Archive for May, 2016

12’s Win At Lesser Hampden

May 20, 2016

Queen’s Park 2 Rangers 7

I didn’t think on my return from Berlin I would get another youth game before the season ended. So it was a pleasant surprise that there was a trip to the “Lesser” version of Hampden for the Under 12’s game tonight before the big team play at Hampden tomorrow. It was comfortable win for the young Rangers side, building up a big lead before the home side pulled back a couple of goals.

Rangers made the breakthrough with goals either side of the quarter hour mark, the first came from Sam Lovie’s corner on the left which was volleyed past the keeper by Robbie Ure. Almost straight from the kick of Darren McInally was in a race with the keeper to the edge of the box and the ball broke for Robbie Ure who knocked it into the empty net.

The third goal came barely five minutes later, Leyton Dunlop passed the ball forward to Sam Lovie on the left, who passed inside to Robbie Ure his initial shot was blocked by the keeper but he followed up to net from the rebound. The next chance came when Gavin Gallagher’s pass inside the left back released Makenzie Kirk, on this occasion the keeper turned the ball wide at the near post.

Three minutes before the end of the first period Rangers scored again, Logan Dunachie’s pass sent Robbie Ure clear through the inside right channel. He continued into the box and when he played the ball across goal it broke for Leyton Dunlop who fired past the keeper. Rangers continued to dominate but there was only ten minutes of the second period remaining before the next clear cut chance came along. Good play on the left by Leyton Dunlop and Sam Lovie on the left sent the latter to the byline and his cutback picked out Dire Mebude who was denied by a brilliant save from the keeper low to his right.

Rangers soon scored a fifth, Mackenzie Strachan and Sam Lovie worked a short corner on the right and from the latter’s cross Makenzie Kirk headed past the keeper. Number six came before the period end, a great piece of skill from Dire Mebude took him clear of two defenders inside the right side of the box, he drove the ball across the face of goal for Leyton Dunlop to net from close range.

Rangers soon added to their tally at the start of the final period, the home keeper’s pass put his defender under pressure and he was robbed by Dire Mebude who stepped into the box before finishing. The home side pulled a goal back when Alex King was short with a pass back and the striker rounded Jack McConnell before rolling the ball into the net.

After the final period turn round Queen’s scored again, that attack came through the centre and the Queen’s player won the race to prod the ball past Gregor McLeod. The final chance came for Rangers, some good skill on the left took Robbie Ure to the byline and his cut back found Darren McInally who’s shot was cleared from the goal line by a defender.

Full-Time:- Queen’s Park 2 Rangers 7

Rangers Squad:- Jack McConnell (Gk), Gregor McLeod (Gk), Dire Mebude, Leyton Dunlop, Jack Scanlan, Logan Dunachie, Alex King, Makenzie Kirk, Darren McInally, Robbie Ure, Gavin Gallagher, Sam Lovie, Kelsey Ewan, Mackenzie Strachan, Harley Ewan

Young 17’s Side Beat Motherwell

May 10, 2016

Rangers 2 Motherwell 0

As I head to Berlin for a short break tomorrow, tonight’s 17’s game was my last youth game of the season. With quite a few regulars missing for one reason or another it was a young Rangers side that recorded a comfortable win over Motherwell.

Rangers had an early chance when Andy Dallas broke into the box and he was denied by the Motherwell keeper who made a fine save. On the quarter hour mark Sam Jamieson sent a ball over the top of the Motherwell defence and Mati Zata was in a race with the advancing keeper, he got there first to lob the keeper and was unlucky to see his effort comeback off the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later Sam Jamieson tried his luck from fully thirty yards that forced the keeper to dive to his right to turn the ball wide. Rangers took the lead midway through the half, Sam Jamieson broke into the right side of the penalty area and the keeper knocked his effort up in the air, Mati Zata was brave to get there before keeper and defenders and nod the ball into the net.

