Archive for April, 2017

Youth Cup Final

April 26, 2017

Celtic 3 Rangers o

It was a disappointing Youth Cup Final but once Celtic broke the deadlock there was only going to be one winner. Rangers struggled to make an attacking impact and the game had entered injury time when they had their only shot on target. Looking for positives it was a young Rangers team with all players used eligible for next season’s competition, where as Celtic fielded four players in their final year, and were a year older on average.

It was a pretty poor opening to the game with the only thing of note was a Michael Johnston cross from the right that struck the near post on ten minutes. The game had reached the half-hour mark when Jamie Barjonas picked out Serge Atakayi inside the right side of the box, there was no takers for his cross from the byline and Sam Wardrop knocked it past the far post for a corner.

Eight minutes before the break Celtic took the lead. Following a corner Michael Johnston’s back heel freed Calvin Miller to cross from the left and when the ball broke to Sam Wardrop who shot past Robbie McCrorie. Any thoughts of a Rangers comeback were dashed with the loss of a poor goal on the stroke of half-time. Ross McCrorie was caught out with a long ball and when Robbie McCrorie came from his box and missed his clearance Calvin Miller was left with an easy task to knock the ball into the unguarded net.

Half-Time:- Celtic 2 Rangers 0

There was only eight minutes on the second-half clock when Cetic scored a third, Aidan McIlduff broke into the left side of the penalty area, Robbie McCrorie appeared to have saved his powerful shot but the ball spun into the net. For the remainder of the game Celtic looked happy to see the game out and Rangers looked incapable of causing the Celtic defence any problems. With the game in injury time Rangers finally got a shot on target, Jamie Barjonas free-kick from the left hand angle of the box came back off the wall to Liam Burt and his effort forced Conor Hazard to dive to his left to save.

Full-Time:- Celtic 3 Rangers 0

Celtic:- Conor Hazard; Tony Ralston, Sam Wardrop, Josh Kerr, Aidan McIlduff; Mark Hill (Regan Hendry 84 mins), Joe Thomson (Kerr McInroy 78 mins); Michael Johnston, Aidan Nesbitt, Calvin Miller; Jack Aitchison (Theo Archibald 75 mins).

Not Used:- Ross Doohan (Gk), Paul Joseph Crossan, Wallace Duffy, Broque Watson.

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Jordan Houston, Ross McCrorie, Aidan Wilson, Ross Lyon; Max Ashmore; Billy Gilmour (Josh Jeffries HT), Jamie Barjonas; Serge Atakayi, Andy Dallas (Liam Burt 57 mins), Zak Rudden (Jordan Gibson 67 mins).

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Kyle Bradley, Amin Abaradan, Jason Krones

Weekend Youth Round Up

April 25, 2017

Rangers 2 Celtic 2

This weekend’s fixture saw Rangers take on Celtic, first up was the U15’s clash at Murray Park. Rangers came close to taking the lead on nine minutes, Kai Kennedy on the left picked out Matty Yates on the far side of the box but he was denied by a superb point-blank save tat the keeper managed to deflect the ball over. Just after the quarter-hour Rangers broke the deadlock, Owen McGinty exchanged passes with Kai Kennedy and when he shot from the edge of the box the keeper dived to his left to parry but Matty Yates followed up to slam the rebound into the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 0

Celtic drew level from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half. The attack came into the left side of the penalty area and Ryan Muir’s challenge tripped the attacker and the penalty was converted. Rangers were back in front fifteen minutes later, Simon Millar crossed from the right and Owen McGinty collected at the back post, he hit the byline before crossing  for Ciaran Dickson to net from close range.

Within a couple of minutes Celtic had a chance  from the edge of the box that had Lewis Budinauckas diving high to his right to turn the ball wide. From the resultant corner the Rangers keeper appeared to be impeded as the ball was bundled over the line for a second equaliser.

As the game entered the final quarter-hour Ryan Muir picked out Ciaran Dickson’s run into the penalty area but the keeper was quickly off his line to make the block. Rangers had a chance to win it right at the end, Darren Watterson crossed from the left and when Ton Henderson challenged for the ball inside the penalty area it broke to Ciaran Dickson but again the keeper made a fine block.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Celtic 2

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Ryan Muir (Tom Henderson 79 mins), Ally Monro, Kyle McLelland, Euan Deveney (Darren Watterson 30 Mins); Murray Miller; Kai Kennedy, Ciaran Dickson; Matty Yates (Simon Millar 57 mins), Aaron Bryson (Harry Livesey 69 mins), Owen McGinty.

Celtic 3 Rangers 1

Monday night was the U13’s clash at Lennoxtown.

Celtic had an early chance with a break from halfway that ended inside the right side of Rangers penalty area where Jack McConnell saved at the near post. Rangers first real effort came from a Dire Mebude solo run cutting in from the right but he shot straight at the keeper.

