Archive for October, 2019

Shootout Win At Solihull

October 30, 2019

Solihull Moors 3 Rangers 3 (Rangers won 4-3 on penalties)

Lewis Budinauckas was Rangers shootout hero, saving two of Solihull Moors five penalties. He dived to his left to parry Terry Hawkridge’s first penalty, with Jamie Barjonas, Nathan Patterson, Eros Grezda and Kai Kennedy converting for Rangers and Mitch Hancox, Darren Carter and Paul McCallum scoring for Solihull, the spotlight was back on Lewis and this time he dived to his right to save Gael Bigirimana’s spotlkick and take Rangers through to a home tie against Wrexham in the quarter finals.

It was a superb performance from the young Rangers side with an average age of 18.5 against the National League side.

Rangers were under heavy pressure in the opening stages from a barrage of long throws and corners and they fell behind on seven minutes. From Paul McCallum’s long throw from the right Callum Howe rose to nod past Lewis Budinauckas. The young Gets were not behind for long equalizing four minutes later. Kai Kennedy in possession in the left passed to Jamie Barjonas who cut inside and fired a shot into Ryan Boot’s bottom left hand corner from around twenty five yards.

Rangers had the next chance when Nathan Patterson passed to Eros Grezda on the right and cut into the box forcing Ryan Boot to save at his near post. The home side missed a great chance on the midpoint of the half. Adi Yussuf won the ball and played in Paul McCallum inside the left side of the box but he blazed over.

Another Paul McCallum long throw on the half hour gave Rangers problems. This time it came from the left and when it landed at the feet of Callum Howe keeper Lewis Budinauckas produced a fine save before the rebound was fired over. The home side took the lead nine minutes before the break. Darren Carter’s free kick from the right and just inside Rangers half was sent beyond the back post were Callum Howe headed back across goal for Adi Yussuf to nod past Lewis Budinauckas.

Half-Time:- Solihull Moors 2 Rangers 1

Just before the hour the ball was moved from Eros Grezda on the left through Kai Kennedy to Serve Atakayi inside the right side of the box but he shot into the side netting. Within a minute Solihull extended their lead, Darren Carter’s free kick from the right hand angle going over the wall and high past Lewis Budinauckas.

Rangers got back into the game less than ten minutes later, Kai Kennedy won possession and broke forward before passing to Eros Grezda on his left, the winger cut inside and shot past the keeper from the edge of the box. Rangers missed a great chance with the final quarter hour approaching. Eros Grezda exchanged passes with James Maxwell on the left, from his cross Dapo Mebude looked sure to score but didn’t get enough on his header and the ball went wide of the far post.

Rangers drew level with six minutes remaining, from Eros Grezda’s through ball Ryan Boot denied Nathan Young-Coombes at close range but the ball appeared to rebound off the Rangers winger and into the net. Rangers were now pushing for a winner and from Serge Atakayi’s low cross from the right Nathan Young-Coombes was denied by a combination of defender and keeper at the near post.

Deep into injury time Rangers had a final chance, Eros Grezda feeding Kai Kennedy inside the right side of the penalty area and his drive forced Ryan Boot to tip over. So it was on to the shootout and Lewis Budinauckas’s double penalty save to take Rangers through to play Wrexham.

Full-Time:- Solihull Moors 3 Rangers 3 (Rangers won 4-3 on penalties)

Solihull Moors:- Ryan Boot; Josh Neufville, Tyrone Williams, Callum Howe, Mitch Hancox; Darren Carter; James Ball (Gael Bigurimana 56 mins), Terry Hawkridge; Adi Yussuf (Jamie Reckord 83 mins), Paul McCallum, Nathan Blisset (Jake Beasley 54 mins).

Not Used:- Shaun Rowley (Gk), Danny Wright.

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Nathan Patterson, Danny Finlayson, Rhys Breen, James Maxwell; Ben Williamson (Serve Atakayi HT), Jamie Barjonas; Ciaran Dickson (Nathan Young -Coombes  79 mins); Eros Grezda, Dapo Mebude, Kai Kennedy.

Not Used:- Brian Kinnear (Gk), Zac Butterworth, Murray Miller, Aaron Lyall, Kyle McClelland.

