Archive for August, 2017

“16’s” Edge Past Forth Valley

August 22, 2017

Rangers 4 Forth Valley 2

Rangers edged out Forth Valley in tonight’s informal U16 league clash at Auchenhowie. It is nominally U16 fixtures but the age is not really adhered too and Rangers fielded four U17’s in the starting line up to give them game time.

It was the visitors ho threatened first on eleven minutes with an attack into the left side of the box with Lewis Budinauckas getting down to his left to save. A minute later forth valley took the lead, again the attack came on the left and when the ball was played into the box their striker laid it back for his colleague to fire past Lewis Budinauckas.

Midway through the half Forth Valley came close when a free-kick from the right was played into the box and a flicked header came back of Lewis Budinauckas right hand post. Rangers equalised with their first real chance on twenty-seven minutes, Ben Williamson’s superb thirty yard strike came back off the keeper’s right hand post and Matty Yates was on hand to fire the rebound into the net.

Forth Valley were back in front within two minutes, when the ball was played into the left hand angle of the box a superb turn by the striker took him clear of the defence to shoot past Lewis Budinauckas. Nine minutes before the break Kai Kennedy chased a ball into the left side of the penalty area, the keeper came out save bravely at his feet, the ball went to Matty Yates outside the left side of the penalty area and from his cross Kai Kennedy’s flick bounced on the top of the bar and over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Forth Valley 2

Rangers drew level as the hour mark approached, Darren Watterson sent Own McGinty through the inside left channel, with two attackers on one defender he passed inside to Matty Yates who continued into the box and shoot past the keeper. Midway through the half Ben Williamson broke forward into the right side of the box but shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Five minutes later there was a scramble inside the Forth Valley penalty area and when the ball fell to Owen McGinty a great spin made the space for him to fire the ball into the net. The visitors had a great chance to draw level with ten minutes remaining, the attack came through the centre and played to a player in space inside the left side of the box but he shot straight at Jay Hogarth.

Rangers finished the game with three chances in the last four minutes. From a free-kick wide of the left side of the box Kieran McKechnie’s effort had the keeper stretching to tip over. Matty Yates then broke from the halfway line to play in Kieran McKechnie inside the left side of the penalty area and he forced a save from the keeper low to his left. In injury time the final chance produced a goal, Ryan Muir chased the ball to the right hand byline and fired in a low cross that Gregor Woods converted at close range.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Forth Valley 2

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Ryan Muir, Ally Monro, Harris O’Connor, Euan Deveney; Ben Williamson; Gregor Woods, Ross Young; Kieran McKechnie, Matty Yates, Kai Kennedy.

Subs All Used:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Owen McGinty, Darren Watterson, Aiden Berry.

17’s Leave It Late

August 20, 2017


Rangers 4 Hibernian 1

Trailing at the break Rangers Under 17’s hit four in the final quarter-hour to secure a win against Hibernian at Auchenhowie this afternoon. With Nathan Patterson, Kyle McLelland, Josh McPake and Dapo Mebude on international duty with Scotland Rangers opted to go ahead with the first 17’s league fixture. Opponents Hibernian also had Kane O’Connor on Scotland duty.

It was the Edinburgh side who started the better and created a chance before the ten minute mark, Calum Yeats sent Ryan Shanley down the left and when he passed inside to Ruari Paton it took a fine block at the post from Nicky Hogarth to prevent a goal.  Less than five minutes later Hibs took the lead, Dean Cornelius and Ruari Paton combined to send the ball out to Campbell Notley wide on the right, his ball into the box found Ruari Paton who beat Nicky Hogarth with the aid of a deflection.

The half had entered the final twenty minutes when Rangers created their first real chance, when a corner from the right was cleared from the box Harris O’Connor hooked it back in and the ball broke to Jay Mack at the back post but his shot was weak and Mackenzie Watson saved. Just after the half-hour Andrew Muir sent the ball out to Ryan Shanley on the left who sent Yrik Galantes chasing into the left side of the penalty area with Nicky Hogarth coming from his line to save bravely at the attacker’s feet.

Seven Minutes before the break, Kai Kennedy took a short corner and received the ball back from Niyah Joseph before crossing to the back post where Danny Finlayson’s header was gathered at the second attempt by Mackenzie Watson.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hibernian 1

Rangers started the second half in a determined mood and there was only three minutes on the clock when Jay Mack sent Ciaran Dickson to the right hand byline his cutback found Niyah Joseph with Mackenzie Watson saving his effort. Three minutes later Kai Kennedy went past two defenders on the left hand byline before picking out Zac Butterworth with his cutback but he fired over from around the penalty spot.