Motherwell threatened for the first time a few minutes later, the ball was passed inside from the right and the shot from the edge of the box bounced of Lewis Muir’s left hand post. A minute later and another shot took a significant deflection and Lewis Muir did very well to change direction and save low to his left.

Rangers were soon back on the attack and when Carlo Pignatiello played the ball into the left side of the penalty area the keeper was brave to save at the feet of Mati Zata. Seven minutes before the break Matthew Shieils glanced a header from a free-kick midway inside the visitor’s half that the Motherwell keeper saved.

On the stroke of half-time Motherwell threatened from the edge of the box and with the ball seeming to move in the air Lewis Muir did well to hold on.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Motherwell 0

The visitors threatened in the opening minute of the second half with an attack into the right side of the penalty area with Lewis Muir blocking the shot with his legs. A few minutes later Lewis Mayo had a great chance from Carlo Pignatiello’s cross from the left but he headed narrowly over.

With nine minutes remaining two of Rangers Under 15’s substitutes combined to create and score Rangers second, Dapo Mebude headed to the byline on the right and from his cross and despite the attentions of keeper and a defender Zac Butterworth forced the ball home from close range. A couple of minutes later they combined again, this time Zac Butterworth’s pass allowing Dapo Mebude to break into the left side of the penalty area only to be denied by the advancing keeper who blocked with his legs.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Motherwell 0

Rangers:- Lewis Muir; Michael Hewitt, Jordan Houston, Lewis Mayo (Jay Mack 59 mins), Scott Gray; Cammy Palmer (Zac Butterworth 75 mins); Mati Zata, Carlo Pignatiello; Andy Dallas, Matthew Shiels (Dapo Mebude 65 mins), Sam Jamieson.

Youth’s Play On The Pitch Events

May 9, 2016

Following on from the Under 17’s win over Hibs at Ibrox on Monday night all other age groups got the opportunity to play at Ibrox over the weekend. I was able to take in all the eleven-a-side games starting with the Under 12’s game against Hibs on Saturday lunch time.

Rangers 6 Hibernian 6

An incredible high scoring draw that saw Rangers go into a 4-0 lead when Hibs introduced a trialist substitute who was physically bigger and stronger than most of Rangers 2001’s never mind this 2004 age group. The Rangers youngsters struggled to cope with his strength and pace and he looked like scoring anytime he got a run on the defence.

It was Hibs that threatened first midway through the first period and Jack McConnell had to move quickly from his line to save at the attackers feet. Rangers replied when Dire Mebude passed the ball forward to Robbie Ure, his pass inside the left-back released Makenzie Kirk who shot across goal and wide of the far post.

With eight minutes of the first period remaining Rangers took the lead, Makenzie Kirk started the move, passing the ball forward to Jack Scanlan, his pass sent Robbie Ure through to shoot past the keeper. Rangers doubled their lead in the opening minute of the second period, Dire Mebude attacked the penalty area and the ball broke for Leyton Dunlop who found the net from the left hand angle of the box.

As the midpoint of the period approached Hibs broke through the middle but the shot was wide of Gregor MacLeod’s left hand post. Rangers replied immediately when Mackenzie Strachan’s pass sent Makenzie Kirk through on the right side of the penalty area but he pulled his shot wide of the near post. Rangers scored a third barely a minute later, Kelsey Ewan passed in from his right to his brother Harley Ewan who shot over the keeper from the edge of the box.

Hibs then came close to reducing the deficit when they robbed the Rangers defence and broke into the box but the shot came off Gregor MacLeod’s left hand post. Rangers response was to score a fourth, Leyton Dunlop passing forward to Sam Lovie on the left, he went past a defender before making his way along the byline and beating the keeper from a narrow angle.

The visitors then had a period of dominance where the created a few chances, the first saw them break into the right side of the box with Gregor MacLeod saving at the striker’s feet. In their next attack which came down the left when the ball was crossed into the box it was headed past the keeper.

