Comfortble Win For 20’s

St.Johnstone 0 Rangers 3

A superb first half performance was the foundation for a comfortable win for Rangers Development League side at Excelsior Stadium this afternoon. Although they didn’t add to their tally after the break it was a good confidence boost for this weekend’s Youth Cup Semi Final.

Yet the Perth side should have opened the scoring  in the first minute, Connor McLaren was sent clear to break into the right side of the box where he shot across Robbie McCrorie but the ball bounced off the far post. With a swift passing move Rangers went straight up the pitch to open the scoring, the ball went though Myles Beerman, Billy Gilmour and Zak Rudden to Liam Burt wide on the left, he cut inside before firing across Ben McKenzie and into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box.

With the clock on three minutes Rangers came close to doubling their lead, Serge Atakayi worked his way along the right hand byline before picking out Billy Gilmour who’s effort looked net bound until Ciaran Brian diverted it wide of the post. The second goal was not long in coming, in the eighteenth minute to be exact. Billy Gilmour fed Zak Rudden who broke into the right side of the penalty area, his shot went across the face of goal but found Liam Burt arriving at the far post to fire into the net.

Within in sixty seconds a brilliant piece of skill gave Liam Burt the opportunity to complete his hat trick, flicking the ball over a defender inside the penalty area created the space for a shot that Ben McKenzie got down to his left to parry, Zak Rudden followed up to knock the ball into the net but was flagged offside. The Ibrox youngsters were well on top and on twenty-six minutes Zak Rudden sent Serge Atakayi breaking into the right side of the box but he was denied when Ben McKenzie advanced from his line to make the block.

Just after the half-hour mark Max Ashmore moved the ball forward to Zak Rudden who’s shot from fully thirty yards beat Ben McKenzie but crashed back off the crossbar. Rangers got the third goal their play deserved four minutes before the break, Serge Atakayi exchanged passes with Liam Burt before hitting the left hand byline and his ball across the box found Jordan Houston arriving at the back post to beat Ben McKenzie with a first time shot.

Half-Time:- St.Johnstone 0 Rangers 3

Rangers started the second half on the front foot and when Jamie Barjonas broke forward he let fly from around twenty-five yards and was only just wide of Ben McKenzie’s left hand post. Saints got a bit of respite five minutes later and George Hunter forced Robbie McCrorie to stretch and tip over from a free-kick just outside the left side of the box.

With just less than twenty minutes remaining Josh Jeffries made the byline on the right, his cross went beyond the back post where Serge Atakayi volleyed goalwards with Cammy Thomson clearing off the line. With the game approaching the final five minutes Stephen Kelly passed to Serge Atakayi who sent the ball out wide right to Josh Jeffries, the wide player cut inside before firing just over. The final chance of the game came with Serge Atakayi picking out Stephen Kelly from the right hand byline but his diving header was saved by Ben McKenzie.

Full-Time:- St.Johnstone 0 Rangers 3

St.Johnstone:- Ben McKenzie; Alistair McCann, Ciaran Brian, Aaron Comrie (Jason Kerr HT), Cammy Thomson; Cammy Lumsden ( Jamie McKenzie HT), Danny Jardine, Paul Simpson, Greg Hurst (Jamie Docherty 60 mins); Connor McLaren, George Hunter.

Not Used:-Ross Sinclair (Gk), Joe Johnson, Robbie Polson, Shawn Struthers.

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Jordan Houston, Ross McCrorie, Aidan Wilson (Kyle Bradley HT), Myles Beerman; Max Ashmore; Jamie Barjonas (Stephen Kelly 65 mins), Billy Gilmour; Serge Atakayi, Zak Rudden, Liam Burt (Josh Jeffries 62 mins)

Not Used:- Kieran Wright, Jordan Gibson, Amin Abaradan, Andy Dallas

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