On the hour mark Zac Butterworth robbed Scott Walker on the left hand byline before cutting inside and going for goal that Mackenzie Watson saved, The Hibs keeper was soon in action again, this time saving a Niyah Joseph header from a Jamie Walker left-wing cross. The visitors came close to doubling their lead with twenty minutes remaining, Calum Yeats breaking into the left side of the penalty area before being denied by Nicky Hogarth who turned his powerful shot wide of the near post.

Rangers got back on level terms just as the game entered the final quarter-hour, Kai Kennedy delivered a corner from the left and Danny Finlayson towered above everyone to power a header past Mackenzie Watson. Three minutes later Rangers were in front, Murray Miller passed to Kai Kennedy who fed Zac Butterworth inside the left side of the box and he shot across the keeper into the far corner.

With two minutes remaining Owen McGinty whipped in a free-kick ten yards from the left hand byline and Alan Higgins diverted the ball past his own keeper. In the final minute Kieran McKechnie cut in from the right, Mackenzie Watson got down to save his shot but Gregor Woods pounced on the rebound to side step the keeper and knock the ball into the net.

Rangers:- Nicky Hogarth; Jay Mack, Danny Finlayson, Harris O’Connor, Jamie Walker (Matty Yates 82 mins); Murray Miller; Jordan Critchley (John Balde 57 mins), Ciaran Dickson (Gregor Woods 89 mins); Zac Butterworth, Niyah Joseph (Owen McGinty 67 mins), Kai Kennedy (Kieran McKechnie 82 mins).

Not Used :- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Ben Williamson.

Hibernian:- Mackenzie Watson; Aidean Moffatt, Scott Walker, Alan Higgins, Calum Yeats; Dean Cornelius; Ruari Paton, Andrew Muir, Campbell Notley (Sean Quipp 67 mins), Ryan Shanley (Marc Ross 80 mins), Yrik Galantes.

Not Used:- Greg Fisher (Gk)


Footnote:- Earlier in the day Rangers Under 15’s recorded a 5-1 win over their Hibernian counterparts with the goals coming from Matthew Collins (2), Matthew Henderson, Aaron Lyall (2).

Youths Cup Loss At Dumbarton

August 16, 2017

Dumbarton 2 Rangers 1

Early goals at the start of each half proved costly for Rangers Colts in tonight’s Irn Bru cup tie at Dumbarton. Ryan Hardie reduced the deficit and with a bit of luck they may have forced the game into extra-time.

Pre-match debate was around which two overage players Rangers would use, it was pretty certain that Ryan Hardie would be one with Jason Holt being the surprise inclusion in midfield. They faced a Dumbarton starting lineup where more than half of the eleven were former Rangers players.

It was a disastrous opening minute for Rangers conceding a penalty, Callum Gallagher got behind the Rangers defence and broke into the left side of the penalty area chased by Aidan Wilson, the striker got in front of the Rangers defender and was impeded for a clear penalty which he duly converted, with Aidan Wilson a little fortunate to receive only a yellow card. Rangers had an opportunity just before the ten minute mark when Jason Holt was brought down by Andy Dowie on the edge of the box, Jamie Barjones took the free-kick that Scott Gallagher saved comfortably low to his left.

Midway through the half Serge Atakayi in possession on the right passed to Jason Holt inside the right side of the box and he fired across the face of goal. Rangers were having their best spell and when Zak Rudden played the ball forward to Andy Dallas on the edge of the box he laid it back to Jamie Barjonas who’s effort was deflected wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Just before the half-hour Ross McCrorie played the ball from the back to Zak Rudden, his pass released Andy Dallas inside the left side of the penalty area, under pressure from defender he could only find the side netting.

The home side replied when Kyle Hutton picked up a loose ball and his twenty-five yarder beat Aidan McAdams but bounced off his right hand post.

Half-Time:- Dumbarton 1 Rangers 0

Dumbarton increased their former Ranger contingent with former youth player Chris Johnston replacing Ally Roy. Rangers kept their goal intact for three minutes longer than they did in the first half. The move was started on the left by Tom Walsh who sent Chris McLaughlin towards the byline and his low cross was converted by Mark Stewart at close range. As the hour mark approached Callum Gallagher chased a ball down the right before passing inside to Tom Walsh and his effort forced a save from Aidan McAdams.