Thistle CAS Fixtures

October 27, 2019

I managed to take in three of the CAS fixtures against Partick Thistle over the weekend. First up was the 2007 (Under 13’s) on Saturday morning, followed by the 2005’s (Under 15’s) in the afternoon and finally the 2004’s (Under 16’s) on Sunday morning.

Rangers 7 Partick Thistle 3

The game was a bit closer than the scoreline suggests with Thistle still in the game well into the third and final period. A goalkeeping error gave Rangers the cushion to add another couple of goals and put a bit of gloss on the result.

Rangers took the lead on thirteen minutes, Jayden Fitzpatrick’s shot was blocked but the ball broke to Frankie Aitchison whose shot found the net inside the keeper’s right hand post. Thistle were level less than five minutes later, The attack came on the right and when the ball was passed inside the shot forced Alfie Halliwell to dive to his right to parry but an attacker followed in to net from the rebound.

Alfie Halliwell was called into action before the period ended getting down to his left to save a shot from just inside the box. Rangers restored their lead early in the second period, Jayden Fitzpatrick attacked the right hand angle of the box before passing across the penalty area for Frankie Aitchison to beat the keeper at the back post.

There were ten minutes of the period remaining when Thistle equalised for a second time. They attacked the left side of the box and when the ball was passed inside and fired past Alfie Halliwell. The teams were only level for a couple of minutes when Rangers edged ahead again. Jack Wylie broke from the back into the Thistle half and his pass sent Frankie Aitchison clear to round the keeper and roll the ball into the net.

Rangers had the final chance of the period when Harry Weir side stepped a defender on the left hand angle of the box before shooting just wide of the far post. Early in the final period Rangers doubled their lead, Aiden McCallion providing the pass for Grant Marchant to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper.

A few minutes later Duncan Barlow and Grant Marchant combined on the left to setup a shooting chance for Harry Weir which the keeper saved at his near post. The visitors response to to score a third goal, attacking into the left side of Rangers penalty area and beating Alfie Halliwell with the aid of a deflection.

Just before the final period turn round Rangers “scored” a bizarre fifth, there was no danger when a Thistle player passed the ball back but the keeper allowed the ball to run under his foot and into the net for an Own Goal. Within a minute of the turn round Rangers scored again, a through ball sending Arran Kerr clear to net after rounding the keeper. The scoring was complete when Josh Gentles latched on to a slack pass back, his initial shot was saved but the Rangers striker followed up to shoot high into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 7 Partick Thistle 3

Rangers Squad:- Alfie Halliwell (Gk), Jace McCulloch, Jack Wylie, Kenzie McClelland, Duncan Barlow, Aiden McCallion, Grant Leitch, Grant Marchant, Jayden Fitzpatrick, Frankie Aitchison, Arran Kerr, Lyall Wark, Harry Weir, Leo Fisher, Josh Gentles, Alexander Smith.

 

Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 6

Next up was the 2005’s and after a fairly even first half a second half collapse  saw them suffer a heavy defeat. 

Thistle took the lead from an attack into the right side of Rangers penalty area where the ball was fired past Jacob Pazikas. Only a brilliant save prevented a Rangers equaliser a few minutes later, Tiaman Scott passed to Rory Wilson inside the right side of the box, his shot looked destined for the far top corner until the keeper dived and got the faintest touch to divert the ball onto the post.

With the quarter hour mark approaching Tiaman Scott latched onto a slack pass but his shot from the edge was the box was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post. A few minutes later a ball was cleared from the Rangers box and the Thistle midfielder struck from around twenty-five yards that forced Jacob Pazikas to save high to his right.

Rangers were level just after the half hour mark, Tiaman Scott laid the ball back to Brodie Kerr on the right and he picked out Rory Wilson inside the box and he fired past the keeper. Thistle responded with a bit of sustained pressure with a brilliant Adam Forrester block preventing a goal then minutes later Jacob Pazikas blocking a shot at close range.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 1

Thistle regained the lead six minutes after the break, a corner from the right was flicked on and knocked into the net at the back post. Within two minutes the visitors scored again, the attack came down the right and passed across the box to be converted at the back post.

