This weekend’s Development fixtures saw Rangers take on Ayr United and it presented an opportunity to take in the 15’s and 17’s double-header at Murray Park. Both were one-sided affairs with Rangers running out very comfortable winners, first up was the 15’s fixture with a morning kick-off.
Rangers 8 Ayr United 0
It only took the young Rangers side five minutes to break the dead lock, Dapo Mebude played the ball out to Zack Butterworth on the right, he cut inside before exchanging passes with Ross Young and shooting past the keeper. Within a minute Josh McPake cut in from the right hand angle of the penalty area before going for goal and the Ayr keeper stretched to tip over.
There was ten minutes on the clock when Rangers scored their second, Josh McPake attacked the left side of the box he left a defender in his wake and although the keeper saved his initial effort he followed up to force the ball over the line. The third goal came just after the quarter-hour, Jamie Walker’s pass sending Dapo Mebude through the inside left channel to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper.
The fourth goal soon followed and this time it came from the penalty spot, Josh McPake broke through the centre of the Ayr defence and was tripped just inside the box, Dapo Mebude stepped up to convert from the spot. The visitors tried to respond and an attack on the right side of the box created an opportunity for a shot that was across goal and wide of the far post.
Just before the half-hour Rangers scored again, Zack Butterworth took on a defender on the left side of the penalty area before firing a shot past the keeper. Less than five minutes later Rangers tally reached six, Billy Gilmour attacked down the right and passed inside to Dapo Mebude who’s neat flick on the edge of the box setup Kieran McKechnie to beat the keeper.
To be fair to Ayr they kept trying to play football and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions before the break, when a corner from the left broke to an Ayr player inside the box the shot was destined for the net until Nathan Patterson popped up to clear from the line. A few minutes later an attack on the right took them deep into the penalty area, Nicky Hogarth stood tall to make a fine save and Aidan Gibb was on hand to complete the clearance.
Half-Time:- Rangers 6 Ayr United 0
Rangers looked have made a further break through in the opening minute of the second-half when Dapo Mebude beat the keeper to a through ball and knocked the ball goalwards but a defender got back to make a fine clearance from the line. The goal was only delayed a further five minutes and it came when Kieran McKechie attacked the right side of the box before finding Dapo Mebude who produced a fine finish.
Before the hour mark Dapo Mebude and Josh McPake combined to create a chance for Niyah Joseph inside the left side of the box but was denied by a fine save from the keeper who diverted the ball wide with his leg. The keeper was soon called into action again, the chance was created by Zack Butterworth who went past the full back and hit the byline on the right, his picked out Danny Finlayson who’s shot was saved by the visitor’s keeper.
As the midway point of the half approached Rangers scored again, Josh McPake attacked down the right and passed inside to Owen McGinty who beat the keeper with a cool finish. Rangers continued to dominate possession but there was no further scoring.
Full-Time:- Rangers 8 Ayr United 0
Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jamie Walker, Ross Young, Aiden Gibb, Danny Finlayson, Zack Butterworth, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Josh McPake, Kieran McKechnie, Andy Rodden, Ben Williamson, Niyah Joseph, Owen McGinty.
Rangers 10 Ayr United 2
The afternoon was the turn of Rangers Under 17’s and with Kyle Bradley, Jamie Barjonas and Liam Burt scheduled to start in tomorrow’s development league game and added to long-term injury victim Grant Nelson it was a weakened starting lineup. On a positive note Aidan Wilson made the bench following a six month absence due to injury.
Ayr United shocked the Ibrox youngsters by finding the net within the opening minute, it was a long-range strike that Kieran Wright got a hand to but couldn’t quite prevent the ball from crossing the line. Rangers were back on level terms before five minutes were up, there didn’t seem to be much of a threat when Andy Dallas cut in from the right and shot from the edge of the box, but the ball squirmed under the keeper and over the line.
When Zak Rudden played the ball into the box from the right a couple of minutes later it presented Andy Dallas with a further chance but on this occasion he knocked it narrowly wide of the far post. Rangers edged in front on ten minutes with a superbly worked goal, Scott Gray broke forward on the left and exchanged passes with Zak Rudden before picking out Mati Zata’s run into the box and he slotted the ball past the keeper.
Rangers third goal followed on eighteen minutes and it came from the penalty spot, Andy Dallas was brought down just inside the box close to the right hand byline and Jack Thomson converted from the spot with confidence. Two minutes later Mati Zata broke towards the centre of the Ayr box and the ball broke to Zak Rudden who’s shot crashed off the bar and over.
Rangers increased their lead on twenty-six minutes, Stephen Kelly’s pass sent Zak Rudden though the inside right channel and entered the box before shooting high past the keeper into the top corner. Rangers were now rampant and when Andy Dallas made the left hand byline ten minutes before the break his cutback picked out Zak Rudden who shot home.
There was still time for Rangers to score again before half-time, Andy Dallas shot from the edge of the box that had the keeper diving to his left to parry but he was left helpless as Stephen Kelly who followed up to net the rebound.
Half-Time:- Rangers 6 Ayr United 1
It was the visitor’s who came closest in the early stages of the second-half, ten minutes in the attack started on the right and when the ball came in to the box it took a superb point-blank Kieran Wright save to prevent a certain goal. Rangers response was to increase their lead two minutes later, a corner from the left was worked to Premyslaw Dachnowicz on the edge of the box and he gave the keeper no chance as he found the top corner.
Credit to the Aye side for continuing to plug away and they grabbed a second goal on sixty-three minutes, from a break into Rangers penalty area on the right Kieran Wright produced a fine save but had no chance when the ball landed at the feet at an unmarked attacker who fired the rebound into the net. Barely two minutes later their striker got on the end of a cross from the right and headed against the Rangers crossbar.
Rangers were soon back on the attack and the next goal came midway through the half, Rhys Breen sent Matthew Shiels down the left and his cutback picked out Jack Adamson who beat the keeper from close range. With nine minutes remaining Kieran Balfour’s superb pass picked out Mati Zata’s run into the box and a great first touch setup a simple finish.
The scoring was completed when Mati Zata sent Matthew Shiels racing through the inside right channel, he went past the keeper before unselfishly returning the ball to Mati Zata who had the simple task of knocking the ball into the net. Not sure if Ayr had any Under 17 on Youth Cup duty as they scraped through against Selkirk by 25-0 ( yes twenty-five !!), with Ryan Nisbet netting 11 (Eleven).
Full-Time:- Rangers 10 Ayr United 2
Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Jordan Houston (Aidan Wilson 60 mins), Jack Thomson, Lewis Mayo, Scott Gray (Matthew Shiels HT); Kieran Balfour; Stephen Kelly, Mati Zata; Andy Dallas (Rhys Breen 60 mins), Zak Rudden (Premyslaw Dachnowicz HT), Jack Adamson (Carlo Pignatiello 73 mins)
Not Used:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Cammy Palmer.
Footnote:- Rangers Under 13’s and Under 14’s both won 4-1 away to Ayr United.