Archive for November, 2019

2004’s Put Eight Past Wigan

November 30, 2019

Rangers 8 Wigan Athletic 0

Rangers U16’s bounced back from their first defeat of the year against Hibs on Wednesday to put eight goals past Wigan Athletic at The Hummel Training Centre this morning. The Championship side were no match for the Rangers youngsters who went in at the break with a two goal lead and ran away with the game in the second half.

Rangers took the lead on the quarter hour mark when Jack Harkness in possession on the left passed to Robbie Ure inside the box, he turned past a defender before poking the ball past the keeper. Four minutes later Charlie Lindsay picked on Dire Mebude breaking into the right side of the box and a great first touch teed him up for a shot which Owen Mooney saved.

The game settled down for a period and the next clear chance came eleven minutes before the break, Dire Mebude progressed along the left hand byline before cutting the ball back for Robbie Ure whose shot was cleared from the line by Adam Brooks. A minute later Dire Mebude tried his luck from around twenty-five yards but the shot was straight at Owen Mooney.

With half-time approaching Charlie Lindsay attacked on the right and his cross was headed goalwards by the Rangers trialist but was deflected wide of the keeper’s left hand post. A minute before the break Charlie Lindsay picked out the Trialist just inside the box and he knocked the ball past the advancing keeper before firing into the net.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Wigan Athletic 0

The second half was only four minutes old when Rangers grabbed a third, Dire Mebude inside the right side of the penalty area fired a shot across goal with Adam Forrester converting at the back post. Just after the hour mark Zak Queen and Dire Mebude combined to setup a shooting chance for the Trialist that substitute keeper Thomas Watson saved.

Rangers added a fourth before the hour mark, Charlie Lindsay played a short corner on the left to Robbie Ure who went past a defender into the box before shooting past the keeper. The visitors hadn’t carried much of a threat but a great turn from Kian Monks allowed him to break to the left hand byline but with a cutback looking the better option he shot into the side netting.

Rangers added a fifth around the half’s midpoint, the ball was played forward on the right where Leyton Dunlop hooked the ball into the box where Dire Mebude nodded past the keeper. The heads were down in the Wigan ranks and Rangers scored again with ten minutes remaining, Leyton Dunlop provided the pass that sent Robbie Ure through the inside right channel, he continued into the box and dinked the ball past the keeper.

The visitor’s responded with a break from Dan Smith down the right, his cutback picked out Adam Brooks who sidestepped a defender before shooting narrowly over. A fine passing move led to a seventh Rangers goal, Zak McKay, Gavin Gallagher and Robbie Ure were involved before Charlie Lindsay provided the pass inside the box for Leyton Dunlop to shoot past the keeper.

Number eight soon followed when keeper Thomas Watson saved Robbie Ure’s initial shot but was left helpless as the Rangers striker followed up to net from the rebound. Yet the final chance of the game came for Wigan, Kristian Knowles in possession on the left hand angle of the box passed inside to Adam Brooks and his shot forced Jacob Pazikas to save low to his right.

Full-Time:- Rangers 8 Wigan Athletic 0

Rangers:- Jack McConnell (Jacob Pazikas 69 mins); Zak McKay, Connor Allan, Logan Dunachie, Jack Harkness; Mackenzie Strachan; Charlie Lindsay, Gavin Gallagher; Dire Mebude, Robbie Ure, Trialist.

Subs (Used on a rotational basis):- Adam Forrester, Leyton Dunlop, Zak Queen.

Wigan Athletic :- Owen Mooney (Thomas Watson HT); Dan Smith, Charlie Hughes, Luca ?????, JoeWinstanley; Arthur Lomax, Luke Marriot, Chris Sze, Adam Brooks; Kristian Knowles (Harry Forshaw), Kian Monks (Kristian Knowles).

2004’s Win Again

November 20, 2019

Rangers 5 Motherwell 0

Rangers 2004’s (Under 16’s) followed up there recent five goal win over Motherwell with a similar win over the same opponents at The Hummel Training Centre tonight.

The young ‘Gers took the lead as early as the third minute, Robbie Ure passed the ball to Dire Mebude on the right and his cross was volleyed past the keeper by Connor Allan from the edge of the six yard box. The lead was doubled before the quarter hour mark, Dire Mebude’s free-kick from the edge of the box beat the keeper with the aid of a deflection.