It was four by the hour mark, Rangers losing possession outside the left side of the box and the Thistle player broke into the penalty area to shoot past Jacob Pazikas. Thistle scored a fifth goal when a shot from the edge of the box was parried by Jacob Pazikas low to his left but was helpless as the rebound was fired into the net.

Rangers were pretty much penned back inside their half and when they failed to clear a corner from the right it took a goal line clearance from Brodie Kerr to prevent a sixth goal. The sixth goal came with four minutes remaining with Rangers missing a couple of opportunities to clear the ball it was eventually shot just inside Jacob Pazikas’s right hand post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Partick Thistle 6

Rangers Squad:- Jacob Pazikas (Gk), Brodie Kerr, Adam Forrester, Leighton Grant, Ryan Murray, Callum Sandilands, Kerr Robertson, Elliot Dunlop, Tiaman Scott, Rory Wilson, Kole Connelly, Kian Gunn, Ricco Diack, Richard Van Cruigen.

 

Rangers 9 Partick Thistle 1

Last up was the 2004 fixture on Sunday morning, with a few players away on international duty Rangers squad was supplemented with a couple of 2003’s and five 2005’s.

Rangers had a chance on eleven minutes when Connor Allan latched onto a slack pass across Thistle’s penalty area but the keeper was quick from his line to make the block. Rangers took the lead two minutes later from a soft penalty, Darren McInally passed to Robbie Ure inside the right side of the box and the referee adjudged he was tripped and pointed to the spot which the Rangers striker converted.

Five minutes later it was another penalty, this time a clear award. Matthew Henderson made the pass to Robbie Ure inside the left side of the box and he was brought down, he stepped up and doubled his goals tally. A couple of minutes later Zak Mckay hit the right hand byline, from his low cross Robbie Ure was denied at close range by the keeper but Darren McInally followed up to score.

Just before the half hour mark Leyton Dunlop’s pass allowed Zak McKay to hit the right hand byline from his cross a defender knocked the ball towards goal and the keeper was forced into a save to his right. A couple of minutes later Darren McInally fed Robbie Fraser on the left, Robbie Ure seemed sure to score from the cross but headed just wide of the far post.

Rangers fourth goal soon followed, Jack Harkness winning possession twenty five yards from goal and passing to Leyton Dunlop to his right who broke into the box and shot past the keeper. Four minutes before the break Connor Allan broke into the left side of the penalty area but shot into the side netting.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 Partick Thistle 0

Thistle had an early chance in the second half breaking into the left side of the penalty area with Scott Cowie racing from his line to make the save. Within two minutes the visitors threatened again on the left side of the box with the shot bouncing off the near post.  

Rangers extended their lead on fifty six minutes, Zak Queen passed to Connor Allan on the left and he played the ball across to Leyton Dunlop on the right hand angle of the box and he curled a shot in at the far post. Thistle grabbed a goal on the hour mark, the attack came down the right and the cross found its was beyond the back post where it was fired into the net.

Rangers were soon back on the attack and scored again within a couple of minutes, Leyton Dunlop providing the cross from the left hand angle of the box for Robbie Ure to head home at the back post. A solo run from Connor Allan took him from just inside Thistle half to inside the box where he knocked the ball past the keeper but it bounced of the keeper’s left hand post.

Midway through the half Rangers scored again, from Matthew Henderson’s pass Zak Queen’s dummy setup Darren McInally to shoot past the keeper. Leyton Dunlop then worked a short corner on the left with Darren McInally and from the cross Robbie Ure’s back post header was saved by the keeper.

With nine minutes remaining Robbie Fraser moved the ball forward to Matthew Henderson and he passed to Robbie Ure on the left hand angle of the box, he cut inside and beat the keeper with the aid of a deflection. On the final whistle the ball was played up to Robbie Ure on the edge of the box, went past a defender and again his shot was deflected past the keeper.

Full -Time:- Rangers 9 Partick Thistle 1

Rangers:- Scott Cowie; Zak McKay (Zak Queen 55 mins), Kristian Webster (Adam Forrester 65 mins), Logan Dunnachie, Robbie Fraser;Jack Harkness, Matthew Henderson; Darren McInally; Leyton Dunlop, Robbie Ure, Connor Allan.