The Rangers keeper was in action again a minute later, Chris McLaughlin broke forward and his powerful strike from distance was punched clear by Aidan McAdams. Just after the hour Jason Holt played the ball up to Zak Rudden who laid it off to Ryan Hardie with the striker’s effort being deflected wide of Scott Gallagher’s left hand post.

Back to the other end and Dumbarton worked the ball along the eighteen yard line from right to left, starting with Mark Stewart through David Wilson and on to Tom Walsh who’s shot had Aidan Wilson diving to his left to save. Within in sixty seconds Rangers had pulled a goal back, Ryan Hardie won possession and played a one-two with Zak Rudden to take him inside the left side of the box and slot the ball past Scott Gallagher.

Rangers won the ball back from kick-off and Jason Holt passed to Matthew Shiels inside right side of the penalty area, his first effort was blocked with his follow-up saved by Scott Gallagher at his near post. With nine minutes remaining Rangers had a great chance to draw level, Jason Holt and Zak Rudden combined to release Ryan Hardie inside the left side of the box but Scott Gallagher diverted the shot wide at the near post with his legs. 

The final clear chance came at the other end when Jordan Houston’s headed pass back slipped through the hands of Aidan McAdams presenting Chris McLaughlin with a chance but he could only fire into the side netting.

Full-Time:- Dumbarton 2 Rangers 1

Dumbarton:- Scott Gallagher; Sam Wardrop, Andy Dowie, Craig Barr (Dougie Hill 55 mins), Chris McLaughlin; Tom Walsh, David Wilson, Kyle Hutton, Ally Roy (Chris Johnston HT); Callum Gallagher (Stuart Carswell 58 mins), Mark Stewart.

Not Used:- Jamie Ewings (Gk), David Smith, Danny Handling, Christian Nade.

Rangers:- Aidan McAdams; Jordan Houston, Aidan Wilson, Ross McCrorie, Myles Beerman; Jamie Barjonas, Jason Holt; Zak Rudden; Serge Atakayi (Matthew Shiels 65 mins), Ryan Hardie, Andy Dallas (Cammy Palmer 60 mins).

Not Used:- Kieran Wright (Gk), Jack Thomson, Scott Gray, Mati Zata, Danny Finlayson.

Youth Win Over Carlisle United

August 13, 2017

Rangers 7 Carlisle United 0

A Rangers Under 17’s side had an easy win against a younger Carlisle United side which was English U16’s (in effect U16 1/3). I don’t really understand what Rangers have to gain from playing a younger team from a League Two side.

The Breakthrough came just after the quarter-hour mark, Kai Kennedy swung in a corner from the left and Harris O’Connor rose to head past the keeper. The lead was doubled five minutes later when Zac Butterworth won possession before playing a one-two with Niyah Joseph and beating the keeper from the edge of the box and just right of centre.

Rangers were close to a third almost immediately, Zac Butterworth attacked the centre of the Carlisle defence before playing in Jamie Walker inside the left side of the penalty area with the keeper diving to his left to touch the shot onto the post. The third goal did come on the twenty-fifth minute, Jay Mack advanced down the right and his low close was converted at close range by Niyah Joseph.

Rangers continued to dominate and on the half-hour mark Kai Kennedy and Kieran McKechnie worked a short corner on the right to feed the ball into Niyah Joseph who was denied by the keeper who turned his shot wide of his left hand post. From this corner Kai Kennedy combined with Ciaran Dickson who went past a defender into the right side of the box and shot across the keeper into the far corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 Carlisle 0

Rangers added to their tally early in the second-half, from Kai Kennedy’s through ball the keeper looked favourite but John Balde got there first to knock the ball beyond him and slide in to squeeze the ball into the net before it crossed the byline. Soon after Niyah Joseph cut in from the right before going for goal to force the keeper to save to his right.

With twenty minutes remaining John Balde chased the ball to the right had byline and from his cutback Matty Yates forced another save from the keeper. With the game now in the final quarter-hour Jordan Critchley send Matty Yates down the right, Mati Zata looked certain to score from his cross but headed wide of the far post.

With six minutes remaining John Balde latched on to Mati Zata’s through ball and went past a defender and into the box to shoot past the keeper. The scoring was completed when Mati Zata converted Jordan Critchley’s low cross from the right with a couple of minutes remaining.