Hibs came forward again, this time into the right side of the box with Gregor MacLeod saving to his left. The visitors then attacked down the left and this time when the cross came in it took a great challenge from Alex King to clear the danger.

In their next attack through the middle they reduced the deficit further, as Gregor MacLeod came from his line the ball was played square to give their attacker a tap in. Rangers relieved a bit of pressure when Dire Mebude was clear through the middle and was pulled back by a defender, Darren McInally took the free-kick which the keeper saved to his right.

Before the period ended Hibs scored a third, breaking through the inside left channel and shooting past the advancing keeper. Rangers missed a great chance in the second minute of the final period, Alex King got to the byline on the left and when his cross reached Leyton Dunlop he shot over from close range.

The goal came around seven minutes later, Darren McInally’s corner from the left was headed out where Gavin Gallagher found the net from just beyond the penalty spot with a superb half volley. Within a couple of minutes Gavin Gallagher attacked the left side of the penalty area and passed inside to Robbie Ure, his shot was blocked by a defender then deflected off another before bouncing off the far post and into the keeper’s arms.

Within eight minutes remaining Rangers scored again, Alex King won possession and played Robbie Ure through on the left side of the box where he was tripped as he headed for goal, Gavin Gallagher making a great job of the spot kick.

Incredibly Hibs the created four chances in the final six minutes, scoring three goals. Their striker powered through into the right side of the penalty area before shooting past the keeper. A corner from the right was then headed past the keeper from close range.

When their striker raced clear through the middle and dragged his shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post it looked like Rangers would hold on for a win. Their was still time for one final attack and this time he outstripped the Rangers defence and found the net to square the game.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Hibernian 6

Rangers Squad:- Jack McConnell (Gk), Gregor MacLeod (Gk), Dire Mebude, Sam Lovie, Harley Ewan, Ryan Menzies, Alex King, Makenzie Kirk, Jack Scanlan, Robbie Ure, Gavin Gallagher, Darren McInally, Kelsey Ewan, Leyton Dunlop, Mackenzie Strachan.

Rangers 5 Partick Thistle 1

First up on Sunday morning was the Under 13’s game against Partick Thistle, the main talking points was Rangers dominance in the middle period and the eccentric referee.

Rangers had an opportunity in the opening minute, the ball was played to Alex Lowry on the right hand angle of the box and he forced a save from the keeper, diving to his right. The keeper was called into action again ten minutes later, Aaron Lyall was in possession inside the penalty area and the ball broke for Alex Lowry who was again denied by the keeper this time diving to his left.

As the midpoint of the period approached the referee awarded Thistle a bizarre penalty area, with the ball well outside the box he pointed to the spot for an alleged off the ball incident involving goalkeeper Grant Thackray and the penalty was duly converted. A couple of minutes later Alex Lowry hooked a corner from the left goalwards and the keeper dived to his left to produce a fine save.

In Rangers next attack Adam Devine crossed from the right and the Thistle keeper produced an even better save, diving to his left to claw away Alex Lowry’s header. On nineteen minutes Aaron Lyall crossed from the right and the ball broke to Reegan Aitken who’s shot beat the keeper but came back off his right hand post.

Rangers drew level two minutes later, Reegan Aitken fed Aaron Lyall on the left side of the penalty area and he played the ball across goal for Lewis Robertson to net from close range. Rangers started the second period where they left off, on the attack. Alex Lowry picked out Reegan Aitken’s run into the left side of the box, he rounded the keeper but a defender got back to clear his shot from the goal line.

Rangers took the lead five minutes into the second period, Adam Devine’s ball over the top of the Thistle defence sent Lewis Robertson clear with the keeper diverting the ball for a corner. When the corner from the left was cleared to the edge of the box Lorenzo Giovanazzi’s shot came back off the cross-bar, the ball was played back into the box and Reegan Aitken fired the ball past the keeper. A few minutes later Robbie Fraser’s pass inside the right back released Reegan Aitken who again rounded the keeper and on this occasion the ball came back off the far post.