Not Used:- Jacob Pazikas (Gk)

Under 18’s Win At Hibs

October 18, 2019

Hibernian 0 Rangers 4

With a development squad game at Huddersfield Town tomorrow morning tonight’s Under 18 lineup was predominately Under 17’s. It took the young Rangers into the second half to make the breakthrough, and after a Jay Hogarth penalty save soon after the result was never in doubt.

The first real effort on goal came on thirteen minutes when Alex Lowry worked along the left hand byline but his shot was saved by Jay Cantlay low to his left. On the half hour mark Alex Lowry picked out Matty Yates’s run in to the left side of the penalty area but Jay Cantlay came from his line to make the block.

Jay Hogarth was called into action a couple of minutes before the break, Steven Elder broke from midway inside Rangers half to the edge of the box and his shot saw Jay Hogarth save low to his left.

Half-Time:- Hibernian 0 Rangers 0

With the hour mark approaching the ball was played into the Hibs box where Alex Lowry laid it back into the path of Chris McKee and his shot from the edge of the box forced Jay Cantlay to tip over. On the hour mark Julian Anderson’s pass sent Matty Yates through the inside left channel but his chip drifted just wide of the far post.

The breakthrough came a couple of minutes later, Robbie Fraser sent a long ball into the Hibs penalty area, where Matty Yates capitalised on a hesitant Hibs defence to fire past the keeper. The home side had a chance to draw level when an attack along the left hand byline was halted by a trip, but Jay Hogarth produced a brilliant save from the spot kick high to his right.

With a quarter hour remaining Rangers doubled their lead, a good passing move ended with Alex Lowry picking out Dire Mebude inside the box and he beat the keeper with a cool finish. Rangers third goal came with nine minutes remaining, the ball was sent out to Ryan Muir on the right and his superb cross was converted with a close range volley from Matty Yates. 

The home side came close to a consolation in the ninetieth minute when a shot from around twenty five yards came back off Jay Hogarth’s right hand post. Two minutes into injury time Rangers completed the scoring. Robbie Fraser sent Matty Yates down the left and he unselfishly rolled the ball across the box for Robbie Ure to net on his Under 18 debut.

Full-Time:- Hibernian 0 Rangers 4

Rangers:- Jay Hogarth; Adam Devine, Lewis McKinnon, Leon King, Matthew Henderson (Robbie Fraser 63 mins); Umaro Balde, Krystof Hempl (Dire Mebude 56 mins); Julian Anderson (Ryan Muir 72mins); Chris McKee (Robbie Ure 82 mins), Matty Yates, Alex Lowry.

Not Used:- Jack McConnell (Gk)

I was struggling to find out the Hibs lineup, but a tweet from Rangers provided it, even if they did say it was Rangers starting XI.

Hibernian:- Jay Cantlay, Callum Wilson. Josh Doig, Jayden Fairley, Josh McCulloch, Jack Furness, ????? Aitken, ????? Williamson, Josh O’Connor, Steven Elder, Josh Weekes.

Subs:- ????? Young, ????? Johnson, ????? Hamilton.

 

Tough Day For 2006’s

October 13, 2019

Motherwell 5 Rangers 1

With five 05’s and two 06’s at The Istria Youth Cup in Croatia with the 2004’s it had an impact on the 2005 and 2006 squads over the weekend. With another three players playing up on Saturday with the 2005’s it meant five 2007’s were included in today’s squad and it was a tough ask for the boys against a bigger and physically stronger Motherwell side.

Yet the Ibrox youngsters got off to a great start with a goal in the second minute, Finlay  Curtis took a short corner on the right and when the ball into the box landed at the feet of Rocco Friel inside the right side of the penalty area his shot looped in at the near post. A quarter of an hour later Rangers struggled to clear a corner from the left and keeper Evan Anderson was forced to block at close range.

Six minutes before the break Sean Phinn broke forward and passed to Ethan Sutherland on the left and he continued into the box but shot straight at the keeper. The second period was six minutes old when the home side drew level, Rangers failed to clear a corner from the right and it was fired past Evan Anderson at close range.