Motherwell’s reply was an attack into the left side of the penalty area but the shot was wide of the far post. Within a minute Rangers lost possession and it allowed Motherwell a chance from the edge of the box but  the shot was just wide of Jack McConnell’s left hand post.

Another Motherwell attack into the left side of the penalty saw Jack McConnell stand up to make the save at the near post. Rangers were soon back on the attack and when Mackenzie Strachan passed to Jack Harkness on the left, he moved the ball forward to Connor Allan who picked out Gavin Gallagher inside the left side of the penalty area but he shot over.

Rangers next chance came when Robbie Ure latched on to a slack back pass, he went past a defender but when the goalkeeper advanced from his line he shot wide of the right hand post. On the stroke of half-time Jack Harkness was on the end of a move inside the left side of the box, the keeper blocked his shot from a tight angle and he reacted to block Dire Mebude’s effort from the rebound.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Motherwell 0

Rangers increased their lead early in the second half, Dire Mebude won possession and exchanged passes with Robbie Ure before advancing into the box and shooting past the keeper. Before the hour mark Rangers scored a fourth, Darren McInally provided the pass to send Dire Mebude through the inside right channel and he chipped the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net.

Motherwell came close to a goal twenty minutes into the second half, the shot from the edge of the box beat Jack McConnell high to his right but bounced off junction of bar and post. The scoring was completed with eighteen minutes remaining, Zak Queen was the provider on this occasion with Leyton Dunlop collecting the pass continuing into the box and shooting past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Motherwell 0

Rangers:- Jack McConnell; Zak McKay, Adam Forrester, Logan Dunchie, Jack Harkness; Darren McInally, Mackenzie Strachan; Connor Allan; Dire Mebude (Leyton Dunlop 61 mins), Robbie Ure, Gavin Gallagher (Zak Queen).

Not Used:- Jacob Pazikas (Gk)

Motherwell Lineup (Which I only got after the event)

Matthew Wallace, Ryan Mulholland, Ewan Wilson, Kyle Semple, Luke Hamilton, Ben Mahoney, Joe McPake, Callum Scott, Jamie Lapsley, Daniel Hunter, Kian Spiers

Subs:- Robbie Hunstone, Reece Fleming, Jay Miller, Jack Scanlan, Jamie Grant, Ryan Crawley, Callum Baird.

 

Rangers Colts In Irish League ?

November 19, 2019

Could the headline be a realistic possibility ?

Linfield v Rangers Colts, Cliftonville v Rangers Colts, Crusaders v Rangers Colts, Colraine v Rangers Colts, Ballymena v Rangers Colts.

The recent Challenge Cup games against Ballymena, Solihull Moors and Wrexham has ignited renewed discussion on Rangers forums on how players can progress from “Youth” to “First Team” players, and it has got me thinking.

There was a proposal to Scottish League One and Two clubs with regards “colt” teams playing in the lower leagues. Not one of the twenty clubs voted in favour of the proposal, and an alternative proposal for a Division Three, with Lowland League and Highland League clubs joining Colt teams received only the support of Albion Rovers. 

Berwick Rangers gave the proposal a “guarded welcome before consulting their supporters. A route also followed by Stenhousemuir and Elgin City, with Stenhousemuir confirming their decision as their supporter’s were “unanimously against it.”

The loudest voice against the proposal was Peterhead manager Jim McInally, here a few things he had to say.

‘Peterhead manager Jim McInally has revealed Celtic’s head of youth could not list a single benefit for League Two clubs if Old Firm colt teams join the league.’

‘McInally said: “In my opinion the experiment of under-20 sides in the Challenge Cup has failed miserably both in terms of crowds and results. That should be stopped and the idea of colt teams in the league should be kicked out as well. “It is not up to the likes of Peterhead to help develop players en masse for Celtic, Rangers or other clubs. That is their responsibility. It is not Peterhead’s issue that other clubs find themselves saturated with players and they are trying to find something meaningful to do with them.”’

With that proposal requiring a 75% vote it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Could joining the Irish League structure be a viable alternative ? Obviously they would have to join at an agreed level, but in the fullness of time Rangers Colts, playing at Windsor, Solitude, The Oval, Seaview and The Showgrounds could be a reality and an attraction.

The top Irish League teams are certainly at a higher level than League Two and most of League One in Scotland. Rangers were perhaps a touch fortunate to beat a much changed Ballymena side in the Challenge Cup. Starting at a lower tier would be a similar standard to the Lowland and Highand Leagues that was proposed.