Rangers next effort on goal came from a Leon King free-kick close to the left hand byline that the keeper saved at the near post. The keeper was called into action again on the midpoint of the period, getting down to his right to save Aaron Lyall’s shot from the edge of the box.

Rangers increased their lead five minutes later, Greg Chalmers pass inside the left-back released Matty Collins inside the right side of the box and he gave the keeper no chance as he shot across him and into the top corner. Number four followed barely sixty seconds later, Matty Collins attacked the penalty area and when the ball was cleared to the edge of the box Rhys Caves fired into the top corner.

The keeper was then tested from a Leon King effort from fully thirty yards that the keeper touched on to the bar. Leon King then turned creator sending Reegan Aitken clear on the left with the keeper saving at the near post.

The fifth goal came before the end of the period, Leon King rising to power a header past the keeper from Matty Collins’s free kick from the  right. Rangers continued to dominate and twelve minutes into the final period Adam Devine sent Matty Collins clear on the right side of the penalty area, his shot beat the keeper but came back off the far post.

Just after the turn round Aaron Lyall laid the ball back into the path for Reegan Aitken who’s shot forced the keeper to save to his left hand side. The final chance was created by the visitors with an attack that took them deep into the right side of the box with Jay Hogarth blocking with his legs at the near post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Partick Thistle 1

Rangers Squad:- Grant Thackray (Gk), Jay Hogarth (Gk), Adam Devine, Matthew Henderson, Rhys Caves, Lorenzo Giovanazzi, Leon King, Alex Lowry, Robbie Fraser, Aaron Lyall, Lewis Robertson, Reegan Aitken, Greg Chalmers, Matty Collins, Trialist.

Rangers 3 Partick Thistle 1

Next up was the Under 14’s game against the same opponents, with Rangers again falling behind before turning the game around and winning comfortably.

Rangers created the first chance on eleven minutes when Kai Kennedy broke forward before playing through Owen McGinty who shot wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Just after the midpoint of the period Thistle took the lead, from a free-kick just outside the box the initial effort came back of the wall but the rebound was slammed past Lewis Budinauckas.

Rangers had a chance to equalise when Ally Monro’s clearance sent Owen McGinty through on goal but he shot over. With four minutes of the period remaining Thistle broke through on the left side of Rangers penalty area with Lewis Budinauckas racing from his line to make the block.

Just before the period ended Matty Yates sent in a cross from the left and Aaron Bryson was brave and beat the keeper to it but the ball went just wide of the near post. Rangers equalised in the opening minute of the second period, from Kai Kennedy’s corner from the right Euan Deveney rose to power a header past the keeper.

Three minutes later Rangers were ahead, Owen McGinty played Aaron Bryson through the inside left channel and he continued into the penalty area to score with a cool finish. Simon Millar then sent Aaron Bryson through inside the left side of the box, the keeper saved to his right with a defender completing the clearance from the goal line.

As the midpoint of the period approached Simon Millar turned inside the box, his shot beat the keeper but rebounded from his right hand post. At the start of the final period Kai Kennedy took on the defence on the left side of the box with the keeper saving his effort at the near post.

Six minutes into the period Rangers increased their lead, Owen McGinty’s twenty-five yard free-kick beating the keeper just inside his left hand post. Simon Millar then latched on to a short pass back but he delayed his shot allowing the keeper to advance from his line to make the block.

Thistle threatened with an attack on the left hand side of the box and it took a great clearance from Kyle McLelland to prevent a goal. A superb Owen McGinty run left three defenders in his wake and he teed up Simon Millar who shot over.