With ten minutes of the period remaining Motherwell attacked on the left and when the ball was crossed into the box their striker got a flick at the near post but was denied when Alfie Halliwell dived to his right to save. Two minutes later the home side took the lead, a corner from the left was headed against the crossbar by a Rangers defender and the rebound was forced over the line.

A few minutes later Rangers fell further behind to a disappointing goal, a free-kick from the left hand angle of the box was struck powerfully enough but slipped through the keeper’s hands and into the net. A minute later Motherwell broke through into the left side of the box but Alfie Haliwell came from his line to make a fine block.

Another attack came down the left and this time it took a fine Zander Hutton challenge to clear for a corner. Rangers were under constant pressure and when ‘Well broke into the left side of the penalty area again the shot came off the far post before being cleared.

The final action of the period saw a free-kick sent into Rangers box from wide right, it was missed by all and Alfie Halliwell seen it late but produced a superb reaction save. Motherwell scored a fourth in the opening minute of the final period, the attack came down the right and when the cross bounced inside the box the striker stooped to head past the keeper.

Alfie Halliwell was called into action again from a free-kick on the edge of the box and left of centre, the Rangers keeper getting down to his right to save. Rangers rallied and when Sean Phinn played a short corner on the right to Ethan Sutherland he went past a defender and into the box with the keeper diving to his right to parry the shot before the ball was scrambled clear.

When Sean Phinn’s next corner from the right was cleared to the edge of the box Grant Leitch’s shot looked net bound until the keeper dived high to his right to produce a superb save. The scoring was completed with a Motherwell attack through the centre,the ball was played left to send the attacker clear to continue into the box and shoot past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Motherwell 5 Rangers 1

Rangers Squad:- Evan Anderson (Gk), Alfie Halliwell (Gk), Zander Hutton, Rocco Friel, Niall Rogerson, ConnorCampbell, Cooper Knox, Leighton Grant, Sean Phinn, Finlay Curtis, Josh Gentles, Ethan Sutherland, Jamie Bradley, Jack Wylie, Grant Leitch.

 

Toothless Against Carlisle

October 8, 2019

 Rangers 1 Carlisle United 2

A toothless display saw Rangers Development squad lose to Carlisle at The Hummel Training Centre this afternoon. With Eros Grezda playing as the main striker and Jamie Barjonas pushed into the front three Rangers rarely looked threatening despite having the bulk of possession.

Yet Rangers missed a great chance to take the lead in the third minute, Jamie Barjonas broke into the right side of the box and when his shot struck Arron Hayden to the surprise of those watching the referee pointed to the spot for a very soft penalty. Eros Gredza stepped up but blazed the spotkick high over the bar. The game had reached the twenty-five minute when Jamie Barjonas worked a short corner on the left with Eros Grezda before breaking into the penalty area but his shot from a narrow angle went across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

A couple of minutes after the half-hour mark a Carlisle corner from the left was headed from the penalty area as far as Stefan Scougall whose cross found Aaron Hayden who headed straight at Andy Firth. Eight minutes before the break Aaron Lyall and Zac Butterworth combined on the right to set up a shooting chance for Greg Docherty but it was straight at Louis Gray who saved comfortably.

The visitors then took the lead just before the break, Eilas Sorensen collected a throw in from Jamie Armstrong inside the right side of the box and turned a defender before shooting past Andy Firth.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Carlisle United 0

The first effort on goal of the second half came on the hour with Arron Lyall passing to Jamie Barjonas on the edge of the box and left of centre but his shot was weak and Louis Gray saved easily. Carlisle missed a great chance ten minutes later, Jamie Armstrong sent Eilas Sorensen down the right, he looked up and played the ball across the penalty area to the unmarked Ryan Loft but he shot tamely wide of the far post.

A minute later Ryan Loft chased a long ball into the left side of the box, it appeared that Lewis McKinnon’s superb challenge had cleared the ball for a corner but the referee pointed to the spot for the second mysterious award of the game and the striker blasted the ball past Andy Firth. The game was in the final ten minutes when Greg Docherty passed to Jamie Barjonas, there seemed little danger but his strike from fully thirty yards gave Louis Gray no chance.

