This weekend’s fixtures saw Rangers take on Hamilton Accies at 13’s through to 15’s, with a home double-header involving 13’s and 14’s and fresh from their wins at Everton last weekend, it was a trip to Auchenhowie for me today.
Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 0
First up was the under 13’s with a 10 am kick-off, the young Rangers squad that included Under 12’s Brodie Kerr and Jamie Newton, pretty much dominated from start to finish although it took them until the third period to make the break through.
Rangers dominated the opening period but with Hamilton defending stoutly a few last-ditch blocks prevented any real goal scoring opportunities. As often can be the case it was the team on the back foot that had the first real chance seven minutes into the second period. They won the ball on the right hand angle of the Rangers penalty area and the ball was moved across the box but the shot was wide of Jack McConnell’s right hand post.
Rangers replied within a couple of minutes with a Dire Mebude solo run that took him into the left side of the penalty but he was denied by the keeper who saved at the near post. Just over five minutes later a Robbie Ure pass sent Mackenzie Strachan through, he was forced wide as he went round the keeper and his shot came back off the keeper’s right hand post.
A minute later Makenzie Kirk’s cross from the right went all the way beyond the back post to Jack Scanlan, he nutmegged a defender on the byline before he picked out Robbie Ure inside the box, his miss kicked his shot but the ball went to Dire Mebude who shot narrowly over. Rangers next effort came from a Leyton Dunlop twenty-five yarder that the keeper tipped on to the bar and over. The corner from the left went to Dire Mebude on the far side of the penalty area, his cross into the box broke for Logan Dunachie who’s hooked shot bounced off the bar.
Rangers first attack in the final period came on five minutes, Alex King sent Jamie Newton down the left he found Dire Mebude at the back post but his shot was cleared from the line. Within sixty seconds Dire Mebude crossed from the right to Leyton Dunlop who’s effort was saved and scrambled clear by the Accies defence.
The break through came barely a minute later, Jamie Newton attacked down the left and when his low cross was cleared only as far as Jack Harkness he picked his spot just inside the post. Just before the period turn round Robbie Ure sent Dire Mebude through but the keeper was quick from his line to divert the ball wide of his left hand post.
Rangers double their lead five minutes after the teams swopped ends, a corner from the left went beyond the back post to Robbie Ure who laid it back to Darren McInally, Logan Dunachie challenged with a defender for the cross and when the ball bounced between them the Rangers centre back fired into the net. In Rangers next attack Leyton Dunlop sent Jamie Newton down the left, he went past a defender into the box where he was pulled back for a clear penalty. Robbie Ure sent the keeper left and the ball right but it rebounded off the post and clear.
Rangers continued to make chances, Jack Harkness passed to Jamie Newton picked out Dire Mebude who shot just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. The final chance came when Leyton Dunlop hit the left hand byline and his cross to the back post was volleyed off the upright by Dire Mebude.
Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hamilton Accies 0
Rangers Squad:- Jack McConnell (Gk), Jack Harness, Sam Lovie, Darren McInally, Logan Dunachie, Kelsey Ewan, Jack Scanlan, Mackenzie Strachan, Dire Mebude, Robbie Ure, Makenzie Kirk, Alex King, Leyton Dunlop, Brodie Kerr, Jamie Newton.
Rangers 4 Hamilton Accies 0
The early afternoon kick-off saw Rangers 14’s, with two under 13’s in the squad take on Hamilton Accies. Leon King permanently plays up a year and he was joined in the squad by Kelsey Ewan. Anyone familiar with this 2003 squad will know that they will,no matter who their opponents are, never have a physical advantage and on occasions they have been bullied out of games. Today’s performance, especially in the first two periods was as good as I have seen from a young Rangers side for a very long time. Their two touch pass and move style had their bigger, stronger opponents chasing shadows. It was also apparent to those watching from the side that the players were really enjoying playing the way they did.
Rangers first chance came on nine minutes when Reegan Aitken played in Matthew Collins who shot across goal and narrowly wide. Several moves carved open the defence but broke down on the final pass or a last-ditch challenge. The break through came just after the twenty-minute mark, Reegan Aitken took a short corner on the left to Matthew Henderson on the angle of the box and his cross was knocked into the net by Leon King at the back post.
The second goal five minutes before the end of the period and it was a joy to watch, the ball was moved around the midfield at pace from centre to right involving Rhys Caves, Adam Devine, Aaron Lyall, Robbie Fraser, Matthew Collins and Alex Lowry it ended with a cross from the right that was converted at the far post by Reegan Aitken. Rangers third came in the opening minute of the second period from the penalty spot. Reegan Aitken combined with Matthew Collins on the right side of the box and the referee judged Matthew Collins was halted by the illegal use of an elbow with Robbie Fraser converting the penalty.
Another superb move carved open Accies on the left, Matthew Henderson combined with Alex Lowry and Reegan Aitken to provide the opportunity for Matthew Collins who fired a shot off the crossbar. Midway through the period Rangers scored a fourth, Reegan Aitken moved the ball in from the left to Matthew Collins, a superb turn and a couple of steps to the edge of the box before shooting past the keeper.
Accies had three strong quick forwards who had failed to really threaten the Rangers goal, with nine minutes of the period remaining they broke through on the right of Rangers box with Jay Hogarth blocking the shot with his legs and the rebound was fired wide. The final period was a bit tame by comparison and the only real chance came from an Alex Lowry solo run into the left side of the penalty area where he forced a save from the keeper at the near post.
Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Hamilton Accies 0
Rangers Squad:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Adam Devine, Matthew Henderson, Rhys Caves, Aiden Berry, Leon King, Aaron Lyall, Robbie Fraser, Matthew Collins, Alex Lowry, Reegan Aitken, Lewis Robertson, Kelsey Ewan, Evan McSwegan.
Footnote:- Rangers U15’s lost 4-3 to their Accies counterparts at New Douglas Park this morning.