A similar proposal of playing all games away from home and  a guarantee of 250 tickets sales at £10 would be an attraction to the Irish League clubs. The current profile of the league would be increased by a massive scale and sponsorship opportunities would also provide increased income.

Should our friends across the city join the proposal, the prospect of Rangers Colts v Celtic Colts at Ballymena Showgrounds or Solitude would by a major attraction. And with these games being played at a different ground around the league each time, increasing exposure across the province. Maybe even in the a few years one of these games could be played at Brandywell.

Could it be possible ? It would obviously have to cross a lot of hurdles, the clubs, IFA, SFA and probably Uefa. But colt teams in the Scottish League is not going to happen anytime soon. So should be looked at as a method of increasing the competitiveness of games for our young players.

Sunday Youth Update

November 17, 2019

Following on from the colts game at Ibrox it was a double header at The Hummel Training Centre today. First up was the 2004’s (U14’s) game against Hearts in the morning, followed by the 2006’s (U15’s) clash with Hibernian in the afternoon.

 Rangers 6 Hearts 0

The first real chance came for Rangers in the twelfth minute, Rocco Friel broke forward from defence and passed to Crispin McLean who broke in to the left side of the box but was denied when the keeper dived to his left to produce a fine save. Just before the twenty minute mark Rangers took the lead, Finlay Curtis was tackled in the act of shooting inside the right side of the penalty area but the ball broke to Kerr Robertson who shot past the keeper.

With five minutes of the period remaining Rangers doubled their lead, Crispin McLean providing the pass that sent Rory Wilson clear to chip the advancing keeper. Rangers grabbed a third just before the period ended, a superb Kerr Robertson pass picked out Rory Wilson inside the left side of the box and he controlled the ball before shooting past the keeper.

Rangers had the ball in the net towards the end of the second period, the ball moved from Rory Wilson through Kerr Robertson to Finlay Curtis, the keeper dived to his left to parry the shot with Rory Wilson on hand to net the rebound but he was adjudged offside. A fourth goal did come before the period end, a through ball sending Crispin McLean into the left side of the penalty area where he shot past the keeper.

Rangers fifth goal came when Cooper Knox took a quick free-kick and played it out to Finlay Curtis on the right and his low cross was converted by Zander Hutton at close range. Just after the final period turn around Hearts had a chance when a cross into Rangers box broke to an attacker but he shot straight at Sam Kane.

The scoring was completed inside the final five minutes, Jamie Bradley providing the pass to Duncan Barlow on the right hand angle of the box and he found the net via the inside of the near post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Hearts 0

Rangers Squad:- Evan Anderson (Gk), Sam Kane (Gk), Zander Hutton, Niall Rogerson, Rocco Friel, Dylan Brown, Kerr Robertson, Cooper Knox, Sean Phinn, Finlay Curtis, Rory Wilson, Crispin McLean, Jamie Bradley, Leyton Grant, Duncan Barlow.

 

Rangers 4 Hibernian 3

In the Under 16 game in the afternoon the scoreline suggested a tighter game that it actually was, missed chances and a couple of poorly conceded goals restricted the margin between the sides.

Rangers had an early chance from a Dire Mebude shot from the edge of the box that Murray Johnstone saved low to his left. Hibs reply was a Brodie Watt pass that sent Josh O’Connor into the right side of the box but he shot wide of the far post.

Before the game had reached ten minutes Robbie Ure played in Dire Mebude on the left side of the box but he was again denied by Murray Johnstone making the save. The deadlock was broken just before the quarter hour, Robbie Ure picking the ball up, breaking forward and giving the keeper no chance from around twenty-five yards.

Rangers had another chance within a couple of minutes, Zak McKay breaking down the right and from his cross Connor Allan headed narrowly over. With the midpoint of the half approaching Connor Allan broke on the left before passing inside to Dire Mebude who forced another save from Murray Johnstone.

The visitor’s then had a good spell, Josh O’Connor winning possession and testing Jack McConnell with a shot from the edge of the box that the Rangers keeper saved. Within minutes Innes Lawson’s pass allowed Josh O’Connor to break into the left side of the box, Jack McConnell dived to his left to parry the shot with Robbie Hamilton firing the rebound against the bar.

