Rangers 4 Ayr United 2
Ahead of tournaments at Sheffield, Ireland and Newcastle Rangers Under 14’s supplemented by an Under 15 goalkeeper and two Under 15 trialists opened their pre-season with a win over Ayr United’s 15’s this afternoon. It was interesting to note that they lined up with a similar formation used by the Under 20’s so far this season.
Rangers had the first real chance after seven minutes, Kai Kennedy passed to Josh Black inside the penalty area, he cut inside a defender before forcing a fine save from the Ayr keeper low to his left. Just after the ten minute mark Ayr broke through the centre of the Rangers defence with Nicky Hogarth advancing quickly from his line to make a fine block.
Rangers responded immediately by taking the lead, a superb Matty Yates pass switched the play from the left sending Simon Miller through on the right, the Ayr keeper could only knock his shot up in the air presenting Josh Black with the simple task of nodding the ball into the empty net. Ayr had another opportunity with ten minutes of the period remaining, the attack coming into the right side of Rangers penalty area which was again thwarted by Nicky Hogarth standing tall to make another block.
Five minutes later Rangers doubled their lead, Simon Miller’s pass sent Blair Rossiter off in a race with the keeper and the Rangers player showed bravery to get there first, prodding the ball past the keeper and into the net. Nicky Hogarth was called into action again just before the period ended, this time he was unsighted as the shot came through a defenders legs but he reacted well to block the shot with his foot.
The visitors started the second period on the front foot and Nicky Hogarth had to get down to his left to save a shot from the edge of the box in the opening minute. He was called into action again when a cross from the right hand byline was headed goalwards and he stretched to turn the ball wide of his left hand post.
When the resultant corner was cleared Ayr moved the ball quickly from the right side of the box across to the left from where Nicky Hogarth was left exposed and eventually beaten by a fine shot. Rangers first real effort of the period came when Kai Kennedy just outside the right side of the box moved the ball across to Matty Yates on the left side who shot narrowly over.
Within sixty seconds Matty Yates wide on the left passed inside to Ciaran Dickson who waltzed past two defenders deep into the left side of the penalty area, but his shot was across goal and only just wide of the far post. Ayr were to capitalise on that missed chance by drawing level, a solo run on the left side of the box opened up the space for the player to roll the ball across goal and give his colleague a simple tap in.
Five minutes before the period ended Lewis Budinauckas delayed a clearance and almost got caught but recovered to make a brave save and ensure the teams went in level at the end of the second period. Rangers took less than five minutes of the final period to regain the lead Kai Kennedy’s pass splitting the defence and sending Simon Miller through the inside right channel, he continued into the box before shooting past the keeper.
Ayr then missed a great chance to draw level again when they capitalised on slackness to break through the middle but their attacker screwed his shot wide. The Rangers youngsters then made the game safe with a couple of minutes remaining, Kai Kennedy moved the ball forward to Callum Biggar and his pass sent Simon Miller through on the left side of the box to shoot across the keeper and into the net.
Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Ayr United 2
Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ally Munro, Callum Biggar, Ciaran Dickson, Robbie Hillis, Kyle McLelland, Simon Miller, Kai Kennedy, Josh Black, Blair Rossiter, Matty Yates, Josh Henderson, Ryan Muir.