Full-Time:- Rangers 7 Carlisle United 0

Rangers:- Nicky Hogarth (Brian Kinnear HT), Jay Mack (Ross Young 55 mins), Kyle McLelland, Harris O’Connor, Jamie Walker (John Balde HT); Ben Williamson (Gregor Woods 55 mins); Kieran McKechnie (Murray Miller HT), Ciaran Dickson (Jordan Critchley 60 mins);Zac Butterworth, Niyah Joseph (Matty Yates 60 mins), Kai Kennedy (Mati Zata 60 mins)


Footnote:- On an adjacent pitch Rangers U15’s recorded a 5-0 win over Queen’s Park with the goals coming from Aaron Lyle, Dire Mebude, Leon King, Alex Lowry & Matty Collins.

Copa del Agatha

Over the weekend Rangers Development squad lifted the Copa del Agatha in Sint Agatha just outside Nijmegen.

There were two groups of three and Rangers topped their group with wins over Club Brugge (2-1) and NEC Nijmegen (3-2) on Saturday. Alemannia topped the other group which meant they progressed with Rangers to the semi finals.

The second teams in each group they played the third in the opposite group to decide the other two teams in the semi finals. Club Brugge over came Willem II (2-0) and JVC Cujik edged out NEC Nijmegen on penalties.

The semi finals saw two comfortable wins for Rangers and Club Brugge, Rangers over JVC Cujik (6-1) and Club Brugge over Alemannia (4-0). The final was a goalless stalemate which meant a penalty shoot out that the Ibrox youngsters won 4-2.

Youth Win Over Aberdeen

August 8, 2017

Rangers 1 Aberdeen 0

Today’s game was listed as an U16’s game but with 16/17’s being a dual age group it was really to give game time to those players that didn’t start at the weekend. The starting lineup consisted of five 2001’s and six 2002’s. Rangers pretty much controlled the game but it took a solitary goal from Gregor Woods to secure the win.

Rangers first threatened on the quarter-hour mark, Niyah Joseph on the right passed inside to Kieran McKechnie who shot from the edge of the box which the ‘Dons keeper save comfortably. At the midpoint of the half Kieran McKechnie went past a defender on the right hand angle of the box and his effort forced a save from the keeper low to his right.

With the half-hour mark approaching Darren Watterson and Matty Yates combined on the left with the latter cutting inside before going for goal that  the keeper stretched to tip over. Ben Williamson’s pass found Niyah Joseph inside the box ten minutes before the break but he screwed his shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

The last chance of the half came from a free-kick just left of centre and Ben Williamson’s strike was saved low at his right hand post by the keeper.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Aberdeen 0

Rangers first effort of the half came seven minutes after the break, Kieran McKechnie passed inside from the right and Ben Williamson’s twenty-five yarder was just too high. The breakthrough came just before the hour mark, Matty Yates picked out Gregor Woods run into the right side of the box with a ball over the top of the Aberdeen defence and the midfielder took a touch before shooting across the keeper and into the far corner.

Rangers continued to have the bulk of the play but the game was played out with neither keeper being unduly troubled.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Aberdeen 0

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Ryan Muir, Ally Monro, Jay Mack, Darren Watterson; Ben Williamson; Ross Young, Gregor Woods; Kieran McKechnie, Niyah Joseph, Matty Yates.

Subs All Used:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Trialist, John Balde, Callum Biggar.

Youths Draw With Southampton

August 4, 2017

Rangers 2 Southampton 2

Rangers youths shared four goals with Southampton today at Auchenhowie, which was probably a fair result over the piece. I was unable to get details of The Saints line up, but I believe it was their Under 18 squad, which would mean the Rangers side was slightly older.

The visitor’s created the first chance after five minutes their winger cutting in from the left before forcing a save from Aidan McAdams low to his left with a shot from the edge of the box. Four minutes later Rangers took the lead, the ball was played to Serge Atakayi wide on the left he went past a defender inside the penalty area and beat the keeper with the aid of a deflection.

Less than ten minutes later Southampton equalised with a poor goal from a Rangers perspective, when a low cross came in from the right Aidan McAdams elected to attempt a punch and the ball ricocheted around the six yard box to a Saints midfielder who had the simple task of knocking the ball into the net. Rangers were back on the attack with a Jamie Barjonas delivered from the right which Zak Rudden got a faint touch on but the ball went wide of the far post.