The game hadn’t reached the half hour when Connor Young sent a free-kick from wide right towards the back post, Jack McConnell was at full stretch to make a brave save to touch the ball on to the bar as he crashed against the post. Rangers recovered from that spell to double their lead five minutes before the break, Mackenzie Strachan passed to Connor Allan inside the left side of the penalty area, he showed great control before shooting across the keeper into the far corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Hibernian 0

Rangers looked sure to increase their lead five minutes into the second half, Robbie Ure sending Dire Mebude through but he shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post. Just after the hour mark Hibs reduced the deficit from the penalty spot, Josh O’Connor attacked the left side of Rangers box and was tripped by Logan Dunachie, Connor Young scoring from the spot.

Within two minutes Rangers restored their two goal advantage, Connor Allan in possession inside the right side of the box cut the ball back to Dire Mebude around the penalty spot and he shot past the keeper. Goals were coming at regular intervals during this period of the game and Rangers fourth was a superb effort. Leyton Dunlop exchanged passes with Connor Allan on the left hand angle of the box before curling a shot into the far top corner.

With twenty minutes remaining Jack McConnell miscued a punch on a corner from the left and the ball dropped into the net for an Own Goal. With the game now in the final quarter hour a concerted Rangers attack was cleared from the penalty area to Jack Harkness outside the left side of the box and his shot clipped the cross bar. Within a minute the ball was moved from Robbie Ure on the right via Dire Mebude across the box to Zak Queen, his shot bounced down off the underside of the bar and appeared to have crossed the line but the referee waved play on.

Dire Mebude then survived a couple challenges inside the box to get a shot away the Murray Johnstone saved and the keeper reacted to block Gavin Gallagher’s effort from the rebound. With three minutes remaining Brodie Watt shot from around twenty five yards and left of centre which Jacob Pazikas was forced to tip over. Robbie Hamilton took the resultant corner and it seemed to evade everyone as it went in at the back post.

Hibs push for an equaliser never materialised and it was Rangers who missed a couple of injury time chances. Mackenzie Strachan provided the pass to Robbie Ure inside the right side of the box with Murray Johnstone saving.  Dire Mebude then broke down the right before passing inside to Robbie Ure with the keeper diverting his shot wide of his left hand post.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Hibernian 3

Rangers:- Jack McConnell (Jacob Pazikas 79 mins); Zak McKay, Kristian Webster (Adam Forrester 64 mins), Logan Dunachie, Jack Harkness; Darren McInally (Gavin Gallagher 64 mins), Mackezie Strachan; Connor Allan; Leyton Dunlop (Zak Queen 64 mins), Robbie Ure, Dire Mebude.

Hibernian:- Murray Johnstone; Josh McCulloch, Jacob Blaney, Mackenzie Weir, Finn McArthur; Innes Lawson; Connor Young, Robbie Hamilton, Freddie Wylie, Brodie Watt; Josh O’Connor.

Subs:- Oscar McIntyre, Ethan Laidlaw, Harry Brash.

Colts Make Semi Finals

November 16, 2019

Rangers 2 Wrexham 0

Rangers Colts produced a fine performance to comfortably beat National League side Wrexham at Ibrox today and reach The Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup Semi Finals. The surprise inclusion of George Edmundson and Jon Flannagan bolstered the defence and provided much needed game time for the first team squad players. While Wrexham with an eye on Tuesday’s FA Cup replay at Rochdale changed their entire starting eleven.

Rangers were first to threaten on eight minutes when Kai Kennedy passed to Ciaran Dickson on the right side of the box with Christian Dibble saving the shot at the second attempt. On twenty-six minutes Serge Atakayi in possession on the left laid the ball back to Lewis Mayo whose shot from the left side of the penalty area was just wide of the far post.

The visitor’s first threatened just before the half hour mark when the ball broke to Leighton McIntosh on the right hand angle of the box and his shot forced Kieran Wright to dive to his right to parry. Rangers then suffered a blow when Nathan Patterson had to be replaced by Nathan Young-Coombes, which meant a reshuffle to the lineup.

On thirty four minutes a cross into Rangers penalty area from the right broke to Kyle Robinson-Murray who shot over. Rangers capitalised by taking the lead, James Maxwell lost possession but quickly won it back outside the left side of the box and slipped a pass through to Jamie Barjonas who shot across the keeper and into the far corner.

