Archive for January, 2016

15’s Hit Thistle For Seven

January 31, 2016

Rangers 7 Partick Thistle 0

A great second-half performance saw Rangers Under 15’s run away from Thistle in this afternoon’s development match at Murray Park. Thistle performed well in the first half to restrict Rangers to a single goal, but Rangers emphasised their superiority after the break.

Rangers came close in the opening minute, Jordan Critchley laid the ball back to Zac Butterworth and his shot from distance was tipped over. As the midway point in the half approached Rangers took the lead, Jordan Critchley passed inside the right-back to release Dapo Mebude breaking into the left side of the box, the keeper came from his line to block his initial shot but the striker followed up to net the rebound.

With twenty minutes of the half remaining Billy Gilmour played a ball over the top of the Thistle defence to release Jordan Critchley, as the keeper advanced he lobbed the ball over his head but over the crossbar. Just before the hour Danny Finlayson played the ball forward to Zac Butterworth who passed inside the left-back to send Nathan Patterson towards the byline, his cross found its way to Dapo Mebude beyond the back post with the keeper saving low to his left.

Four minutes before the break Billy Gilmour worked along the edge of the box from right to left before laying the ball back to Danny Finlayson who’s long range shot was tipped over. Right on half time Rangers worked a short corner from the left, the keeper got down to his left to get a touch on Billy Gilmour’s shot and Danny Finlayson couldn’t quite knock the ball over the line at the far post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 0

It took Rangers barely two minutes of the second half to double their lead, Danny Finlayson’s long pass picked out Jordan Critchley inside the box and he shot past the keeper. Ten minutes later Billy Gilmour passed inside to Nathan Patterson from the left, he picked out Jordan Critchley inside the box who grabbed his second.

Rangers fourth came within a minute, Josh McPake’s pass releasing Dapo Mebude inside the penalty area and he fired the ball past the keeper. Midway through the half Rangers scored a superb fifth, a great touch from Nathan Patterson allowed him to send Danny Finlayson clear on the right and when his cross came into the box Kieran McKechnie volley past the keeper.

Rangers next chance came when Dapo Mebude and Billy Gilmour combined on the right side of the box for the latter to get in a shot that the keeper blocked with his legs. Thistle eventually called Nicky Hogarth into action in the seventy-second minute, the attack came on the left side of the box and the Rangers keeper made the block with his legs.

Rangers responded by scoring a sixth, Josh McPake in possession on the left side of the box played the ball to Billy Gilmour who dribbled past two defenders inside the six yard box before knocking the ball into the net. Rangers seventh goal soon followed, Kieran McKechnie’s shot from inside the left side of the penalty area was parried by the keeper diving to his left  but Danny Finlayson was well placed to nod the rebound into the net.

A Billy Gilmour solo run from halfway took him past two defenders and into the box but on this occasion the keeper made a fine save low to his right.

Full-Time:-Rangers 7 Partick Thistle 0

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Andy Rodden, Ross Young, Aiden Gibb, Danny Finlayson, Dapo Mebude, Billy Gilmour, Jordan Critchley, Lewis McGrattan, Zac Butterworth, Jamie Walker, Ben Williamson, Josh McPake, Kieran McKechnie, Jay Mack.

20’s Fall To Late Strike

January 26, 2016

Rangers 1 St.Johnstone 2

An injury time goal gave St.Johnstone the points in this afternoon’s Development League game at Murray Park. It was a bit harsh on the Rangers youngsters as a share of the spoils would have been a fairer reflection of the ninety minutes.

With The Saints kit man delayed in traffic the visitors took to the field wearing Rangers red away strip. Goalmouth action was at a premium and the half had almost reached its midpoint when St.Johnstone attacked on the right, when the ball was passed inside Scott Brown tested Cammy Bell from the edge of the box with the keeper getting down to his left to turn the ball wide. Rangers response came five minutes later, when Liam Burt was fouled just outside the penalty area Ryan Hardie stepped up to drive the ball past the wall, the shot was parried by keeper Ben McKenzie and the defence completed the clearance.

Seven minutes before the break Jordan Thompson passed forward to Liam Burt and his reverse pass almost played Ryan Hardie in,  with Ben McKenzie rushing from his line to save bravely at the striker’s feet right on the edge of the box.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0

Rangers came close early in the second half, Liam Burt picked out Ryan Hardie inside the left side of the penalty area and his effort from a narrow angle was save at the near post by Ben McKenzie. The Rangers youngsters then took the lead just before the hour mark, Ryan Hardie in possession inside the left side out the box found Liam Burt with a neat back heel and the midfielder shot across Ben McKenzie and into the far corner.