In the dying seconds of the period Celtic took the lead, the attack came down the right and when the ball was crossed into the box it was fired off the far post and into the net. The second period started with another early chance for Celtic braking through the middle but the shot was straight at Jack McConnell.

Celtic increased their lead ten minutes into the final period a ball over the top of the Rangers defence sent their striker through to shoot past Gregor McLeod. Rangers lost possession straight from the kick off and broke through the inside left channel and this occasion Gregor McLeod saved low to his left.

Three minutes after the turn around Rangers reduced the deficit, Darren McInally breaking through the centre and going past the keeper before knocking the ball into the net. Celtic restored their two goal lead within two minutes, the attack came into the right side of the box and when it was played back to the edge of the penalty area the shot went over Gregor McLeod and into the net.

Full-Time:- Celtic 3 Rangers 1

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

Celtic 2 Rangers 1

The final game of the series was the Under 14’s clash at Lennoxtown on Tuesday.

Rangers took an early lead after only four minutes, Robbie Fraser played the ball up to Cole McKinnon who held of a defender to get in a shot from the edge of the box, the keeper dived to his left to parry but Reegan Aitken followed up to fire the rebound into the net. Celtic replied with an attack on the left side of the penalty area and when the ball was played back to the angle of the box the shot forced Jay Hogarth to save low to his left.

Robbie Fraser immediately attacked the centre of the Celtic defence and when challenged the ball broke to Alex Lowry who’s twenty-five yarder was tipped over. Celtic then replied when a free kick from wide of the right was crossed into the box and bounced off the crossbar.

Rangers had their own free-kick wide on the left and just inside the Celtic half, Robbie Fraser delivered and Cole McKinnon beat the keeper to the ball but his backward header was just wide of the right hand post. Celtic’s response came from a free-kick on the edge of the box that Jay Hogarth saved low to his right. The final effort of the half was a Leon King free-kick from fully thirty yards that the keeper saved low to his right.

Half-Time:- Celtic 0 Rangers 1

The home side had an early chance after the break, the ball was played into the left side of the box and Jay Hogarth did well to block the shot as his near post. A Celtic corner on the right was played to the edge of the box and the shot clipped the left hand post on the way wide. 

Rangers came close to doubling their lead when Robbie Fraser fed Aaron Lyall who’s shot from the edge of the box was turned wide by the keeper diving to his right. In their next attack Celtic equalised, the ball was played into the right side of the box and it was fired across the keeper into the net.

The home side grabbed a later winner with an attack on the left hand byline, Grant Thackray failed to gather the low cross and the striker was left with a tap in. In the final minute a solo run took Celtic deep into the left side of the box only to be denied by a Grant Thackray save at point-blank range.

Full-Time:- Celtic 2 Rangers 1

Rangers Squad:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Grant Thackray (Gk), Adam Devine, Ben Duncan, Lewis Robertson, Aidan Berry, Leon King, Aaron Lyall, Robbie Fraser, Cole McKinnon, Alex Lowry, Reegan Aitken, Jamie Fowler, Matthew Collins, Evan McSwegan.

Glasgow Cup Final

April 20, 2017

Rangers 1 Celtic 2

It was disappointment for Rangers Under 17’s in tonight’s Glasgow Cup Final at Firhill. In a first half where there failed to turn up they surprisingly went in level at the break. With the second half being more even the game could have gone either way but a goal midway through the half gave Celtic the win.

Celtic had the first real chance on seven minutes, Ewan Henderson exchanged passes with Jack Aitchison on the right side of the box before being denied by a superb Danny Finlayson block. Six minutes later Jack Aitchison played Keiran Campbell in on the right side of the penalty area forcing a save from Brian Kinnear at the near post.

The opening goal was only delayed a few minutes, in the initial attack Jack Aitchison played a one-two with Ewan Henderson before forcing a save from Brian Kinnear. The ball came back into the penalty area and Brian Kinnear again saved from Jack Aitchison but on this occasion Ewan Henderson followed up to knock the ball into the net. At this point Rangers had shown little in attack but just before the half-hour a quick free-kick from Scott Gray picked out Zak Rudden inside the left side of the penalty area, he went past a defender before firing a shot that Ryan Mullen blocked with his legs.

Celtic were immediately back on the attack with Kerr McInroy breaking towards the box before passing to Jack Aitchison inside the left side of the penalty area and he forced Brian Kinnear to dive to his left to make the save. Rangers grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, the ball was moved from Jordan Houston on the right through Billy Gilmour and Stephen Kelly onto Matthew Shiels inside the left side of the box and he shot across the keeper into the corner of the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 1

Rangers had the first real opportunity of the second half on fifty-six minutes, Dapo Mebude played the ball forward to Matthew Shiels, a good turn created space for a shot with a deflection taking the ball straight at Ryan Mullen. Just over five minutes later  Billy Gilmour and Matthew Shiels combined to feed Zak Rudden and his shot from around twenty-five yards had Ryan Mullen diving to his left to save.