Five minutes before the break a great Kai Kennedy run took him past a couple of defenders to the left hand byline, his cross found its way to Jon Flanagan on the edge of the right side of the box and his shot brought out a save from Christian Dibble.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Wrexham 0

Rangers had an early chance after the break, Serge Atakayi sent Ciaran Dickson down the right and from his cross Christian Dibble thwarted Nathan Young-Coombes at the near post. Rangers doubled their lead with just under twenty minutes remaining, Christian Dibble spilled Jamie Barjonas’s shot from the edge of the box and Nathan Young-Coombes reacted quickest to fire the loose ball into the net.

Wrexham responded immediately with Leighton McIntosh firing in a powerful twenty-five yarder but it was straight at Kieran Wright who saved comfortably. With four minutes remaining Kai Kennedy passed to Jon Flanagan on the right and he moved the ball on to Arron Lyall who broke into the box and fired a shot that tested Christian Dibble.

The final chance came from a Kai Kennedy run from halfway but when he reached the edge of the box his shot was weak and Christian Dibble saved easily.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Wrexham 0

Rangers:- Kieran Wright; Nathan Patterson (Nathan Young-Coombes 31 mins), George Edmundson, Rhys Breen, Jon Flanagan; Lewis Mayo; Ciaran Dickson (Zac Butterworth 87 mins), Jamie Barjonas; James Maxwell, Serge Atakayi (Arron Lyall 77 mins), Kai Kennedy.

Not Used:- Lewis Budinauckas (Gk), Ben Williamson, Harris O’Connor, Murray Miller.

Wrexham:- Christian Dibble; Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Douglas Tharme, Michael Chambers, Bobby-Joe Beaumont-Broadhead; Max Cleworth; Kyle Robinson-Murray (Jacob Bickerstaff 60 mins) , Devonte Redmond, Mathew Jones (Calum Huxley 80 mins); Leighton McIntosh; Jason Oswell.

Not Used:- Dawid Szczepaniak (Gk), Jac Humphreys, Lewis Parry, Jamie Nash

 

Thistle Hit For Six

November 15, 2019

Rangers 6 Partick Thistle 0

With the Carmel Wafer Challenge Cup game against Wrexham tomorrow afternoon only Adam Devine and Leon King from last weekend’s Youth Cup side started against Partick Thistle in tonight’s Under 18 game. Despite the changes Thistle were no  match for the young Rangers side who ran out comfortable winners.

Yet it was the visitors who threatened first on four minutes, the attack took them into the left side of the penalty area and Jay Hogarth was forced to tip the shot over. When the resultant corner from the left was cleared back to the taker he tried to catch out Jay Hogarth with an audacious shot to the near post that the Rangers keeper had to look sharp to save.

Rangers capitalised by taking the lead on seven minutes, Matthew Henderson played the ball forward and after an initial good first touch Matty Yates miscued his shot, but the ball fell for Ross McCausland who shot into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner. Rangers came close on the quarter hour mark, Matthew Henderson played the ball up to Matty Yates and a great turn saw him break into the left side of the penalty area but he shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Rangers doubled their lead four minutes later from the penalty spot. Adam Devine and Ross McCausland combined to send Umaro Balde to the right hand byline inside the box where he was tripped, the referee awarded a penalty from which Alex Lowry did his usual competent job. Thistle came close to reducing the deficit just before the break, the left-back latched on to a loose ball and his effort from fully thirty yards bounced off Jay Hogarth’s right hand post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Partick Thistle 0

Rangers scored a third two minutes after the break, Adam Devine exchanged passes with Umaro Balde to break on the right, he cut the ball back to Alex Lowry who moved the ball onto Matty Yates inside the left side of the penalty area and he shot back across the keeper and in off the far post. With the game inside the last twenty minutes Alex Lowry provided the pass for Ross McCausland to break into the left side of the box but his shot went across the face of goal and wide.

A minute later Robbie Fraser switched the ball to Ryan Muir on the right, he played the ball forward to Adam Devine, his cutback picked out Ross McCausland whose shot bounced off the keeper’s right hand post. The fourth goal eventually came on seventy-four minutes, a good passing move ended with a low Ryan Muir cross that the keeper should have dealt with but he allowed the ball to run past him to present Ross McCausland with a tap in.

The same combination produced the next chance, Ryan Muir’s cutback from the right picking out Ross McCausland but on this occasion he was denied by a fine save by the keeper at his left hand post. Rangers were now creating chances at will and scored a fifth with three minutes remaining, Dire Mebude was the provider passing inside from the right side of the box to Alex Lowry who shot past the keeper.

