Rangers 4 Airdrie 0
The 10am kick-off meant I could take in the Under 15’s Saturday morning friendly against Airdrie Under 16’s at Murray Park before heading up to Kirkcaldy. It was a comfortable win for the Ibrox youngsters whose squad included Davie Weir’s son and three Irish trialists. Bringing the total number of trialists from across the water to six for the week, across three age groups.
Rangers took the lead from the penalty spot on eighteen minutes, the award came when Callum Ferris was pulled back inside the box and Billy Gilmour stepped up to convert from the spot. Three minutes later George Curran latched of to a slack pass and broke into the right side of the penalty area with the keeper saving at the near post.
The visitors had an effort on target when Danny Finlayson headed from Rangers box with Nicky Hogarth saving the effort from the edge of the penalty area. Five minutes into the second period Billy Gilmour sent George Curran down the right, his centre was missed by Dapo Mebude but arrived at Marc Walsh at the back post with the keeper saving his shot at the near post.
Six minutes later Dapo Mebude broke into the right side of the penalty area on a Billy Gilmour pass but the Airdrie keeper saved bravely at his feet. Two minutes later Dapo Mebude was through on a Billy Gilmour pass over the top of the Airdrie defence, he continued into the right side of the box but shot into the side netting.
Three minutes before the end of the second period Rangers doubled their lead, Niyah Joseph in possession on the left passed inside to Dapo Mebude, he took on three defenders inside the left side of the box, making space to shoot past the keeper. The final action came at the other end, a shot from just outside the right side of the box beat Brian Kinnear but rebounded from the crossbar.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the first half of the third period but Rangers incresed their lead three minutes after the turn round. Jay Mack won the ball on halfway and moved the ball forward to Josh McPake who’s through ball sent Callum Ferris clear and he continued into the box before shooting past the keeper.
Rangers next chance came when Niyah Joseph delivered a free kick from the left to the back post and Jay Mack’s header was kept out by a point-blank save from the keeper. Airdrie replied with an attack through the inside left channel with Brian Kinnear advancing from his line to make the block.
The scoring was completed in the final minute, Jensen Weir’s pass sending Callum Ferris through inside the left side of the box and he beat the keeper with a sublime chipped finish.
Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Airdrie 0
Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Brian Kinnear (Gk), Zac Butterworth, Jamie Walker, Ben Williamson, Danny Finlayson, Aiden Gibb, George Curran, Billy Gilmour, Callum Ferris, Johs McPake, Marc Walsh, Jay Mack, Nathan Patterson, Ross Young, Dapo Mebude, Kieran McKechnie, Niyah Joseph, Jensen Weir.
Motherwell 1 Rangers 2
With no home fixtures on Sunday and the 13’s and 14’s both away to Motherwell I decided to take in the later kick off 13’s fixture at Braidhurst High School. The Rangers youngsters coming from behind to grab a last minute winner.
Rangers carved out a chance in the opening minute when Lewis Robertson and Reegan Aitken combined to create the chance for Alex Lowry inside the left side of the box with the keeper saving at his near post. There was less than ten minutes on the clock when Grant Thackray had to race from goal to tackle their striker who was chasing a through ball.
Motherwell took the lead just after the midpoint of the period, the attack came down the right and when the cross bounced inside Rangers penalty area it was headed past Grant Thackray. The home side created another great chance four minutes later, they attacked deep inside the left side of the box with Grant Thackray saving the initial shot and Lewis Robertson completing the clearance.
Rangers replied when Alex Lowry passed inside from the left to Robbie Fraser who’s shot from the edge of the box was just too high. Rangers won the possession battle in the second period although chances were few. They should have equalised on twenty minutes, a superb Robbie Fraser pass from the left picked our Aaron Lyall inside the penalty area but his shot was too straight and the keeper saved.
Rangers created an early chance in the final period, Alex Lowry sent the over lapping Adam Devine down the right, he continued into the box to force a save from the keeper at the near post. The home side missed a great chance just before the period turn around, their striker went through the middle where Glen Cameron forced him wide allowing Aidan Berry to get back and make the block.
With ten minutes remaining Robbie Fraser tested the keeper from a free-kick just outside the right side of the box, forcing him to dive to his left to parry. Two minutes later Rangers were level, Aaron Lyall fed Alex Lowry inside the right side of the penalty area, a neat piece of skill forced a foul from the defender and Robbie Fraser converted from the spot.
With the clock ticking down Reegan Aitken sent Matthew Henderson towards the byline on the left, when the keeper failed to hold his low driven cross Lewis Robertson was well placed to slam the loose ball into the net.
Full-Time:- Motherwell 1 Rangers 2
Rangers Squad:- Grant Thackray (Gk), Glen Cameron (Gk), Adam Devine, Matthew Henderson, Greg Chalmers, Lorenzo Giovanazzi, Leon King, Matthew Collins, Robbie Fraser, Reegan Aitken, Lewis Robertson, Alex Lowry, Aidan Berry, Rhys Caves, Aaron Lyall
Footnote:- Rangers U14’s beat their Motherwell counterparts 3-1 with the goals comomg from Kai Kennedy (2) & Matty Yates.