Friday Youth Update

Friday’s football was an Under 18 league game against Celtic at Barrowfield followed by an U16 CAS cup tie against Morton at The Hummel Training Centre.

Celtic 3 Rangers 2

A disappointing result for Rangers U18’s at Barrowfield on Friday afternoon. It was the proverbial game of two halves with Rangers being the dominant side in the first half with Celtic coming back stronger after the break. The result leaves Rangers with a five point lead with five games remaining.

The first chance of the game came when Dapo Mebude cut in from the right and forced  a save from Liam Hughes low to his right. Less than a minute later Rangers took the lead, Kai Kennedy swung over a corner from the left and Danny Finlayson rose at the back post to head past Liam Hughes.

Just after the five-minute mark Kai Kennedy got to the left hand byline and cut the ball back for Nathan Young-Coombes whose shot forced Liam Hughes to tip over. On the , quarter-hour mark Ben Williamson passed to James Maxwell on the left, when he played the ball in to the penalty area Nathan Young-Coombes got ahead of Chris McQueen but shot across the face of goal.

Rangers suffered a blow on twenty minutes when Ciaran Dickson suffered a bad cut above the eye in a tangle with Scott Robertson and was replaced by Joao Balde. Celtic had shown little in attack but when a free-kick broke back to David McKay his effort from around thirty yards forced Lewis Budinackas to save low to his left. Rangers were soon back on attack and when Joao Balde latched on to a loose ball and teed up Josh McPake on the left side of the penalty area it took a fine block from Chris McQueen to clear.

Ten minute before the break Rangers came close from a training ground routine. From a  free-kick midway inside Celtic’s half Kai Kennedy passed to James Maxwell on the left side of the penalty area, he crossed to the back post for Kyle McLelland who headed into the side netting. Rangers had another chance at the end of a fine move, Joao Balde passed to Dapo Mebude on the right side of the box, he cut inside and exchanged passes with Kai Kennedy before finding Josh McPake on the left side of the penalty area but he shot over.

Ben Williamson then picked out Josh McPake on the left and he cut inside before shooting just wide of the far post. Against the run of play Celtic drew level on the stroke of half-time. The Rangers defence allowed a ball to run through to Ross McLaughlin inside the penalty area, Lewis Budinauckas got down to make a fine save low to his left but was helpless as Michael Sparkes fired the loose ball into the net.

Half-Time:- Celtic 1 Rangers 1

Celtic started the half on the front foot and took the lead six minutes after the break, Michael Sparkes passing to Scott Robertson on the left side of the box and he cut inside Harris O’Connor before shooting past Lewis Budinauckas. The home side increased their lead from the penalty spot just before the hour mark. Cameron Harper attacked on the right side of the penalty area and he was brought down by James Maxwell with Scott Robertson converting from twelve yards.

With twenty-five minutes remaining Rangers were reduced to ten men when Ben Williamson received a straight red card for a challenge on the halfway line, from where I was standing it looked a bit harsh.  Rangers responded when James Maxwell on the left passed inside to Joao Balde and his shot deflected wide of Liam Hughes’s right hand post off David McKay with the keeper stranded.

The game seemed to be petering out until Kieran McKechnie hit the right hand byline in injury time. He cut the ball back to Joao Balde whose shot was blocked but Josh McPake followed up to shoot through a crowded six yard box and into the net. One dangerous cross from Kai Kennedy on the left was the best Rangers could muster in the search for a late leveler.

Full-Time:- Celtic 3 Rangers 2

Celtic:- Liam Hughes; Dylan Forrest (Sam Denham 64 mins), Chris McQueen, Liam Morrison, Brody Patterson; David McKay (????? 81 mins); Cameron Harper, Paul Kennedy (Ben Wylie 75 mins), Scott Robertson; Ross McLaughlin; Michael Sparkes.