The scoring was complete as the game entered injury time, Robbie Fraser played the ball forward and Alex Lowry’s superb flick sent Connor Allan racing clear on the left, he looked up and picked out Ross McCausland who completed his hat-trick with a cool finish past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 Partick Thistle 0

Rangers:- Jay Hogarth; Adam Devine, Lewis Mackinnon, Leon King, Matthew Henderson (Robbie Fraser 62 mins); Cole McKinnon (Ryan Muir 62 mins); Umaro Balde, Alex Lowry; Ross McCausland, Matty Yates (Dire Mebude 71 mins), Julian Anderson (Connor Allan 79 mins).

Not Used:- Jack McConnell (Gk).

Double Over Hibs

November 9, 2019

A blank Saturday for the first team meant I could take in a youth double header at The Hummel Training Centre. A morning kick-off for the 2005’s (Under 15’s) followed by an early afternoon kick-off  for the 2007’s (Under 13’s), both against their Hibernian counterparts.

Rangers 3 Hibernian 2

It has been a tough time for this group recently and that was evident in a first half where they obviously were lacking a bit of confidence. The second-half saw a superb performance turn things around to deservedly record a confidence boosting win.

Rangers fell behind as early as the fourth minute, Hibs attack on the right took them to the byline, when the ball was centred it broke kindly for the striker who scored from the edge of the six yard box. Just before the twenty minute an exchange of passes involving Trialist No.10 and Richard Van Cruigen ended with Zak Queen’s through ball into the right side of the penalty area where the keeper saved bravely at Ricco Diack’s feet.

The visitors doubled their lead on twenty-five minutes, a through ball in the inside right channel saw their striker race clear to shoot past Jakob Pazikas. Five minutes before the break Zak Queen broke forward leaving two defenders in his wake but his shot was straight at the keeper.

In first half injury time Zak McKay hit the right hand byline and his cutback picked out Trialist No.10 but he shot just wide of the near post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Hibernian 2

Rangers threatened early in the second half with Zak McKay attacking the right side of the box, he passed to Tiaman Scott who turned a defender but was denied by a fine save at the near post. The Hibs keeper excelled again five minutes later, Elliot Dunlop crossed from the right for Ryan Murray to volley goalwards but the keeper saved at point blank range.

Rangers were now creating chances and when Ryan Murray fed the overlapping Trialist No.3 he broke into the left side of the box before shooting straight at the keeper. With twenty-five minutes remaining the ball was cleared from the Hibs box as far as Elliot Dunlop and his drive forced the keeper to tip over. The resultant corner from the right was played short and from Elliot Dunlop’s cross Brodie Kerr netted at close range.

A minute later Tiaman Scott laid the ball back to Elliot Dunlop on the right and from his cross Ryan Murray headed over. Hibs showed they were still a threat and when the ball was played to  their striker on the edge of the box a great turn created the space for the shot that bounced off the crossbar.

With eleven minutes remaining the young ‘Gers drew level, from a free-kick on the edge of the box and left of centre Zak Queen stepped up to fire the ball past the wall and keeper. Less than five minutes later Rangers grabbed what proved to be the winner. The Trialist No 10 played the ball out to Zak McKay on the right, his cross was headed against the bar by a defender and the ball dropped at the back post for Ryan Murray to slam into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Hibernian 2

Rangers Squad:- Jacob Pazikas (Gk), Scott Cowie (Gk), Zak McKay, Adam Forrester, Kristian Webster, Trialist No 3, Callum Sandilands, Trialist No 10, Gavin Gallagher, Zak Queen, Ricco Diack, Richard Van Cruigen, Brodie Kerr, Ryan Murray, Elliot Dunlop, Tiaman Scott.

 

Rangers 2 Hibernian 0

Next up was the under 13’s clash, an entertaining and fairly even game saw the visitors create the early chances, with Rangers growing into the game and eventually taking the lead before sealing a deserved win.

Hibs had a chance in the opening minute with an attack deep into the right side of Rangers penalty area and it took a fine save from Grieg Thackray, diving to his right to turn the ball over. The game hadn’t reached the twenty minute mark when a risky pass across the eighteen yard box presented Hibs with a chance and Greig Thackray again excelled saving the shot with his foot. 

Rangers first chance came from a Grant Marchant pass to Harry Weir inside the left side of the box but he shot straight at the keeper. On twenty-five minutes a Hibs corner from the right was headed back across goal and headed over.