The final chance came at the other end when a Eilas Sorensen solo run took him from halfway into the left side of the box with Andy Firth standing up to make the save.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Carlisle United 2

Rangers:- Andy Firth; Zac Butterworth, Leon King (Alex Lowrie 75 mins), Rhys Breen (Lewis McKinnon 27 mins), Matthew Shiels; Matt Polster, Ben Williamson, Greg Docherty; Arron Lyall (Kane Ritchie-Hosler 75 mins), Eros Grezda, Jamie Barjonas.

Not Used:- Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Murray Miller, Adam Devine, Julian Anderson.

Carlisle United:- Louis Gray; Jamie Armstrong (Keighran Kerr 71 mins), Jarrad Braithwaite, Arron Hayden, John Mellish, Charlie Birch; Canice Carroll, Stefan Scougall (Tom Wilson HT), Taylor Charters; Eilas Sorensen, Ryan Loft.

Not Used:- Liam Lightfoot, Adam Walton

Derby Win For 2006’s

October 6, 2019

Rangers 3 Celtic 1

A fine performance saw Rangers 2006’s record a fine win over a bigger and physically stronger Celtic side. Celtic included two 2005’s in their lineup, normally this would by be players that were smaller in stature but the two included were among the biggest on the pitch.

Celtic had a chance on two minutes but were denied by a fine double save from Sam Kane, their midfielder broke through the centre, the Rangers keeper got down to his left to parry and was quickly back on his feet to block the rebound from the striker at his left hand post. The rest of the period was uneventful in respect of clear chances and the first half-hour ended goalless.

Sam Kane again came to his sides rescue early in the second period, Celtic got to the byline on the right and from the cross the header seemed net bound till Sam Kane dived high to his right and claw the ball away for a brilliant save. He was called in to action again a couple  minutes later diving to his left to save a shot from the edge of the box.

The period was eight minutes old when Rangers took the lead, Crispin McLean in possession on the left hand angle of the box chipped a pass into Rory Wilson who flicked a ball over a defender before shooting across the keeper into the far corner. Rangers held the lead until the midpoint of the period when a short pass back saw Sam Kane bring down the Celtic striker as he tried to round him and the penalty was converted. The period ended with the sides all square.

Rangers regained their lead on seventy-two minutes with another fine goal, Kerr Robertson played the ball forward to Ethan Sutherland who laid the ball back to the midfielder and his twenty-five yarder found the keeper’s top left hand corner despite him getting a hand to it. Celtic threatened following a corner from the left when the ball went back out to the left Evan Anderson was forced to tip the cross over.

Rangers had a great chance to make the game safe with two minutes remaining, when Cooper Knox played the ball forward Rory Wilson challenged with a defender and the ball broke to Ethan Sutherland but he shot just wide of the keeper’s right hand post. But the clinching goal did come in the final minute, Cooper Knox passed to Ethan Sutherland who played the ball to Rory Wilson on the left hand angle of the box, he turned and held off a defender before poking the ball past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Celtic 1

Rangers Squad:- Sam Kane (Gk), Evan Anderson (Gk), Zander Hutton, Rocco Friel, Leighton Grant, Dylan Brown, Sean Phinn, Kerr Robertson, Crispin McLean, Finlay Grant, Rory Wilson, Ethan Sutherland, Jamie Bradley, Niall Rogerson, Cooper Knox, Chris Eadie, Connor Campbell.

UEFA Youth League

October 4, 2019

 Young Boys 3 Rangers 3

Rangers Under 19’s made their debut in the UEFA Youth League on Thursday as a precursor to first team action later the same day. A thrilling draw was the outcome at the Wyler Sportspark in Bern, Rangers will be disappointed to lose a two goal lead but over the ninety minutes a draw was probably the fairest result.

Rangers had an early chance in the third minute from a free-kick on the edge of the box and left of centre, Kai Kennedy beat the defensive wall but Lars Elcher save comfortably low to his left. The Ibrox youngsters suffered a blow on ten minutes when captain and one of the over age players Lewis Mayo picked up an injury and was replaced by Ben Williamson.