The visitor’s drew level midway through the half from the penalty spot, St. Johnstone attacked on the left and when David Browline slid in to attempt to block the cross from the byline the ball struck his outstretched arm and the referee pointed to the spot, which Neil Martyniuk duly converted. Rangers suffered a blow in the eightieth minute when Scott Roberts had to go off injured, with all three subs already used Rangers had to finish the game with ten men.

With the game now entering the final five minutes there was a chance at either end. Saints attacked on the right and when the ball was passed inside Connor McLaren shot narrowly over. Jordan Gibson then played a ball over the top of the Saints defence that Rory Currie chased towards the right hand corner flag, he made his way into the box and just when it looked like he had missed the chance to pick out Liam Burt the ball broke to the midfielder but he shot narrowly over.

The was a sting in the tail as the visitor’s struck to claim the points in the first minute of injury time, the attacked came down the left and when the ball was cutback Eoghan McCowl had time to take a touch and shoot past Cammy Bell.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 St.Johnstone 2

Rangers:- Cammy Bell; Ryan Sinnamon, David Brownlie, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Mills; Max Ashmore (Dylan Dykes 63 mins); Jordan Thompson (Jordan Gibson 73 mins), Liam Burt; Ross Lyon, Ryan Hardie (Rory Currie 73mins), Scott Roberts.

Not Used:- Robbie McCrorie (Gk), Tom Lang, Jamie Brandon, Josh Jeffries.

Youth Round Up

January 24, 2016

The first youth round up of 2016 saw Rangers take on Ayr United at Under 20’s, Fife Elite at under 17’s, while U12’s through to U15’s took on Club Northern Ireland. 

The weekend began on Friday evening with Rangers Under 20’s taking on Ayr United in a friendly at Murray Park. I couldn’t make it along to the game which Rangers won 3-1 with goals from Max Ashmore, Tom Lang and Rory Currie.

On Saturday morning Rangers took on Fife Elite in the Under 17 Development game with Rangers winning comfortably.

Rangers 8 Fife Elite 0

Rangers were quick out the blocks and there was only four minutes elapsed when Andy Dallas hit the byline on the right, his cross was met by the head of Liam Burt with the visitor’s keeper getting down to his left to make the save. The opening goal came barely sixty seconds later, Andy Dallas skinned the left back and drove into the right side of the box, when the defence failed to clear his centre the ball fell kindly for Zak Rudden to volley past the keeper.

On seven minutes Rangers doubled their lead, Jamie Barjonas played the ball forward to Liam Burt just outside the left side of the penalty area and he shot across the keeper and into the net. Rangers third goal came before the quarter hour mark, Andy Dallas in possession on the right passed inside to Jack Thomson who broke towards the box before exchanging passes with Zak Rudden to break through in to the area and slot the ball past the keeper.

Just over five minute later Liam Burt robbed a defender outside the Fife Elite box before passing to Sam Jamieson who shot narrowly wide of the keeper’s left hand post. The fourth goal soon followed, Liam Burt broke forward and sent Zak Rudden through the inside right channel and he continued into the box and shot past the keeper.

Seven minutes before the break Rangers scored a fifth, Aidan Wilson played the ball forward to Andy Dallas on the right, once again he took on and comfortably beat the full-back before entering the box and beating the keeper from a tight angle. The first half scoring was completed three minutes later, from a quick free-kick on the right hand angle of the box Jamie Barjonas touched the ball to Zak Rudden fired a shot over the head of the keeper and into the far top corner.

Right on the half-time whistle only a goal line clearance prevented a seventh goal for Rangers, from Jamie Barjonas corner from the left Aidan Wilson headed back across goal and Zak Rudden’s flicked header was net bound until a defender popped up at the keeper’s right hand post to clear.

Half-Time:- Rangers 6 Fife Elite 0

With the result secured Rangers made four half-time substitutions but the flow of play continued towards the Fife Elite goal and with just over ten minutes of the half played Rangers scored again. The move started with Stephen Kelly who passed to Liam Burt, his pass split the defence and released Zak Rudden inside the left side of the box to shoot past the keeper.

To the visitor’s credit they responded by creating their first real chance of the game, it was created on the left and when they broke into the penalty area it took a block from the legs of Kieran Wright to prevent a goal. Rangers were soon back on the attack, this time on the right of the area, Stephen Kelly played a one-two with Zak Rudden to create a shooting chance that the keeper saved.