The visitors had a chance early in the second half when they broke into the penalty area and Greig Thackray was forced to save low to his left. Rangers came close just after the midpoint of the second period, Josh Gentles firing a free-kick left of centre and on the edge of the box off the crossbar.

In Rangers next attack Lewis Stewart broke into the left side of the box and forced a save from the keeper, with a defender clearing the loose ball over the bar. The striker was to come even closer in Rangers next chance. Fed by Frankie Aitchison, Lewis Stewart cut along the left hand byline where he squeezed the ball past the keeper but a defender cleared from the line.

Rangers were pushing for the break through and when the ball was cleared to the left hand angle of the box Lewis Stewart tested the keeper at his near post. With twelve minutes remaining Rangers pressure told, a through ball sent Connor Campbell clear on the left, he continued into the box before playing the ball across goal for Jayden Fitzpatrick to net at the back post.

The win was secured with two minutes remaining, the ball was played out to Jayden Fitzpatrick on the right, he passed to Lewis Stewart inside the box where he cut inside a defender and shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Hibernian 0

Rangers Squad:- Greig Thackray (Gk), Alfie Halliwell (Gk), Jace McCulloch, Leo Fisher, Kenzie McLelland, Connor Campbell, Callum Adamson, Grant Marchant, Harry Weir, Jayden Fitzpatrick, Josh Gentles, Arran Kerr, Jack Wylie, Lyall Wark, Duncan Barlow, Frankie Aitchison, Lewis Stewart.

Footnote:- The first period was cut short and there was around a fifteen minute delay. This was to allow treatment to a young Rangers player who sustained an injury, he was treated on the pitch before being taken to hospital. Hopefully all is well and he is back playing soon.

Two Goal Lead For 19’s

November 6, 2019

Rangers 2 Slovan Bratislava 0

A dominant performance from Rangers Under 19’s saw them establish a two goal lead to take to Slovakia in three weeks time. Apart from a bright opening ten minutes from the visitors the young ‘Gers were in control throughout and if there was a disappointment it was the fact that they could and probably should be going into the second leg with a bigger lead.

After an even early period the first shot on goal came in the eighth minute, Kai Kennedy broke from deep inside his own half and sent Dapo Mebude down the left. He took advantage of a slip from Alexander Toth to cut inside and test Martin Trnovsky with a shot from the edge of the box that the keeper saved low to his right. Midway through the half a clearance was picked up by Nathan Patterson and his shot from the right hand angle of the box was saved by Martin Trnovsky low to his left.

The Ibrox youngsters took the lead on twenty seven minutes, Lewis Mayo passed to Kai Kennedy wide on the left, he went past Radovan Valentin into the left side of the penalty area and his low shot come cross was converted at the back post by Dapo Mebude. A few minutes beyond the half hour some good play from Ciaran Dickson inside the left side of the penalty area ended with a pass to Dapo Mebude, a great turn allowed him to get his shot away with Martin Trovsky saving at his near post.

A minute later Nathan Young-Coombes lost possession on the left which allowed Alexander Toth to get a cross in which bounced on the top of Lewis Budinauckas’s crossbar. A minute later a short pass back put Lewis Budinauckas under pressure but the Rangers keeper got there just before Denis Potoma and the danger was cleared.

Martin Trnovsky again came to his side’s rescue on the stroke of half-time. Kai Kennedy and Nathan Young-Coombes combined to carve out a chance deep inside the right side of Slovan’s box with the keeper denying Nathan Young-Coombes at close range.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Slovan Bratislava 0

Rangers doubled their lead early in the second half, Kai Kennedy worked a short corner with Dapo Mebude before crossing for Nathan Young-Coombes to head against the crossbar, the ball seemed to cross the line off keeper Martin Trnovsky but Rhys Breen was on hand to make sure. Rangers next chance came when Dapo Mebude went past a defender on the right and sent Nathan Young-Coombes racing into the right side of the box with Martin Trnovsky saving bravely at the striker’s feet.

With game on the seventieth minute mark Denis Potoma passed to Samuel Lavrincik and his powerful twenty five yarder had Lewis Budinauckas stretching to clutch under his crossbar. Rangers reply was a Kai Kennedy pass sending James Maxwell breaking into the left side of the box but he was denied by Martin Trnovsky. Some good play from Ben Williamson took him to the edge of the box where the ball broke for Dapo Mebude but again Rangers were thwarted by the excellent Martin Trnovsky,

Yet it was an injury time Lewis Budinaukas injury time save that could prove the most significant, stretching to tip over Samuel Lavrincik’s effort after he broke into the right side of the penalty area. Thus ensuring Rangers take a two goal lead and a clean sheet to Slovakia.