The game ended with a couple of Thistle attacks, the first came with an attack on the right that left two defenders behind and the when the shot came in Jay Hogarth was forced to stretch and tip over. Right on the whistle an attack took Thistle into the right side of the penalty area and Jay Hogarth was forced to save at his near post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Partick Thistle 1

Rangers Squad:- Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Jay Hogarth (Gk), Ryan Muir, Euan Deveney, Robbie Fraser, Kyle McClelland, Ally Monro, Simon Millar, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Bryson, Owen McGinty, Matty Yates, Blair Rossiter, Trialist No.14, Trialist No.15.

Rangers 4 Motherwell 1

The final game of the day saw Rangers U15’s take on a big physical Motherwell side. It was an entertaining game with Rangers eventually gaining the upper hand and winning comfortably.

In the opening minute Josh McPake collected a slack pass and broke into the right side of the penalty area with the Motherwell keeper saving at his feet. There was a long period where goalmouth incidents were few and it was midway through the half when a long throw in on the right from Motherwell was flicked on and Josh McPake cleared from the line.

A few minutes later Motherwell were awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal and it took a superb diving save, high to his right from Nicky Hogarth to keep Rangers level. On the stroke of half-time Rangers had a free-kick of their own just outside the box, Ben Williamson stepped up to beat the keeper but the ball came back off the underside of the bar.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Motherwell 0

The visitor’s threatened in the opening minute of the second-half, a cross from the right broke kindly inside the box and Nicky Hogarth was forced to block with his legs. Rangers replied when Josh McPake switched play to Zac Butterworth on the left he broke into the box and shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Rangers took the lead just before the hour mark, Billy Gilmour switched play to Zac Butterworth on the left, he took on a beat the defender before shooting a cross the keeper and into the far corner of the net. Just over ten minutes later it was two nil, Danny Finlayson broke forward from defence and passed to Billy Gilmour, his pass sent Dapo Mebude clear to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper.

Within a minute Motherwell broke through the centre of Rangers defence and it took a superb Zac Butterworth challenge to play the ball against the attacker and force a goal-kick. With just over ten minutes remaining some good play from Josh McPake created the opportunity for a shot from the left hand angle of the box that the keeper saved.

Motherwell replied with an attack on the right and when a dangerous cross came into the box the danger was cleared with a superb defensive header from Nathan Patterson. The visitors threatened again within a minute a pass sending them through the inside right channel with Nicky Hogarth making a fine save.

Motherwell pulled a goal back with three minutes remaining, their striker turning inside the box to shoot past Lewis Budinauckas. Rangers response was to score two goals in the remaining minutes. The first was started by Ross Young who passed forward to Lewis McGrattan, his pass sent Dapo Mebude through to calmly roll the ball past the advancing keeper. Ross Young then sent Dapo Mebude breaking down the right, from his low cross Josh McPake turned on the edge of the six yard box before shooting past the keeper.

Full-Time;-Rangers 4 Motherwell 1

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

14’s Win Over St.Mirren

May 5, 2016

Rangers 3 St.Mirren 0

Rangers Under 14’s overcame their St.Mirren counterparts in an entertaining game at Murray Park last night. It was a tight contest until Rangers put the result beyond doubt in the third and final period.

Rangers created an early chance on three minutes with Owen McGinty doing the spade work, taking on the Saints defence inside the right side of the penalty area before teeing up Aaron Bryson who’s shot was saved at close range. Six minutes later the visitors almost capitalised on a slack Ally Monro pass, breaking into the left side of the penalty area a

nd forcing a save from Brian Kinnear at his near post.

Rangers took the lead midway through the first period, Matty Yates collected a slack pass on the left side of the penalty area, lobbed the ball over a defender before beating the keeper with a neat finish. Rangers were unlucky not to double their lead early in the second period when Euan Deveney’s well struck free-kick from just outside the right side of the box came back off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

Euan Deveney was involved in Rangers next opportunity breaking forward from left-back before feeding Owen McGinty who shot just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. It was Owen McGinty who came closer still a few minutes later with his twenty-five yarder beating the keeper but coming back off the crossbar. 