Midway through the half Celtic took the lead, Jack Aitchison evaded two challenges as he moved along the edge of the box from left to right before shooting past Brian Kinnear. With four minutes remaining Kerr McInroy pulled back Mati Zata as he broke down the right and was show his second yellow and subsequent red card.

Rangers had a great chance to equalise with a minute remaining, Billy Gilmour’s free-kick from midway inside of Celtic’s half and wide right found the head of Mati Zata but he couldn’t hit the target and the ball went narrowly over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Celtic 2

Rangers:- Brian Kinnear; Jordan Houston, Danny Finlayson, Lewis Mayo, Scott Gray; Cammy Palmer (Zac Butterworth 71 mins); Billy Gilmour, Stephen Kelly (Michael Hewitt 84 mins); Dapo Mebude (Mati Zata 65 mins), Zak Rudden, Matthew Shiels.

Not Used:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jay Mack, Josh McPake

Celtic:- Ryan Mullen; Max Potter, Stephen Welsh, Robbie Deas, Daniel Church; Kerr McInroy, Kristi Marku (Kieran McGrath 76 mins); Keiran Campbell (David McKay 88 mins), Ewan Henderson, Tommy Caffrey (Grant Savoury HT); Jack Aitchison.

Not Used:- Joshua Rae (Gk), Scott Robertson, Paul Kennedy, Andrew Kerr.

Last night Rangers Under 13’s took on an older Dublin Schoolboy Select side at Murray Park.

Rangers 1 NDSL 2

Last night Rangers Under 13’s with only 14’s keeper Grant Thackray added to the squad took on an Under 14’s Select side from the North Dublin Schoolboys League. It was a stiff test for the young Rangers side, the Irish boys had defeated Partick Thistle’s Under 14’s by 4-2 the previous night, and the physical difference was obvious.

It was a difficult first period for the Rangers boys with the Dublin side dominating, but they came back strongly to have the upper hand in the second period. With both sides having chances in the final period it could have gone either way, with the Irish boys scoring a late winner.

The visitors were having the better of the play territorially but it was Rangers that created the first real chance when Dire Mebude’s pass from wide right gave Makenzie Kirk a chance breaking through the centre but he shot straight at Cathal Byrne. The Dublin side continued to have the bulk of possession and took the lead in the twentieth minute, the ball was played through the inside left channel and when Grant Thackray came racing from his line Sean Roughan lobbed the ball over his head and into the net.

Rangers came close seven minutes into the second period, Harley Ewan passed to Makenzie Kirk wide on the left, he cut into the angle of the box and fired a shot that beat the keeper but came back off the crossbar. Just before the whistle to end the second period Rangers drew level, Dire Mebude just outside the right side of the penalty area played the ball into the box where Darren McInally’s shot saw Cathal Byrne produce a stunning save to turn the ball on to his right hand post, the initial rebound was blocked but Dire Mebude was on hand to net from close range.

A free kick from wide right and close to the halfway line was sent into the box where it broke to Dire Mebude but his shot was wide of the keeper’s right hand post. Just over ten minutes of the final period had elapsed when Jack Scanlan played a short corner on the left to Leyton Dunlop and from his cross Leon King headed narrowly wide of the far post.

A few minutes after the period turn round Harley Ewan sent his twin brother Kelsey Ewan down the right, from his pass inside Jack Scanlan’s superb turn created space for a shot that was deflected and keeper Ross Leonard reacted to make a decent save. With eight minutes remaining it was the visitors that grabbed what proved to be the winner. A lovely turn took Robbie Mahon clear to hit the byline on the left and from his cross Thomas Redmond arrived at the back post to head past Jack McConnell.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 NDSL 2

Rangers Squad:- Grant Thackray (Gk), Jack McConnell (Gk), Kelsey Ewan, Leyton Dunlop, Darren McInally, Harley Ewan, Leon King, Dire Mebude, Grant Gallagher, Robbie Ure, Mackenzie Strachan, Makenzie Kirk, Jack Scalan, Logan Dunachie, Alex King.

NDSL Squad:- Cathal Byrne (Gk) (Malahide United), Ross Leonard (Gk) (St.Kevin’s BC), Aaron Murphy (St.Kevin’s BC), John McDonagh (St.Kevin’s BC), Jack Crowe (Corduff FC), James Maloney (St.Kevin’s BC), Aaron Naughton (Swords Celtic), Michael Burns (Maynooth Town), Michael Hilliard (Swords Celtic), Tommy Buchanan (Bohemians), Adam Naughton (Swords Celtic), Sean Roughan (Swords Celtic), Robbie Mahon (St.Kevin’s BC), Eoin Gannon (Swords Celtic), Jake Hollywood (St Kevin’s BC), Cameron Nangle (Swords Celtic), Nick Pavlov (Corduff FC), Thomas Redmond (St. Kevins BC).