With ten minutes remaining the Fife defence eventually cleared a corner from their penalty area but only as far as Jordan Houston, the full-back’s shot beat the keeper but came back off the crossbar. But he wasn’t to be denied and with two minutes remaining he combined with Stephen Kelly and Zak Rudden on the right, the latter’s flick released Jordan Houston to shoot across the keeper and into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 8 Fife Elite 0

Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Aidan Wilson (Jordan Houston HT), Jason Krones (Lewis Mayo HT), Kyle Bradley (Rhys Breen 65mins), Scott Gray; Jack Thomson (Kieran Balfour HT); Jamie Barjonas, Liam Burt; Andy Dallas, Zak Rudden, Sam Jamieson (Stephen Kelly HT).

Not Used:- Lewis Muir.

The afternoon games saw Rangers take on Club Northern Ireland at eleven-a-side at under 13’s and four nine-a-side games at Under 12’s. Club Northern Ireland is the IFA’s Elite Youth Programme, so in effect a Northern Ireland squad for that age group. As is the norm I take in the oldest age group, so it was the Under 13’s game. Rangers edged the first period but were second best in period’s two and three and the Northern Irish side were comfortable winners.

Rangers 2 Club NI 5

Rangers fell behind to an early goal on three minutes, a short corner was worked on the left and from the cross the ball was headed past Jay Hogarth. Five minutes later a superb Robbie Fraser pass split the defence and picked out Adam Devine breaking into the left side of the box, he low cross was deflected goalwards by a defender but the keeper managed to block with his legs.

Rangers levelled the game on twelve minutes, Adam Devine’s through ball saw Reegan Aitken out strip the defence and he was brought down as he rounded the keeper, with Alex Lowrie stepping up to convert from the spot. Robbie Fraser then latched on to a slack pass to release Reegan Aitken on the right side of the box with the keeper diverting his shot wide of the near post.

With seven minutes of the period remaining another Robbie Fraser pass split the defence to release Reegan Aitken who rounded the keeper before firing the ball into the net. Within in a couple of minutes Reegan Aitken sent Matthew Collins down the right and he exchanged passes with Alex Lowrie before testing the keeper at his near post.

Club NI had an early chance in the first minute of the second period, the ball was played through the inside right channel and it took a save high to his left from Jay Hogarth to turn the ball wide. As the midpoint of the period approached the visitors attacked on the left, Jay Hogarth saved the initial effort from a tight angle and excelled when he touched the rebound on to the crossbar.

Club NI’s pressure paid when they equalised with seven minutes of the period remaining, again it was a cross from the left and a header this time past substitute keeper Grant Thackray.

Two goals early in the final period saw Club NI seal the win, the first came when their midfielder was sent through the middle and he continued into the box to shoot past Grant Thackray. A couple of minutes later the ball was sent out wide right and the winger attacked before crossing low for the ball to be fired into the net.

The visitor’s scored again just after the period’s turn round, their midfielder taking on two Rangers defenders before knocking the ball over the head of Grant Thackray. The final action saw Grant Thackray saving to his left from a shot from the edge of the box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Club NI 5

Rangers:- Jay Hogarth (Grant Thackray 46mins); Aidan Berry (Kai Kilptrick 41mins), Lorenzo Giovanazzi, Leon King, Adam Devine; Greg Chalmers (Callum McComb 56mins); Robbie Fraser, Lewis Robertson; Matthew Collins ( Robbie Ure ), Reegan Aitken, Alex Lowrie.

The schedule for Sunday had both games kicking of at the same time, but when I arrived the U14’s game was underway. It was decided this game would be thirty-five minutes each way with the U15’s game following straight after and played over two forty minute periods. I had missed the first fifteen minutes but the game was still goalless.

Rangers 5 Club NI 1

Rangers took the lead on the twenty minute mark, Owen McGinty took on and went past the full-back on the left and he hit the byline, his centre was converted at close range by Aaron Bryson. Five minutes later the sides were level, Caolan McLaughlin capitalised on some slack defensive play to attack on the left and enter the penalty box before beating Nicky Hogarth via his near post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Club NI 1

Rangers regained the lead four minutes into the second half, Kai Kennedy passed to Owen McGinty wide on the left and he cut inside before shooting across the keeper and into the far corner of the net. Rangers next chance came when Euan Deveney got his head to Blair Rossiter’s corner from the left only to see it cleared from the line.