Ten minutes before the break Rangers had a let off, Aidan McAdams hesitated in coming for a ball that bounced inside the box, when he did come he went over the top of Aidan Wilson with both players landing heavily, the loose ball was knocked into the net but the referee had awarded Rangers a free-kick even though no Southampton player was involved in the collision. Within two minutes Aidan Wilson had to leave the field and was replaced by Lewis Mayo. Rangers got back in front four minutes before the break, Scott Gray played the ball forward to Serge Atakayi on the left and he again skinned the full-back inside the penalty area, on this occasion he didn’t require the aid of a deflection, curling a shot beyond the keeper.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Southampton 1

As is quite often the case in these games the second half was mainly noted for a rash of substitutions from both sides, including a twenty-minute cameo for 15-year-old Kai Kennedy. The game was all square with seven minutes remaining, Lewis Mayo headed a cross from the right to the edge of the box where the visitor’s left winger met it on the volley to beat Kieran Wright. 

Rangers had a chance to win it a couple of minutes from time, Andy Dallas raced through on a Myles Beerman pass only to be denied when the keeper handled outside his penalty area and was yellow carded by the ref, maybe if this had been a competitive game the card would have been red.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Southampton 2

Rangers :- Aidan McAdams (Kieran Wright HT); Jordan Houston, Ross McCrorie, Aidan Wilson (Lewis Mayo 37 mins), Scott Gray (Myles Beerman 70 mins); Cammy Palmer (Jack Thomson 58 mins), Jamie Barjonas (Stephen Kelly HT), Matthew Shiels; Andy Dallas, Zak Rudden, Serge Atakayi (Kai Kennedy 70 mins).

Footnote:- Rangers U14’s completed their games at the Youdan Trophy in Sheffield. In the group earlier this week they beat Derby County (2-1) & Watford (1-0), a draw with ANB Futbol (Canada)  (1-1), set up a group decider with Sunderland which they lost 1-2.

This meant Rangers would play off for the 5th to 8th places, a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace yesterday setup this morning’s clash with Celtic in the 5/6th playoff that the young Gers won 1-0 to finish 5th of the 20 clubs competing.

Meanwhile Rangers U15’s were winners of the Dundee United tournament at St.Andrews today. I don’t have any details other than they were winners ahead of the hosts, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Hearts & Queen’s Park.

Pre-Season Win For 17’s

August 1, 2017

Rangers 4 Morton 0

Rangers 17’s recorded a comfortable win over Morton in a pre-season friendly at Auchenhowie tonight. It was a good mix of first and second year 17’s with numerous second half substitutions.

Rangers took an early lead when the referee rather harshly awarded a free-kick inside the right side of the penalty area for an alleged pass back. Kai Kennedy played the ball to Ciaran Dickson who shot through a crowded box and into the net. Ten minutes later Zac Butterworth was brought down inside the box when he turned back on a defender for a clear penalty that he stepped up to convert.

The visitors threatened just before the half-hour with an attack on the right, a couple of chances to shoot were passed up until it was eventually fired wide of Brian Kinnear’s left hand post. Ten minutes before the break Josh McPake turned a defender inside the right side of the penalty area but shot just wide of the far post.

A couple of minutes later Rangers scored a third, Josh McPake combined with Zac Butterworth  on the right and when the ball came into the box Ciaran Dickson hooked the ball over his shoulder and into the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Morton 0

Rangers were still having the bulk of possession but the rash of substitutions seemed to affect the number of goalmouth incidents. It was Morton who came closest when their striker got a faint touch on a free-kick from the right but the ball went just wide of the far post. Rangers went straight up the other end to score a forth, Niyah Joseph started the move with a neat piece of play to release Matty Yates on the right and ball across goal was knocked into the net by Owen McGinty.

The final chance came when Owen McGinty switched play to Matty Yates wide on the right and his cross bounced off the top of the crossbar before going behind.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Morton 0

Rangers:- Brian Kinnear (Nicky Hogarth HT); Nathan Patterson, Kyle McLelland, Harris O’Connor, Jamie Walker; Murray Miller (Ben Williamson HT); Josh McPake (Ross Young 50 Mins), Ciaran Dickson (Gregor Woods HT); Zac Butterworth (Matty Yates 50 mins), Dapo Mebude (Niyah Joseph HT), Kai Kennedy (Owen McGinty 50 mins).