20’s Win Over Dundee At Montrose

April 18, 2017

Dundee 0 Rangers 5

Rangers Development side recorded a comfortable win over Dundee at Links Park tonight. Despite the inclusion of first team players Nick Ross and Henrik Ojamaa it appeared to be a very young Dundee side, and the game was over as a contest before the twenty-minute mark with Rangers scoring three times.

Rangers came close in the fifth minute, Jamie Barjonas passed to Josh Jeffries who moved the ball out to Liam Burt wide on the left, he worked his way along the byline before picking out Serge Atakayi around eight yards out but he was denied by a fine save from Callum Ferrie low to his right. A further five minutes had passed before Rangers took the lead, Max Ashmore’s pass down the left appeared to be covered Fraser Kemp but his pass back was short and Ross Lyon beat the keeper with a fine finish from just inside the left side of the penalty area.

The home side responded when Mark Smith flicked on a clearance from Callum Ferrie and Henrik Ojamaa’s shot from just inside the left side of the box was only just wide of Robbie McCrorie’s left hand post. Rangers capitalised on that miss by doubling their lead just after the quarter-hour mark from a well worked corner. Ross Lyon took the corner on the right and picked Andy Dallas who peeled away from his marker to shoot past the keeper.

The third goal came from a rather soft penalty on nineteen minutes. The move started with Josh Jeffries outside the right side of the box, he tried to pick out Serge Atakayi but a defender got a touch and the ball broke to the left side of the box were Liam Burt was in a race with Callum Ferrie. The keeper appeared to get a touch as he dived at the Rangers players feet but the referee judged it was a foul and pointed to the spot, and the penalty was duly converted by Jamie Barjonas.

Just before the half-hour mark Ross McCrorie slipped on the left hand angle of the box which allowed Mark Smith to break into the box but he shot straight at Robbie McCrorie. The final chance of the half came when Aidan Wilson attacked Josh Jeffiries corner from the right but volleyed just wide of the near post.

Half-Time:- Dundee 0 Rangers 3

Only five minutes of the second half elapsed when Rangers scored a fourth, Serge Atakayi attacking the right side of the penalty area leaving two defenders in his wake and shooting across the keeper into the far corner of the net. Just before the hour Josh Jeffries played the ball up to Andy Dallas on the edge of the box where he side-stepped a defender and forced a fine save from Callum Ferrie diving to his left.

Rangers next chance came when a superb first time pass from Serge Atakayi wide on the right sent Liam Burt racing through the centre with Callum Ferrie advancing from his line to make the block. The scoring was completed with twenty minutes remaining, Josh Jeffiries swung a corner from the right to the back post where Kyle Bradley arrived unmarked to head past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Dundee 0 Rangers 5

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Kyle Bradley, Ross McCrorie (Jack Adamson 59 mins), Aidan Wilson (Jason Krones HT), Ross Lyon; Max Ashmore; Josh Jeffries, Jamie Barjonas; Serge Atakayi, Andy Dallas, Liam Burt (Amin Abaradan 72 mins).

Note Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jordan Gibson.

Dundee:- Callum Ferrie; Sam Dryden, Kosta Gadzhalov, Matthew Smyth, Conor Quigley; Nick Ross, Finlay Robertson; Fraser Kemp (Josh Mulligan HT), Henrik Ojamaa (Lyall Cameron 56 mins), Ian Smith; Mark Smith (????? Anderson HT)

Not Used:- C Allen

Footnote:- I did say I thought it was a youn Dundee side.

“Despite the score line there are still positives for the Dees to take from this match. Kosta Gadzhalov and Henrik Ojamaa both got some much-needed game time on their returns from injury, and in midfield, 14-year-old Finlay Robertson put in an excellent performance, while his fellow 14-year-olds Josh Mulligan and Lyall Cameron also coped well with a physically powerful Rangers side.”

Defeat For 20’s

April 14, 2017

Celtic 4 Rangers 0

A young Rangers side were up against it after losing two goals in the opening quarter-hour and never really looked like getting back into the game.

Celtic took the lead on eight minutes, Sam Wardrop broke down the right and when he crossed into the box Kyle Bradley failed to get any distance on his clearing header and Regan Hendry volleyed past Robbie McCrorie. Six minutes later Celtic grabbed a second, Regan Hendry played the ball out to Calvin Miller on the left and when he crossed into the box Kyle Bradley’s attempted clearance flew past Robbie McCrorie for an own goal.

Things were to get worse just after the half-hour when Celtic scored again, Calvin Miller crossed from the right and Regan Hendry had time and space inside the penalty area to turn and shoot past Robbie McCrorie. Five minutes before the break Mikael Johnston fired in a free-kick from just outside the left side of the box and the ball rebound from the crossbar.

