junior Ogen.

Partick Thistle:- Connor Cullen, Matthew McInally, Dominic McLaren, Dale Keenan, James Penrice; Neil McLaughlin, Dominic Docherty, David Wilson, Declan McDade; Andrew McCarthy (Corey Irvine); Kevin Nisbet.

Not Used:- Marc Waters (Gk), Danny Bonar, Michael McMullin, Mark Lamont, Callum Woods.

Unconvincing Win For 17’s

May 10, 2015

Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 1

Rangers under 17’s secured the points with a win over Hamilton Accies at Murray Park this afternoon, but it was an unconvincing performance against an Accies side that played for seventy-four minutes with ten men and without a recognised goalkeeper, then the final eight minutes with only nine men.

The visitor’s were first to threaten on fourteen minutes when Jason Krones was caught underneath a long ball, the Accies striker then beat Jason Krones again but was denied by a superb Aidan Wilson challenge. Two minutes later Andy Dallas raced through the inside left channel and was halted five yards outside the area by a reckless challenge from the Hamilton keeper who was shown a straight red card. Setting aside the debate about last man and goalscoring opportunities, the challenge was dangerous and merited a red card. Without a substitute goalkeeper an outfield had to take over between the sticks, when Jamie Barjonas eventually took the free-kick, the stand in keeper seemed unsure on whether to catch or head the ball and it bounced clear off his shoulder.

Rangers stepped up the search for the opening goal as the half-hour approached with Sam Jamieson setting up a shooting chance for Josh Jeffries inside the right side of the box with the keeper saving with his legs. The goal was delayed barely sixty seconds, Ross Lyon laying the ball off to Sam Jamieson inside the left side of the box and he coolly passed the ball across the keeper and into the net.

Within a couple of minutes Rangers suffered a blow when Aidan Wilson was stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury with Jamie Brandon coming on as a replacement. With the first half deep into injury time Max Ashmore tried his luck from distance with the keeper gathering at the second attempt. With the next attack Rangers should have doubled their lead when Josh Jeffries sent Andy Dallas clean through with Accies stand in keeper coming from his line to block with his foot.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 0

Accies were first to threaten five minutes after the break with an attack inside the left side of the penalty area that Lewis McMinn saved at his near post. Just after the hour Rangers doubled their lead from the penalty spot, Jamie Brandon was tripped when he stepped inside a defender, he took the responsibility of taking the spotkick, firing the ball high into the net’

With twelve minutes remaining the visitors pulled a goal back, following a corner the Rangers defence struggled to clear and the ball was eventually forced over the line from close range. Less than five minutes later Accies were rather harshly reduced to nine men when their left-back was shown a second yellow for pulling back a Rangers player in midfield.

Rangers survived a final scare with another stramash in front of goal that had Lewis McMinn scrambling across his six yard box before the defence finally cleared.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 1

Rangers:- Kieran Wright (Lewis McMinn HT); Aidan Wilson (Jamie Brandon 31mins), Jason Krones, Jack Thomson, Lewis White; Ross Lyon, Jamie Barjonas, Max Ashmore, Sam Jamieson; Josh Jeffries; Andy Dallas (Kieran Balfour 63mins).

Footnote:- At the same time on an adjacent pitch Rangers U15’s lost 4-3, with Rangers goals coming from Stephen Kelly, Mati Zata and Carlo Pigniatiello. Meanwhile at New Douglas Park the U13’s won 4-3 and the U14’s won 4-1.

Semi Final Win For Youths

May 3, 2015

Rangers 1 Ayr United 0

Rangers youths made this season’s youth cup final with a narrow but deserved win over Ayr United at Ibrox today. With several players unavailable two of  the midweek Glasgow Cup side made it on to the bench.

Rangers started well and the first serious effort on goal came in the eighth minute, Ryan Hardie got a flick on to a long ball that sent Jamie Burrows towards the byline on the right, when his ball into the box was eventually cleared it only went as far as Darren Ramsay who’s twenty-five yarder was just wide of Shaun Newman’s right hand post. A minute later Rangers should have taken the lead, Darren Ramsay’s pass sent Ryan Hardie clear, he went round Shaun Newman and he tried to pick his spot over the heads of the defenders on the goal line with the ball striking the underside of the bar before being cleared.

Just after the quarter mark a superb turn and cross  from Ryan Sinnamon close to the byline on the right picked out Jamie Mills arriving at the back post, his volley rebounded off Shaun Newman’s right hand post and the keeper did well to block his second effort from the rebound. Just before the half-hour mark Rangers could have been regretting those missed chances when Ayr came close to taking the lead. Josh McArthur’s quick free kick on the halfway line sent Gordon Young down the right, his cross picked out the unmarked Sean McKenzie arriving at the back post, with the goal at his mercy he headed wide of Liam Kelly’s right hand post.

The final chance of the half came nine minutes before the break, Greg Pascazio rising to meet Fraser Aird’s corner from the right but his header was straight at Shaun Newman.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Ayr United 0

Rangers had an early chance in the second half, Darren Ramsay passing to Jamie Burrows wide on the right who cut inside before sending a powerful shot just wide of Shaun Neman’s left hand post. A few minutes later Ryan Nisbet won possession just on the right hand angle of Rangers penalty area and his shot was only just wide of the far post.

Rangers then broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, Ryan Hardie attacked down the right and cut inside Andrew Muir before picking our Fraser Aird on the edge of the box, Shaun Newman appeared to have his shot covered until  it deflected off Josh McArthur on the edge of the six yard box, sending the ball in the opposite direction and into the net. The lead should have been doubled a couple of minutes later, Jamie Mills got the byline on the left from where he picked out Darren Ramsay inside the box, he looked to be picking his spot but sent his shot wide of the far post.

As the game entered the final quarter-hour Ryan Hardie sent up a shooting chance for Scott Roberts on the right side of the box with Shaun Newman diverting it behind at his near post. A move that started of the right with Scott Roberts saw the ball arrive at Ross Lyon via Dylan Dykes and Fraser Aird had Shaun Newman saving the shot low to his right.

The last chances came when a Ryan Hardie solo run took him past three defenders on the right side of the Ayr penalty area, but he couldn’t get the ball past Shaun Newman who made a fine save. The ball was immediately played back into the box where Ryan Hardie with his back to goal improvised with a back-heel that forced a reflex save from Shaun Newman and Andrew Muir was on hand  to complete the clearance from the goal line.

Full-Time:-Rangers 1 Ayr United 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Kevin Mbabu, Craig Halkett, Greg Pascazio (Scott Roberts 58mins); Ryan Sinnamon, Fraser Aird, Dylan Dykes, Darren Ramsay, Jamie Mills; Ryan Hardie, Jamie Burrows (Ross Lyon 78mins)

Not Used:- Lewis McMinn (Gk), Kris Gibson, Lewis White

Ayr United:- Shaun Newman, Gordon Young, Craig McCracken, Josh McArthur, Andrew Muir; Dale Shirkie (Luke McGowan 88mins), Steven McCreadie (Peter McGill 63mins), Darren McGill, Ryan Nisbet; Alan Forrest; Sean McKenzie (Craig McGuffie 70mins).

Not Used :- Lyle Avci (Gk).