Falkirk 1 Rangers 4
A much improved first-half performance saw Rangers Under 20’s race into a four goal lead and halt what has been a poor run of recent results. The home side came more into the game after the break but by then Rangers had secured the points.
Falkirk took the game to Rangers in the early minutes and it took a couple of decent defensive blocks to prevent a shot testing Robbie McCrorie. Rangers capitalised on the good defensive play by opening the scoring on five minutes with their first serious attack. Ryan Sinnamon switched the play from right to Liam Burt on the left, he went past Mark Finlayson as he headed for the byline before passing to Scott Roberts in the centre to net from close range. The home side responded from a Mark Finlayson cross from the right that had Taylor Evans stretching to volley at the back post that Robbie McCrorie saved low to his right.
Rangers doubled their lead on twenty minutes when Jamie Mills broke forward before sending Mekhi Leacock-McLeod through on goal and he beat Lewis McMinn with a cool finish. The third goal came less than five minutes later, Scott Roberts cut in from the left before exchanging passes with Jordan Thomson and beating Lewis McMinn low to his right from the edge of the box.
Ten minutes later a superb Liam Burt pass sent Scott Roberts racing clear from halfway and he continued into the box before slotting the ball past Lewis McMinn and complete his hat-trick. The home side rallied and created a couple of chances in the closing minutes of the half. Jordan Thomson lost possession twenty-five yards from goal and Cameron Blues strike took a wicked deflection off Tom Lang but Robbie McCrorie got down to his left to make the save. Then from a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area Scott Shepherd’s initial strike came back off the wall to Cameron Blues who forced a fine save, diving to his left from Robbie McCrorie.
Half-Time:- Falkirk 0 Rangers 4
Rangers were first to threaten after the break, Ryan Sinnamon switched played to Liam Burt on the left side of the box, he took on two defenders before trying to beat the keeper but his effort went wide of the near post. Cameron Eadie then sent a long ball towards the Rangers box which was controlled by Kevin O’Hara who shot straight at Robbie McCrorie.
Rangers had a scare just after the hour when Tom Lang’s pass back looked destined for the net until Robbie McCrorie raced back to clear before the ball crossed the line. Falkirk’s consolation came with twenty minutes remaining, Cameron Blues sent Mark Finlayson down the right, he passed inside to Taylor Evans who fired into the top corner from just inside the box.
The only things of note in the final twenty minutes were the five further substitutions as the game was tamely played out for a comfortable Rangers win.
Full-Time:- Falkirk 1 Rangers 4
Falkirk:- Lewis McMinn; Mark Finlayson, Cameron Eadie (Alan Maybury 74 mins), Kyle Johnson, Tony Gallagher; Taylor Evans (Cameron Taylor 80 mins), Reis Peggie, Cameron Blues, Cieran Dunne; Scott Shepherd (Aidan Maxwell 72 mins), Kevin O’Hara.
Not Used:- Deniz Mehmet (Gk).
Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Ryan Sinnamon, Tom Lang, Ross McCrorie, Jamie Mills; Jamie Barjonas; Jordan Thompson, Dylan Dykes (Jamie Brandon 71 mins); Mekhi Leacock-McLeod, Scott Roberts (Josh Jeffries 77 mins), Liam Burt (Ross Lyon 61 mins).
Not Used:- Kieran Wright, Max Ashmore, David Brownlie, Jordan Gibson.
Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 1
Last night Rangers took on Hamilton Accies in an Under 16’s friendly at Murray Park, Rangers possibly edged it in terms of quality of chances but a draw was probably fair on both sides.
The first chance came on six minutes when Danny Finlayson rose to meet Carlo Pignatiello’s corner from the left, his header was powerful but straight at the keeper. Rangers then carved out a great chance just before the quarter-hour, Carlo Pignatiello and Billy Gilmour created the opportunity for Matthew Shiels inside the right side of the penalty area but he was denied by a fine save low to the keeper’s right.
On twenty-five minutes a move down the left involving Cammy Palmer, Michael Hewitt and Billy Gilmour setup a shooting chance for the latter, the keeper looked to have it covered but was fortunate to scoop the ball wide of the far post. Ten minutes later Lewis Muir was caught in possession and only a superb block from Carlo Pignatiello prevented a goal as the ball was struck towards the unguarded net.
The visitors then created another opportunity right on the half-time whistle, on this occasion Lewis Muir dived high to his left to produce a fine save from the shot which came from the right hand angle of the box.
Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hamilton Accies 0
Rangers took the lead with the second-half five minutes old, Billy Gilmour passed into the box from the left and it broke to Mati Zata who moved it on to Matthew Shiels to his right, the striker’s initial shot was blocked by the keeper but he pounced on the rebound to fire the ball into the net. Hamilton replied with an attack down the right, when the ball was passed inside and a subsequent shot on goal which was comfortably saved by Lewis Muir.
Just after the hour mark Accies drew level, the attack started on the left, when the cross came in Carlo Pignatiello cleared to the edge of the box, from where a shot beat Lewis Muir with the aid of a significant deflection. Rangers tried to restore their lead immediately, Danny Finlayson’s long ball found Mati Zata breaking into the box with the keeper racing from his line to block.
With twenty minutes remaining the ball broke for Dapo Mebude inside the box, his first effort was blocked and from the rebound it took a superb save to deny the Rangers striker a goal. From the resultant corner, delivered by Carlo Pignatiello from the left, Mati Zata’s header forced the keeper to leap and tip over.
Accies then attacked a broke through the inside left channel and into the box ,with Lewis Muir racing from his goal to make a fine block. With a quarter-hour remaining Zac Butterworth sent Dapo Mebude through and it took a great tackle from the keeper to clear the danger. Ten minutes later Accies attacked down the right and the cross was a dangerous one until it was superbly plucked out the air by Lewis Muir.
There was no further scoring but it was decided to finish the game with a penalty shoot out which Hamilton Accies won 5-4. Matthew Shiels, Carlo Pignatiello, Premyslaw Dachnowicz and Dapo Mebude all scored with Mati Zata the unfortunate Rangers player to see his effort saved.
Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hamilton Accies 1
Rangers:- Lewis Muir; Premyslaw Dachnowicz, Danny Finalyson, Rhys Breen, Michael Hewitt (Aiden Gibb 72 mins); Cammy Palmer (Dapo Mebude 60 mins); Carlo Pignatiello, Stephen Kelly; Billy Gilmour (Zac Butterworth 72 mins), Matthew Shiels, Mati Zata.