Before the end of the period a long range effort from St.Mirren slipped through the grasp of Brian Kinnear and only just wide of his left hand post. Rangers eventually got a second goal four minutes into the final period, Kai Kennedy’s free-kick from the left hand byline was headed past the keeper by Matty Yates.

St.Mirren responded just before the period turn round when a free-kick from just outside the box came back off Lewis Budinauckas’s crossbar. The visitor’s had the first chance after the teams turned round, the attack coming down the left and deep into the penalty area with Lewis Budinauckas saving at his near post.

Rangers secured the game by scoring a third with ten minutes remaining, Adam Devine crossed from the right, Blair Rossiter knocked the back across goal for Simon Millar to net at close range.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 St.Mirren 0

Rangers Squad:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ryan Muir, Euan Deveney, Callum Biggar, Kyle McClelland, Ally Monro, Simon Millar, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Bryson, Owen McGinty, Matty Yates, Blair Rossiter, Adam Devine, Robbie Fraser.

17’s Play On The Pitch Event

May 2, 2016

Rangers 4 Hibernian 2

Rangers Under 17’s began the youth team’s “Play on the Pitch Events” with a game against Hibernian at Ibrox tonight. With several away with Scotland and one or two injuries the Rangers line up included three trialists.

The visitor’s took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game in the third minute, Rangers failed to deal with a long ball and when it bounced on the edge of the penalty area the Hibs striker volleyed the ball over Lewis Muir and into the net. A couple of minutes later Rangers worked a short corner on the right and Andy Dallas drove along the byline, his cutback picked out Jason Krones who shot wide of the far post.

Rangers next attempt came from a long range Jordan Houston strike after he cut in from the right that was straight at the keeper. Within a minute some good wing play from Myles Beerman on the left took him past two defenders, he crossed to the back post where Andy Dallas knocked the ball back across goal and  striker Ewan McPherson was denied as a defender deflected his effort wide.

Just before the half-hour Hibs attacked down the left that took them deep into Rangers box and along the byline, from the cutback the initial shot was blocked and when the ball went to the back post Lewis Muir made a fine block on the follow up effort. Three minutes later Rangers were level, when Sam Jamieson was fouled just outside the left side of the penalty area Jason Krones stepped up to send a shot into the keeper’s top right hand corner.

A couple of minutes before the break Rangers took the lead, Jordan Houston cut in from the right and his twenty-five yard effort was parried by the keeper with Ewan McPherson following up to slam the ball into the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Hibernian 1

Rangers increased their lead from an early penalty in the second-half, Andy Dallas attacked the left side of the box and he went down under a challenge with the referee awarding a softish penalty that Jordan Houston confidently converted. Hibs responded by pulling a goal back in the fifty-fifth minute, from a free-kick just outside the right side of Rangers penalty area a shot was fired over the wall and past Lewis Muir.

Rangers restored their two goal lead just after the hour, Michael Kelly was sent down the left and from his low cross Matthew Shiels scored from close range despite the keeper’s best efforts to prevent the ball from crossing the line. With twenty minutes remaining Myles Beerman took on the Hibs defence on the left side of the box and he cut the ball back for Carlo Pignatiello who’s shot was deflected wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

The final effort on goal came at the other end, with Hibs right-back cutting into the angle of the box and his shot looked to be heading for the near top corner until Nicky Hogarth stretched to tip over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Hibernian 2

Rangers:- Lewis Muir (Nicky Hogarth 76 mins); Jordan Houston, Jason Krones (Lewis Mayo HT), Kyle Bradley (Rhys Breen HT), Michael Kelly; Carlo Pignatiello; Billy Gilmour, Sam Jamieson (Cammy Palmer HT); Andy Dallas (Michael Hewitt 57 mins), Ewan McPherson (Matthew Shiels 57 mins); Myles Beerman.