Rangers had shown little in attack up till now but when Max Ashmore fed Jamie Barjonas his twenty-five yarder had Logan Bailly diving to his right to save. The last chance of the first half came when a throw in on the right from Sam Wardrop was volleyed by Regan Hendry and Robbie McCrorie saved at the near post.

Half-Time:- Celtic 3 Rangers 0

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Robbie McCrorie and Jordan Houston collided when going for a ball inside the left side of the penalty area, with the ball going loose Calvin Miller was pulled over by the Rangers keeper and Regan Hendry converted the spot-kick. Midway through the half Billy Gilmour passed to Serge Atakayi and his effort from fully thirty yards had Logan Bailly stretching to turn the ball over.

As the game entered the final quarter-hour Calvin Miller moved the ball in from the left to Jack Aitchison who passed to Michael Johnston inside the right side of the penalty area, he cut inside Scott Gray but was denied when Robbie McCrorie blocked with his legs.

Full-Time:- Celtic 4 Rangers 0

Celtic:- Logan Bailly; Sam Wardrop, Fiacre Kelleher, Josh Kerr, Tony Ralston (Aidan McIlduff 65 mins); Mark Hill, Kerr McInroy; Michael Johnston, Regan Hendry, Calvin Miller (Ewan Henderson 84 mins); Jack Aitchison.

Not Used:- Ross Doohan (Gk), Daniel Church, Wallace Duffy, Broque Watson.

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Jordan Hoiston (Scott Gray 47 mins), Jason Krones, Kyle Bradley, Ross Lyon; Max Ashmore; Jamie Barjonas, Liam Burt (Jordan Gibson 79 mins); Serge Atakayi, Michael O’Halloran (Billy Gilmour 61 mins), Zak Rudden.

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Lewis Mayo, Amin Abaradan, Andy Dallas.

Midweek Youth Games

April 12, 2017

Tuesday and Wednesday gave me the opportunity to take in another couple of youth games. Tuesday’s afternoon game saw Rangers take on Aberdeen at Under 15’s and Wednesday evening’s game was Rangers Under 16’s against USA ODP Region 1 Under 17’s.

Rangers 1 Aberdeen 2

Rangers under 15’s were unable to overcome the loss of an early goal in each half and an unfortunate run of injuries in Tuesday’s clash with Aberdeen.

Aberdeen took lead in the third minute with an attack into the right side of the penalty area where the ball was knocked over the head of Lewis Budinauckas and into the net. Rangers tried to respond immediately with Matty Yates shooting over from inside the right side of the box.

Just before the quarter-hour mark the keeper fumbled Kai Kennedy’s free-kick from the left hand angle of the box, the ball bounced off his left hand post back into his arms. Midway through the half Owen McGinty limped off to be replaced by Blair Craig. Just after the half-hour a slack pass allowed Aberdeen to break into the left side of the penalty area and force a save from Lewis Budinauckas at his near post.

Five minutes later Ciaran Dickson progressed along the left hand byline but there were no takers when his low cross flashed across the face of goal. Just before the half time whistle Ryan Muir became the second Rangers injury and was replaced by Harry Livesey.

Half-Time: – Rangers o Aberdeen 1

There was only four minutes on the clock after the break when Harris O’Connor sustained a hand injury and Rangers were forced to use their final sub Aaron Bryson. Two minutes later the visitor’s doubled their lead. The attack was built on the left and when the ball was played inside Lewis Budinauckas was beaten from just inside the penalty area. Within minutes a short Harry Livesey pass allowed the Aberdeen striker to race through on goal but a superb Lewis Budinauckas save kept Rangers in the game.

Midway through the half Ciaran Dickson drove towards the penalty area before passing to his left and releasing Matty Yates who shot past the keeper. As the final quarter-hour approached Ciaran Dickson sent Darren Watterson through the inside left channel, he continued into the box but shot straight at the keeper.

Rangers were left to play out the final fifteen minutes with ten men when Kyle McLelland became the fourth Rangers player to leave the field through injury. The final chance fell to Aberdeen with five minutes remaining, the ball was moved along the edge of the box from right to left where a player was unmarked but again Lewis Budinauckas made a fine save.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Abrdeen 2

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Ryan Muir (Harry Livesey 44 mins), All Monro, Harris O’Connor (Aaron Bryson 49 mins), Euan Deveney; Kyle McLelland; Kai Kennedy, Ciaran Dickson; Matty Yates, Owen McGinty (Blair Craig 22 mins), Darren Watterson.

Rangers 2 US ODP Region One 1

Rangers Under 16’s took on a US ODP (Olympic Development Programme) Under 17 side. The ODP is a programme where elite players are selected across four regions from this a national team is selected. Region One is the eastern states, New York, New Jersey Pennsylvannia etc. The Rangers lineup included Under 18 player Grant Nelson, Grant was making his first appearance since sustaining a serious injury 18 months ago. He played for the first half – hour as scheduled and it was good to seen a large number of his Under 20 colleagues watching from the side.