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Harris O’Connor, Danny Finlayson, Kyle McLelland (Leon King HT), James Maxwell (Kieran McKechnie 77 mins); Ben Williamson; Ciaran Dickson (Joao Balde 20 mins), Kai Kennedy; Josh McPake, Nathan Young-Coombes (Zack Butterworth 76 mins), Dapo Mebude (Matty Yates 87 mins).

Not Used:- Nicky Hogarth (Gk), Cole McKinnon.


Rangers 10 Morton 1

Friday night’s game saw Morton struggle to stem the flow as Rangers U16’s hit double figures. A night where everything clicked going forward and it could have been more, Morton just happened to be the team on the receiving end.

The first goal came when Aaron Lyall attacked the right side of the box and his shot was blocked on the line with Robbie Ure prodding the rebound into the net  A minute later Robbie Fraser fed Adam Mansouri inside the left side of the penalty area with the keeper standing tall to make the save.

Morton then broke through the inside right channel and into the penalty area with Jack McConnell coming from his line to make the block. Rangers doubled their lead on nine minutes, Ryan Muir passed to Aaron Lyall who broke into the right side of the penalty area the keeper dived to his right to parry the shot but Adam Mansouri followed up to score.

We still hadn’t reached the quarter-hour mark when some neat play from Aaron Lyall on the right created the space for him to switch the play to Adam Mansouri inside the left side of the box with the keeper saving his shot. Rangers scored a third on twenty-four minutes, Adam Mansouri attacked the left side of the box, the keeper blocked the shot with his foot but it left Cole McKinnon with the simple task of knocking the ball into the net.

Morton then put up some stiff resistance and it was the stroke of half-time before Rangers scored again. Aaron Lyall collecting a pass on the edge of the box, beating a defender and shooting into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 Morton 0

The second half was only two minutes old when Rangers scored again, Robbie Ure sending Ryan Muir to the right hand byline where he stood up a cross for Adam Mansouri to nod into the net. Just before the hour mark Robbie Ure executed a brilliant turn inside the left side of the penalty area but his shot from a tight angle was saved.

Credit to the Morton youngsters who pulled a goal back on sixty-five minutes, attacking into the right side of the box and shooting past Grant Thackeray. Aaron Lyall then danced along the right hand byline leaving defenders in his wake but saw his shot blocked on the line.

Aaron Lyall then turned chance provider crossing from the right and when the ball broke for Robbie Ure it took a fine save from the keeper low to his left to prevent a goal.  Yet another Aaron Lyall run along the right hand byline almost brought a goal but the keeper saved. 

The final quarter-hour of the game was approaching and Morton broke through the centre but Grant Thackeray came from his line to make the block. Rangers then added a further five goals in the last fifteen minutes. Darren McInally passed to Aaron Lyall on the edge of the box and he turned before shooting past the keeper.

The seventh goal came when Cole McKinnon broke on the right and rolled the ball across the penalty area for Adam Mansouri to shoot past the keeper. An Aaron Lyall pass sent Ryan Muir towards the right hand byline, his cross picked out Robbie Ure but the keeper saved his header.

The next chance came when Adam Mansouri picked out Leyton Dunlop breaking into the left side of the box and the keeper was forced to tip over. Three goals in the last three minutes then followed.  Mackenzie Strachan passed to Cole McKinnon on the left side of the box and he cut inside before shooting into the far corner.

The last two goal were mirror images, the ninth from Aaron Lyall attacking on the right and passing inside for Cole McKinnon to net. Then Aaron Lyall advancing down the left and playing the ball across for Cole McKinnon to complete the scoring.

Full-Time:- Rangers 10 Morton 1

Rangers:- Jack McConnell (Grant Thackeray 56 mins); Ryan Muir, Harley Ewan (Logan Dunachie HT), Kelsey Ewan (Leyton Dunlop HT), Adam Devine; Robbie Fraser (Darren McInally 58 mins); Cole McKinnon, Alex Lowry ( Mackenzie Strachan 58 mins); Aaron Lyall, Robbie Ure, Adam Mansouri.


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