Motherwell were the opponents for this weekend’s development fixtures and the spread of kick-off times meant I could take in three games. First up was Saturday morning’s Under 15’s game at Dalziel Park.
Motherwell 3 Rangers 2
Rangers applied the early pressure and on two minutes Ben Wylie attacked the left side of the penalty area, the ball broke for Ciaran Dickson who’s shot was saved by the keeper diving to his left. Barely two minutes later Matty Yates passed to Chris McKee who saw his initial effort blocked and he fired the rebound across the face of goal.
Motherwell replied with an attack on the left and cross to the back post, it took a great challenge from Euan Deveney to block the shot. Midway through the half Ryan Muir delivered a free-kick from the right from which Matty Yates got in a powerful header but it was straight at the keeper.
Within a minute Motherwell went up the other end and took the lead. The attack was on the left and it continued into the box and the shot was fired past Nicky Hogarth. Rangers got back on level terms seven minutes before the break, Ryan Muir and Murray Miller combined on the right, some good skill from the latter took him to the byline and when he centred Chris McKee netted from the edge of the six yard box.
Half-Time:- Motherwell 1 Rangers 1
Rangers had an early chance after the break when a Chris McKee flick sent Matty Yates into the right side of the penalty area but he shot across goal and wide. A few minutes later Matty Yates and Ciaran Dickson combined of the left side of the penalty area with the keeper saving Ciaran Dickson’s shot from a narrow angle at the near post.
As the hour mark approached Ben Wylie passed to Kai Kennedy wide of the right, he cut inside before passing to Ciaran Dickson who’s shot from the edge of the box was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Just over five minutes later Kai Kennedy’s corner from the right went beyond the far post where it was collected by Ciaran Dickson and his low centre was fired through a ruck of players and into the net by Euan Deveney.
Rangers were in front for seven minutes when they were hit by two Motherwell goals in three minutes.An attack down the right took Motherwell to the byline and when the ball was played across goal it was a simple finish at the back post. From an attack through the centre the ball was played into the right side of the box and the shot was fired past Lewis Budinauckas.
Rangers replied within in two minutes and Euan Deveney’s free-kick from the right hand angle of the box had the keeper diving to his right to turn the ball wide. It was the home side who came closest to scoring with six minutes remaining, Lewis Budinauckas miscued a clearance and it was picked up on the left by Motherwell, they progressed to the byline and when the ball was centred the Rangers keeper redeemed himself with a brilliant save to turn the ball over.
Full-Time:- Motherwell 3 Rangers 2
Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ryan Muir, Euan Deveney, Murray Millar, Ally Munro, Kyle McLelland, Matty Yates, Ciaran Dickson, Chris McKee, Ben Wylie, Kai, Kennedy, Mark Woods, Simon Millar, Callum Biggar, Darren Waterstone.
Sunday saw the Under 17’s travel to Dalziel while the Under 13’s were at Murray Park in the morning and the Under 14’s kicked of at the same venue in the afternoon. Two games were better than one, so it was Murray Park for my Sunday.
Rangers 3 Motherwell 1
Motherwell had an impressive opening in the 13’s game but without troubling Gregor McLeod in the Rangers goal. Rangers then came into their own and opened the scoring just after the quarter-hour mark with a superb goal. Jack Scanlan took a short corner on the left to Makenzie Kirk who crossed to the back post where Robbie Ure met the ball on the full volley to smash the ball past the keeper. Within three minutes Rangers scored if anything a better second. Mackenzie Strachan sent Makenzie Kirk down the left, when his cross came in it was again finished with a volley by Robbie Ure, this time controlled to place the ball beyond the keeper.
There were twenty minutes of the second period gone when Motherwell created a chance through the middle but the shot was straight at Jack McConnell. Rangers were soon back on attack and Ricco Diack played Makenzie Kirk in on the right side of the box but he shot into the side netting.
Tyler Pasnik then latched on to a poor clearance and set up a chance for Ricco Diack that had the keeper stretching to tip over. Ten minutes into the final period Motherwell reduced the deficit. The attack came into the left side of Rangers penalty area and the shot went over Jack McConnell and into the net.
Rangers should have restored their two goal advantage within two minutes, Makenzie Kirk breaking into the right side of the box had his shot parried by the keeper and Gavin Gallagher following up could only knock the ball over. Tyler Pasnik then passed the ball to Makenzie Kirk on the right side of the penalty area, he passed across the box to Jack Harkness who forced a save from the keeper.
Rangers restored their two goal lead to complete the scoring just before the final period turn round. The initial attack came from Makenzie Kirk’s pass inside from the right to Ricco Diack who forced the keeper to save low to his right. Leyton Dunlop took a short corner to Makenzie Kirk on the left hand angle of the box and his cross come shot sailed over the keeper and into the net.
Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Motherwell 1
Rangers Squad:- Gregor McLeod (Gk), Jack McConnell (Gk), Kelsey Ewan, Sam Lovie, Jack Harkness, Harley Ewan, Alex King, Leyton Dunlop, Mackenzie Strachan, Robbie Ure, Jack Scanlan, Makenzie Kirk, Brodie Kerr, Gavin Gallagher, Tyler Pasnik, Ricco Diack.
Rangers 2 Motherwell 0
The first threat in the 14’s clash came from Motherwell with a ball through the inside left channel, Jay Hogarth came racing from his box to clear the danger. Within a minute the visitors had worked the ball on the left to the edge of the box and the shot hit the crossbar on the way over.
Rangers took the lead on nineteen minutes, Aaron Lyall latched on to a short pass back from the Motherwell full back to continue into the box and slot past the keeper. At the end of the first period Rangers threatened from a Robbie Fraser free-kick that had the keeper diving to his left to save.
In the opening minute of the second period Matthew Collins passed to Robbie Fraser who picked out Aaron Lyall inside the right side of the penalty area with the keeper saving at his near post.Just over five minutes later from a free kick on the left hand angle of the box Lewis Robertson moved the ball sideways to Reegan Aitken who shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net.
Motherwell tried to reply with an attack on the left, a turn and shot when the ball came into the box forced a save from Jay Hogarth low to his right. Motherwell then broke quickly following a Rangers corner, as they entered the right side of the box Jay Hogarth raced from his goal to save at the striker’s feet.
In the final minute of the second period Reegan Aitken fired a free-kick from the left hand angle of the penalty area off the outside of the near post. With both teams cancelling each other out in the final period there was little in the way of goalmouth action and Rangers finished comfortable winners.
Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Motherwell 0
Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Lorenzo Giovanazzi, Matthew Henderson, Rhys Caves, Aiden Berry, Leon King, Matthew Collins, Robbie Fraser, Aaron Lyall, Lewis Robertson, Reegan Aitken, Greg Chalmers, Alex Lowry.
Footnote:- Goals from Mati Zata, Rhys Breen & Matthew Shiels saw Rangers Under 17’s record a 3-1 win at Dalziel Park on Sunday.