The first chance came in the fifth minute when Kieran McKechnie’s free-kick from the right hand angle of the box had the keeper stretching to tip on to the bar and over. The visitor’s replied with a header from a left hand corner that Nicky Hogarth saved.

On eleven minutes Kieran McKechnie won possession on the right and played the ball in to Trialist No.9, a good turn made space for the shot but the ball went across goal and just wide of the far post. Just after the quarter-hour mark Grant Nelson passed to Nathan Patterson wide on the left, he moved the ball inside to Izzak Ahmed who picked out Kieran McKechnie inside the right side of the box and he shot narrowly over.

Midway through the half Rangers took the lead, Grant Nelson exchanged passes with the Trialist No 9 to break into the right side of the penalty area, his ball into the middle broke for Josh McPake who side-stepped a defender before shooting past the keeper. A couple of minutes later Gregor Woods turned on halfway to break free and pass to Izzak Ahmed who passed to Kieran McKechnie on the right side of the box and his shot was tipped over.

When the game reached the thirty minute mark Grant Nelson left the field as scheduled to be replaced by Lewis McGrattan. The next chance came for the American side from a throw in on the left a good turn made space for a shot that was deflected wide of the far post. Six minutes before the break Ross Young won the ball and fed Izzak Ahmed who’s shot from the edge of the box saw the keeper dive to his left to parry. 

The final chance of the half came when Gregor Wood played an one-two with Nathan Patterson on the left hand angle of the box but he shot straight at the keeper.

Half-Time :- Rangers 1 US ODP Region One 0

The second half was a more even affair and an equaliser looked on the cards just after the hour, the attacker went beyond Nicky Hogarth and knocked the ball towards the goal but Nathan Patterson got back to make a superb goal line clearance. The game came alive again in the final six minutes, when the ball was moved in to Kieran McKechnie from the left his effort from twenty-five yards forced the keeper to dive to his right to save.

A minute later a good passing move ended with Zac Butterworth’s low cross from the right being converted at close range by Niyah Joseph. The visitors grabbed a consolation goal in the final minute, the attack came down the left and despite Nathan Patterson’s effort to clear the shot the officials judged the ball had crossed the line.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 US ODP Region One 1

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Lewis Budinauckas, Zac Butterworth, Ben Williamson, Jamie Walker, Nathan Patterson, Grant Nelson, Gregor Woods, Izzak Ahmed, Kieran McKechnie, Trialist No.9, Josh McPake, Lewis McGrattan, Ross Young, Trialist No. 12, Niyah Joseph, Aiden Gibb.

US ODP Squad:- Patrick Adams, Connor Andrews, Carter Beaulieu, Ameer Caprini, Javier Carillo, Cole DiCicco, Evan Fournier, Ian Glisson, Griffin Hayward, Connor Hester, Luke Kasulke, Alec Kosinski, Darryl Longdon, Tate Mohoney, Nick O’Donnell, Moshe Simpson, Nick Williams.

Atakayi Double Secures Points

April 10, 2017

Rangers 2 Hearts 1

A Serge Atakayi double was enough to give Rangers the three points in tonight’s Development League game at Forthbank. Leading at the break the Ibrox youngsters were pegged back before grabbing a late winner.

Hearts were first to threaten when Choulay tried his luck from distance with the shot going narrowly over. It was just after the half hour when Rangers posed Hearts any real problem, the Hearts defence failed to clear Max Ashmore’s corner from the right and Andy Dallas header forced a save from Kelby Mason at his left hand post. The visitor’s went straight up the other end and Angus Beith played a short corner on the left to Lewis Moore who cut into the left side of the box before shooting straight at Robbie McCrorie.

Five minutes before the break Rangers broke from their own box and the ball moved from Max Ashmore via Jamie Barjonas to Serge Atakayi wide on the right, he cut inside before firing a shot straight at Kelby Mason. The final effort on goal of the half came at the other end, Angus Beith winning possession before shooting from the edge of the box that Robbie McCrorie stretched to tip over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hearts 0

Seven minutes after the break Rangers took the lead, Liam Burt attacked the centre of the Hearts defence before passing to Serge Atakayi inside the right side of the penalty area and he shot cross Kelby Mason into the far corner of the net. Ten minutes later Rory Currie passed to Ewan Henderson who shot straight at Robbie McCrorie from the edge of the box.

Hearts equalised when Lewis Moore went along the eighteen yard line from left to right to make space for a shot, Robbie McCrorie, diving to his right got a hand to the ball but could only touch it onto the post and into the net. Rangers replied when Amin Abaradan rose to get on the end of a Josh Jeffries free-kick from the left, but his header lacked power and Kelby Mason saved comfortably. 