Barely sixty seconds later Kai Kennedy’s shot from the edge of the box took a significant deflection and Fintan Coney managed to changed direction  and make a fine save to his left. Just after the quarter hour mark Euan Deveney broke forward and passed inside to Jordan Critchley who’s shot from the edge of the box was saved low to his left by Fintan Coney.

Rangers doubled their lead with thirteen minutes remaining, when the ball was cleared from the Club NI penalty box to Owen McGinty just outside the left side of the box, he cut inside before firing a shot over the keeper and into the top corner. With ten minutes remaining Owen McGinty combined with Jordan Critchley to free the latter inside the box, Fintan Coney made a superb save from the initial shot but was helpless when the Rangers striker knocked the rebound into the net.

The scoring was completed five minutes later, Euan Deveney broke from defence on the left, he passed inside to Jordan Critchley who forced a fine save from Fintan Coney but again the Rangers striker followed up to blast the ball high into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Club NI 1

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Callum Biggar, Euan Deveney, Ciaran Dickson, Kyle McLelland, Ally Monro, Matty Yates, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Bryson, Tom Henderson, Owen McGinty, Jordan Critchley, Ben Lauchan, Ryan Muir, Blair Rossiter, Harry Livesey.

Club NI Squad:- Fintan Coney (Gk), Jesse Carson, Ben Gallagher, Charlie White, Luke McKendry, Dylan Boyle, Ben Wiley, Carl Johnston, Chris McKee, Chris Conn, Ben Cushnie, Dean Corrigan, Caolan McLaughlin, George Tipton, Barry Baggley.

Rangers 1 Club NI 0

Rangers took the lead in the ninth minute, from a pass back keeper Tiernan Parker evaded Scott Blacklaw when pressed but was dispossesed by Dapo Mebude who rolled the ball into the net. A quick break following a Rangers corner just before the quarter hour mark created a chance for the visitors, Conor Farrelly sent Ben Wilson down the left, he broke into the box but his shot flashed across goal.

As the half-hour mark approached Billy Gilmour broke forward and went past a defender before playing Dapo Mebude on the left side of the box, on this occasion he was denied by Tiernan Parker who blocked with his legs. The vistor’s responed when Ethan Galbraith’s pass sent Ben Wilson through on the right side of the penalty area, Lewis Muir advanced from his line to block and Danny Finlayson was on hand to complete the clearance.

A couple of minutes before the break Billy Gilmour passed to Dapo Mebude on the halfway line, he laid the ball off to Josh McPake who broke forward before returning the ball to Dapo Mebude, he continued into the right side of the box before forcing Tiernan Parker to turn the ball wide of his near post.

Half-Time:-Rangers 1 Club NI 0

Five minutes after the break Josh McPake was brought down just outside the box, Billy Gilmour drove the free kick past the wall with Scott Pengelly getting down to his right to save. Three minutes later Lewis McGrattan and Billy Gilmour combined to feed Josh McPake on the edge of the box, he made space for the shot but it was too straight and Scott Pengelly saved comfortably.

On fifty-five minutes Josh McPake and Lewis McGrattan combined to sent Dapo Mebude through, Scott Pengelly came of his line to parry his shot and Ethan Warnock got back to clear as the ball rolled towards the empty net. As the game entered the final seven minutes the visitor’s pushed for an equaliser. Ethan Galbraith broke forward before picking out Jake Corbett inside the box and it took and fine block from the foot of Nicky Hogarth to protect Rangers lead.

Ethan Galbraith again combined with Jake Corbett, on this occasion the ball was moved on to sent up a shooting chance for Jack Conlon who fired over. Club NI had one final chance in the last seconds, Barney McKeown broke from centre of defence and passed to Mal Smith wide on the right, his cross picked out Conor Farrelly unmarked and with the goal at his mercy but he headed over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Club NI 0

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Muir (Gk), Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Zac Butterworth, Ross Young, Aiden Gibb, Danny Finlayson, Kieran McKechnkie, Billy Gilmour, Dapo Mebude, Josh McPake, Scott Blacklaw, Lewis McGrattan, Andy Rodden, Jordan Critchley.

Club NI Squad:- Tiernan Parker (Gk), Scott Pengelly, Barney McKeown, Jack Conlon, Sam McClelland, Ethan Warnock, Jordan McEneff, Ethan Galbraith, Ben Wilson, Conor Farrelly, George Curran, Mal Smith, Jake Corbett, Andy Whiteside, Kian McGarvey, Callum Ferris.