They didn’t allow the setback to affect them and took the lead within two minutes, Kai Kennedy in possession on the left  side of the box delayed his pass to allow Ciaran Dickson to hit the byline, from his cross to the far post Dapo Mebude’s header was blocked by the legs of Lars Elcher but Nathan Patterson followed up to slam the ball into the net. Just after the quarter hour mark the ball broke for Benjamin Kabeya and his twenty five yarder beat Lewis Budinauckas high to his right but clipped the junction of bar and post.

Five minutes later Nico Maier broke through the centre of Rangers defence and deep into the penalty area with Lewis Budinauckas coming from his line to make a fine block. Rangers response saw Kai Kennedy go past a defender and to the left hand byline where he cut the ball back to Ciaran Dickon whose shot was saved by Lars Elcher at his near post.

The home side threatened just before the half hour when Joel Ris moved the ball forward to the impressive Nico Maier and his shot from the edge of the box forced Lewis Budinauckas to tip over. Young Boys had another chance before the break with Lewin Blum attacking the right side of the box and when the ball broke for Samuel Ballet, Lewis Budinauckas blocked the shot with a foot at his near post.

Half-Time:- Young Boys 0 Rangers 1

The sides were level before the second half reached the fifth minute, Samuel Ballet in possession outside the left side of the penalty area laid the ball back to Samuel Kasongo on the angle and he cut inside before firing a shot into the keeper’s top right hand corner. Within four minutes Rangers had restored their lead, Kai Kennedy worked a short corner on the left by exchanging passes with Dapo Mebude and from his centre Danny Finlayson poked the ball into the far corner.

A similar period had elapsed when Rangers increased their lead with a stunning strike, Kai Kennedy won the ball inside Young Boys half and laid it back to Ben Williamson, from his pass forward Ciaran Dickson took a touch before giving Lars Elcher no chance from around twenty-five yards. 

With the game now inside the final twenty minutes Samuel Ballet passed to Gabriele De Donno on the right, his ball into the box broke to Nico Maier on the edge of the six yard box but he scooped his shot wide of the far post. Samuel Ballet was again the provider a minute later teeing up Breston Malula but Lewis Budinauckas comfortably saved the shot from distance.

Within a couple of minutes of coming on Mischa Eberhard made an impact racing into the left side of the box on a through ball and shooting across Lewis Budinauckas and into the far corner. The home side were now looking for the equaliser and when Breston Malula played Nico Maier into the left side of the box Lewis Budinackas was forced to save at the near post.

Rangers were still a threat and when Dapo Mebude and James Maxwell combined on the left to carve out a shooting chance for Ben Williamson the midfielder shot wide of the far post. Back to the other end and when the ball broke to Jonathan De Donno on the edge of the box a deflection took it over. From the resultant corner on the left Breston Malula rose to power a header against Rangers crossbar.

Just when it looked like Rangers had done enough and the clock ticking deep into injury time a long through from the right was flicked on at the near post and converted at close range by Gabriele De Donno.

Rangers should get over the disappointment for the return tie at Firhill on 23rd October with the slight advantage of three away goals. Unfortunately I will be travelling to the Europa League game in Porto and won’t make the game.

Full Time:- Young Boys 3 Rangers 3

Young Boys:- Lars Elcher; Lewin Blum (Gabriele De Donno 61 mins), Sadin Crnovsanin, Simon Geiger, Joel Bischsel; Benjamin Kabeya, Breston Malula; Joel Ris ( Jonathan De Donno 61 mins), Nico Maier, Samuel Kasongo (Mischa Eberhard (73 mins); Samuel Ballet (Marc Jenni 90 mins)

Not Used:- Leandro Zbinden (Gk), Aurele Amenda, Fabiano Pereira.

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Nathan Patterson (Zac Butterworth 88 mins), Danny Finlayson, Rhys Breen, James Maxwell; Murray Miller, Lewis Mayo (Ben Williamson 10 mins); Ciaran Dickson; Dapo Mebude, Nathan Young-Coombes (Arron Lyall 88 mins), Kai Kennedy.

Not Used:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Kyle McClelland, Chris McKee, Kane Ritchie-Hosler.