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).