Full -Time:- Rangers 2 Slovan Bratislava 0

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Nathan Patterson, Danny Finlayson, Rhys Breen, James Maxwell; Murray Miller (Ben Williamson 72 mins), Lewis Mayo; Ciaran Dickson; Nathan Young-Coombes (Arron Lyall 72 mins), Dapo Mebude, Kai Kennedy.

Not Used:- Jay Hogarth (Gk), Zac Butterworth, Harris O’Connor, Chris McKee, Leon King.

Slovan Bratislava:- Martin Trnovsky; Radovan Valentin, Juraj Lacko, Samuel Habodasz, Alexander Toth; Samuel Lavrincik, Filip Lichy; Gabriel Hornyk, Denis Potoma (Pablo Valis Polonyi), Matej Rosenberger (Matej Sabados); Adam  Matos (Roman Cerepkai)

Not Used:- Branislav Chudik (Gk), Samuel Orsag, Daniel Floris, Jakob Lieskovsky.

Routine Win For 18’s

November 1, 2019

Rangers 4 St.Johnstone 0

Tonight’s game highlighted the strength of Rangers Under 18’s squad with a routine win over St.Johnstone. The visitors held out till just before the break but once Matty Yates made the breakthrough the result was never in doubt.

Rangers came close in the opening minute when Matty Yates passed to Kane Ritchie-Hosler on the left side of the box and his shot was tipped wide of the far post. Barely a minute later Ryan Muir passed to Arron Lyall on the right, he cut into the penalty area and laid the ball back to Alex Lowrie but his shot was just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Just before the quarter hour mark Kane Ritchie-Hosler switched play from the left to Arron Lyall inside the right side of the penalty area, he held the ball up and sent Ryan Muir to the byline who flashed the ball across the six yard box with no takers. A couple of minutes later Murray Miller passed to Matty Yates who burst into the right side of the box with the keeper saving at his near post.

Saints threatened for the first time with a header from a corner on the left with Jay Hogarth diving to his left to save. Only a superb Jay Hogarth save just beyond the half-hour prevented St.Johnstone taking the lead. With Rangers failing to take a couple of opportunities to clear, the attacker throught he had picked his spot in the corner but the Rangers keeper dived to his left to touch the ball wide.

Rangers took the lead a minute before the break,  a push on Murray Miller conceded a free-kick on the edge of Saints box and left of centre, Matty Yates stepped up to fire an unstoppable shot into the keeper’s top left hand corner.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 St.Johnstone 0

Rangers had an early chance after the break, Murray Miller won the ball and passed to Chris McKee inside the left side of the penalty area but the keeper saved. The second goal was only delayed two minutes Aaron Lyall’s shot from close to the right hand byline was fumbled by the keeper with Kane Ritchie-Hosler on hand to knock in the rebound.

Rangers next chance came when Alex Lowry’s ball over the Saints defence allowed Chris McKee to break into the left side of the box but he screwed his shot wide of the near post. Rangers third came just after the hour from the penalty spot, Kane Ritchie-Hosler fed Chris McKee inside the left side of the penalty area where he was brought down, Alex Lowry made is usual confident job from the spot.

Ten minutes later Kane Ritchie-Hosler provided the pass for Chris McKee to break into the right side of the box but he shot wide of the far post. Rangers next chance came from a Connor Allan run on the left, his cross was cleared to the edge of the box where Chris McKee fired just over.

The fourth goal came at the end of a good passing move when Kane Ritchie-Hosler’s pass sent Julian Anderson through, the keeper advanced from his line to make the block but the Rangers midfielder found the net from the loose ball.

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 St.Johnstone 0

Rangers:- Jay Hogarth; Ryan Muir (Adam Devine 69 mins), Kyle McClelland, Harris O’Connor, Matthew Henderson; Murray Miller (Cole McKinnon 59 mims); Julian Anderson, Alex Lowry (Leon King 69mins); Arron Lyall (Connor Allan 69 mins), Matty Yates (Chris McKee HT), Kane Ritchie-Hosler.

Not Used:- Grant  Thackray (Gk)