With five minutes remaining on the clock Rangers grabbed the winner, Scott Gray started the move with a pass forward to Jamie Barjonas, he moved the ball onto Serge Atakayi his shot had Kelby Mason diving to his left to touch the ball onto the inside of the post and tried to scoop away the rebound but the officials judged the ball had already crossed the line.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hearts 1

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Ross Lyon, Kyle Bradley, Aidan Wilson, Scott Gray: Max Ashmore; Jamie Barjonas (Jack Adamson 86 mins), Jordan Gibson (Josh Jeffries 72 mins); Serge Atakayi, Andy Dallas, Liam Burt (Amin Abaradan 76 mins)

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jason Krones

Hearts:- Kelby Mason; Jamie Brandon, Alex Petkov (Kyle Smith HT), Leon Jones, Aaron Reid; Choulay (Callum Morrison 58 mins), Harry Paton, Angus Beith, Lewis Moore; Ally Roy (Rory Currie 58 mins); Ewan Henderson.

Not used:- Paul Gallagher (Gk), Marc Leonard, Harry Cochrane, Zidan Akers

Easy Win For 16’s

April 5, 2017

Rangers 7 Queen’s Park 0

Rangers Under 16’s had a comfortable win over Queen’s Park at Murray Park last night. The Hampden youngsters were in the game for most of the first half but once Rangers took the lead their resistance evaporated.

Rangers had the territorial advantage but it was Queen’s that came closest on twenty-six minutes. A one-two on the right had angle of the box created the opportunity and when the ball was lobbed over Nicky Hogarth it looked destined for the net until Nathan Patterson got back to clear. Rangers had a good opportunity ten minutes later, Lewis McGrattan’s pass freed Izzak Ahmed inside the left side of the penalty area but he shot into the side netting.

The deadlock was broken a minute later, Josh McPake in possession wide left passed inside to Niyah Joseph who fired into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner from the edge of the box. Rangers doubled their lead three minutes before the break, Josh McPake made his way along the left hand byline, the referee adjudged he was impeded and pointed to the spot which he duly converted.

Rangers 2 Queen’s Park 0

It took Rangers nine minutes into the second half to add to their tally, Josh McPake drove towards the penalty area before playing in Niyah Joseph on the right side of the box and he shot across the keeper and into the net. Less than five minutes later Josh McPake picked out Aiden Gibb’s run into the right side of the box, the keeper got down to his right to parry the shot but Niyah Joseph was left with a simple tap in.

With twenty minutes remaining Lewis McGrattan sent Ross Young towards the byline on the left and from his cutback Niyah Joseph gave the keeper no chance with a superb first time strike. Rangers next opportunity came when a Ross Young solo run took him past several defenders and into the left side of the penalty area but on this occasion the keeper produced a fine save low to his left.

The next goal was only delayed a couple of minutes, Izzak Ahmed was the creator driving towards the penalty area and playing in Kieran McKechnie on the right side of the box and he shot across the keeper into the far corner. A similar goal followed with Rangers seventh, Ross Young was the provider and Aiden Gibb the scorer, shooting across the keeper from inside the right side of the penalty area.

Rangers had one final opportunity when Nathan Patterson broke down the left and played the ball inside to Izzak Ahmed who was denied by a fine diving save, low to his left from the Queen’s keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 7 Queen’s Park 0

Rangers Squad:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Jay Hogarth (Gk), Nathan Patterson, Jamie Walker, Lewis McGrattan, Jay Mack, Harris O’Connor, Josh McPake, Gregor Woods, Niyah Joseph, Izzak Ahmed, Kieran McKechnie, Aiden Gibb, Kyle McLelland, Ross Young.

20’s Win Away To Thistle

April 3, 2017

Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 3

Rangers edged out Thistle in tonight’s Development League game at Excelsior. Two first half goals seemed to have set Rangers up for a comfortable win but a complete turnaround saw Thistle draw level before Andy Dallas grabbed the winner.

Rangers created the first chance on ten minutes when Liam Burt’s pass gave Amin Abaradan a shooting chance inside the left side of the penalty area that Connor Cullen saved at the near post.  Six minutes later Rangers took the lead,  a great run from Jordan Gibson took him into the right side of the penalty area where he played the ball inside for Serge Atakayi to shoot past Connor Cullen.

On twenty-five minutes Robbie McCrorie sent a clearance towards Ross Lyon on the right and a great first touch took him forward, his cross took a deflection off John Kelly and had Connor Cullen scrambling as it came off the near post and behind. Within a couple of minutes Rangers doubled their lead, a superb Jordan Gibson pass picked out Serge Atakayi inside the box, he prodded the ball past Connor Cullen with Amin Abaradan following in to get the final touch before the ball crossed the line.

