Youth Take On County Down Select

Rangers Under 16’s and 17’s took on County Down’s Under 16’s and Under 18’s Super Cup NI squads in friendlies at Auchenhowie this afternoon. With the games kicking off at the same time my normal rule is I take in the older age group.

Rangers 1 County Down 1

Rangers Under 17’s supplemented by Under 19 Jason Krones and Under 18 Izzak Ahmed took on County Down’s under 18 side, with the game being played over three thirty minute periods. The young Rangers side had the bulk of possession but clear chances were at a premium and a draw was probably a fair result.

Rangers took the lead on ten minutes, Kieran McKechnie passed to Josh McPake wide on the left and he cut inside past a defender before shooing past Scott Pengelly  from the edge of the box. Eight minutes later there seemed little danger when Kieran McKechnie took possession twenty-five yards from goal until he unleashed a shot that had the keeper beaten but bounced off the crossbar on the way over.

At the other end a couple of minutes later  a corner from the left found its way to Adam McAleenan at the back post where he was denied when Brian Kinnear blocked with his legs. With seven minutes of the period remaining the visitors equalised, a ball over the top of the Rangers defence sent Dean Truesdale through to slot the ball past Brian Kinnear.

Rangers had a chance in the opening minute of the second period when Zac Butterworth passed inside to Josh McPake  from the right, he went past a defender before forcing a save from Scott Pengally. The period was mainly noted for a series of substitutions by both sides until the twentieth minute when Josh McPake laid the ball back to Nathan Patterson on the right hand angle of the box and his effort had Matthew Anderson stretching to tip over.

It was around the midpoint of the final period when Rangers came close on a couple of occasions within a minute. John Balde lost his marker to meet Josh McPake’s corner from the left but could only direct his header wide of the back post. In Rangers next attack Nathan Patterson picked out John Balde’s run into the box but Matthew Anderson did enough to divert the ball wide of his left hand post.

The final chance of the match came to the lads from Ulster, Ruairi O’Hare rose to meet Jack Henderson’s free-kick from the left but headed straight at Nicky Hogarth.

Full – Time:- Rangers 1 County Down 1

Rangers:- Brian Kinnear (Nicky Hogarth 43 mins); Nathan Patterson, Jason Krones, Jay Mack, Jamie Walker; Jordan Critchley (Gregor Woods 43 mins); Issak Ahmed (Ross Young 38 mins), Kieran McKechnie (John Balde 43 mins); Zac Butterworth, Dapo Mebude (Niyah Joseph 43 mins), Josh McPake.

County Down Squad:- Scott Pengelly (Gk), Matthew Anderson (Gk), Mal Smith, Jamie Glover, Adam McAleenan, James McCarthy. Jack Henderson, Tom Mathieson, Adam Carroll, Dean Truesdale, Ruairi O’Hare, Ross Weatherup, Joe Shevlin, Dan Smith, Matthew Lee, Jack Conlon, Cai Gemmell.

Footnote:- On the adjacent pitch Rangers Under 16’s recorded a 2-0 win over their County Down counterparts with the goals coming from Matty Yates and Trialist No.9.

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