Thistle responded immediately when Neil McLaughlin crossed to the back post from inside the right side of the box, it was gathered by Kevin Nisbet who was denied by Robbie McCrorie’s point-blank save. Rangers were soon back on the attack and when Max Ashmore played the ball forward to Liam Burt on the left he skinned Harry Grainger on the byline before forcing a save from Connor Cullen at his near post.

Four minutes before the break Jamie Barjonas’s long pass found Serge Atakayi on the left hand angle of the box and he cut inside before forcing a full length diving save to his left  from Connor Cullen.

Half-Time:- Partick Thistle 0 Rangers 2

Rangers created the first chance after the break with a Serge Atakayi step over on the right hand angle of the box taking hm past two defenders before shooting narrowly over. Thistle reduced the deficit just before the hour mark, Ian Stokes cross from the right found Kevin Nisbet on the edge of the six yard box and he planted a header behind Robbie McCrorie.

Within a minute Mark Lamont’s pass found Neil McLaughlin inside the penalty area, Robbie McCrorie advanced from his line to block and with the ball spinning up in the air Ross Lyon cleared for a corner. With twenty minutes remaining Matthew McInally moved the ball in from the right to Connor Higgins who passed on to James Stokes and his shot from the edge of the box was straight at Robbie McCrorie.

Thistle drew level as the game entered the final quarter-hour when a cross came in from the right Jason Krones miscued his clearance attempt and the ball fell for Neil McLaughlin to slam past Robbie McCrorie. Against the run of play Rangers edged back in front, Jamie Barjonas’s attempted long pass was missed by Harry Grainger allowing Andy Dallas to race clear and shoot past Connor Cullen.

Thistle had one final chance to share the spoils, a through ball sent James Stokes breaking into the left side of the box with Robbie McCrorie saving bravely at his feet and Jason Krones clearing for a corner that came to nothing.

Full-Time:- Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 3

Partick Thistle:- Connor Cullen; Ian Stokes, Harry Grainger, John Kelly, Ross Fleming; Mark Lamont, Callum Wilson, Andrew McCarthy (Matthew McInally 63 mins), James Stokes; Neil McLaughlin; Kevin Nisbet (Connor Higgins 67 mins).

Not Used:- Struan Herd (Gk), Anthony Eadie

Rangers:- Robbie McCrorie; Ross Lyon, Kyle Bradley (Jason Krones 30 mins), Aidan Wilson, Max Ashmore; Jamie Barjonas; Josh Jeffries, Jordan Gibson (Andy Dallas 71 mins); Serge Atakayi, Amin Abaradan (Dapo Mebude 85 mins), Liam Burt.

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jack Adamson, Zac Butterworth.

13’s Beat Aberdeen

April 2, 2017

Rangers 3 Aberdeen 2

With the 15’s game cancelled and the 14’s and 17’s up in Aberdeen this weekend’s youth football fix was the 13’s clash at Murray Park. The scoreline suggests a tight game but with Aberdeen’s goals coming in the final two minutes in reality it was a more comfortable win for the young Rangers team.

Rangers could have opened the scoring on four minutes when Jack Harkness split the defence and sent Dire Mebude clear but was denied when the keeper blocked the shot with his foot. The opening goal came on seventeen minutes, Tyler Pasnik sent the ball out to Jack Scanlan on the right who laid it back to Kelsey Ewan,  from his cross an Aberdeen defender miscued an attempted clearance and Dire Mebude volleyed the ball past the keeper.

Rangers doubled their lead twelve minutes into the second period, a brilliant Dire Mebude pass from wide left and inside the left-back freed Jack Scanlan, the keeper blocked his initial effort but he followed up to knock the rebound into the net. Just before the turn around in the final period Makenzie Kirk passed inside from the left to Dire Mebude who’s shot from the edge of the box had the keeper diving to his left to push clear.

Just after the final period turn around Rangers scored a third, Jack Scanlan crossed from the right and Makenzie Kirk showed great skill to lob the ball over the head of a defender and just as he was about to shoot he was brought down and stepped up to convert the penalty. With seven minutes remaining a long ball sent the Aberdeen striker through the middle but his attempted lob lacked height and Jack McConnell saved comfortably.

With two minutes left on the clock Abedeen built an attack down the right, when the cross came into the box an attempted clearance was miscued allowing the Aberdeen player to find the net via Jack McConnel’s left hand post. Right on the whistle Aberdeen broke through the middle of Rangers defence, Jack McConnell got down to save the initial strike but was left exposed as the rebound was fired into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Aberdeen 2

Rangers Squad:- Gregor McLeod (Gk), Jack McConnell (Gk), Kelsey Ewan, Leyton Dunlop, Darren McInally, Logan Dunachie, Harley Ewan, Jack Scanlan, Jack Harkness, Dire Mebude, Tyler Pasnik, Makenzie Kirk, Alex King, Jamie Newton.

Footnote:- Rangers U17’s drew 3-3 up in Aberdeen with Rangers goals coming from Andy Dallas, Matthew Shiels and an own goal.