Archive for March, 2020

Dundee United Double Header

March 8, 2020

Saturday gave me the opportunity to take in a double header against Dundee United at the Rangers Training Centre. First up was the 2008’s, a new group for me and I needed some assistance in identifying the players. I thought they would be playing 11-a-side, but this group still play nines. Following on was the 2006’s, a squad I am more familiar with.

Rangers 5 Dundee United 6

A high scoring nine-a-side game saw the visitor’s just edge out the young Rangers side. Rangers took the lead on twenty minutes. Lewis Marshall lobbed the ball over the defence for Alex Smith to fire a shot off the underside of the bar with Farai Zvimba following up to net the rebound. A couple of minutes later the visitors tried their luck from distance with Colbi McQuarrie saving low to his left.

A couple of minutes into the second period the sides were level, a cross from the right was headed in at the back post. Rangers restored their lead before the period was ten minutes old, a ball in from the left broke to Lewis Marshall who shot past  the keeper. An attack on the left from United saw the game squared again, with the ball being fired into the net when it was centred.

The visitors then raced to a two goal lead in the final minutes of the second period. First a free-kick was fired past the defensive wall and keeper. Then a shot from distance bounced down from the underside of the bar and over the line. Rangers response was to score in the opening minute of the third period, Lyle Hunter’s pass forward allowed Rocco McColm to turn and shoot high past the keeper from the edge of the box.

A few minutes later Dundee United who were denied what looked like a clear penalty earlier in the game were awarded a rather soft one. Sam Reid dived to his right to make the save but was left helpless as the striker followed up to net the rebound. Rangers replied from a Thomas Falconer free-kick from the right side of the box that forced the keeper to tip over.

Rangers were pushing to get a goal back and when Lewis Marshall sent Zak Richford racing into the right side of the box the keeper came from his line to make the save. The next attack came when Alex Smith broke from defence and passed to Lewis Marshall who turned a defender and forced a save from the keeper diving to his right.

Rangers reduced the deficit when Thomas Falconer was brought down as he went between two defenders inside the left side of the box and he got up to convert the spotkick. A long ball then caught out the Rangers defence and the United attacker held of a defender before shooting past Sam Reid. Rangers hadn’t given up and when Rocco McColm broke down the right he centred for Thomas Falconer whose side stepped a defender before shooting past the keeper, but United held on for their win.

Rangers Squad:-  Colbi McQuarrie (Gk), Sam Reid (Gk), Matthew McIvor, Sam McLachlan, Trialist No.4, Ben Smylie, Farai Zvimba, Jack Caldwell, Alex Smith, Lewis Marshall, Flynn O’Brien, Thomas Falconer, Trialist No.12, Rocco McColm, Lyle Hunter, Zak Richford.

 

Rangers 2 Dundee United 2

Next up was the 2006 clash which was a fairly even game which Rangers squared in the dying minutes.

Rangers took the lead on ten minutes, the ball was moved across the edge of the box from right to left and from the left hand angle Elliot Dunlop gave the keeper no chance with a superb strike into the far top corner. A couple on minutes later only a superb Evan Anderson save kept Rangers lead intact, the attack was into the left side of the box and the Rangers keeper dived high to his right to divert the ball over.

Midway through the have the visitors tried a shot from distance that clipped the top of the cross bar. Just after the half-hour mark a pass inside Rangers right-back area allowed United to break into the left side of the box where the ball was fired past the keeper.

Half-Time;- Rangers 1 Dundee United 1

Rangers keeper Sam Kane was called into action early in the second half, diving to his left to parry a free-kick from the right hand angle of the box. Just after the hour mark a cross from the left found its way to Finlay Curtis beyond the back post and his shot forced the keeper to dive high to his left to make the save.

The visitor’s took the lead with the midpoint of the half approaching, their striker cutting in from the left and shooting into Sam Kane’s bottom right hand corner from the edge of the box. With time running out a super spin and centre by the Trialist No.9 on the right hand byline teed up Elliot Dunlop to net the equaliser from just inside the six yard box.

Full-Time:- Rangers 2 Dundee United 2

Rangers Squad:- Evan Anderson (Gk), Sam Kane (Gk), Zander Hutton, Niall Rogerson, Rocco Friel, Connor Campbell, Cooper Knox, Kole Connelly, Crispin McLean, Finlay Curtis, Trialist No.9, Elliot Dunlop, Ethan Sutherland, Sean Phinn, Duncan Barlow, Chris Eadie.

 

Weekend Youth Roundup

March 1, 2020

Rangers 0 Fife Elite 1

First game of the weekend was the Under 18 League game against Fife Elite at The Hummel Trainibg Centre. It was a poor performance from the U18’s making it a draw and two defeats in their last three games with the visitors deserving their win.

The visitors had the first real effort on goal on twenty-one minutes, the ball was moved in from the left and the shot from the edge of the box forced Lewis Budinauckas to save at his left hand post. Rangers replied immediately when Kane Ritchie-Hosler hit the left hand byline, his cutback picked out Chris McKee who saw his shot blocked, the balled broke to Ross McCausland inside the right side of the penalty area but he screwed his shot wide of the near post.

Fife Elite came close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time, a quick corner on the right was played to the angle of the box from where the shot beat Lewis Budinauckas but bounced off the underside of the bar.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Fife Elite 0

Just before the hour mark the visitors broke through the inside left channel and into the box with Lewis Budinauckas coming from his line to block the shot with his foot. A few minutes later they capitalised on a slack Harris O’Connor pass to break forward, the ball was eventually teed up for a shot inside the left side of the penalty area with Lewis Budinauckas again coming to his side’s rescue.

The final quarter hour was approaching when Kyle McClelland glanced a header from Adam Devine’s corner from the right wide of the far post. With six minutes remaining Fife Elite took the lead, the ball was moved inside from the right and the shot from the edge of the box went high past Lewis Budinauckas.

Rangers finally got a shot on target in the last minute, Chris McKee’s powerfull struck fee-kick forcing the keeper to turn the ball over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Fife Elite 1

Rangers:- Lewis Budinauckas; Adam Devine, Leon King, Kyle McClelland, Robbie Fraser (Matthew Henderson 70 mins); Umaro Balde (Robbie Ure 82 mins); Krystof Hempyl (Harris O’Connor 57 mins); Malcolm Ebiowie (Dire Mebude 57 mins); Ross McCausland, Chris McKee, Kane Ritchie-Hosler.

Not Used:- Jack McConnell (Gk)

 

Rangers 3 Leyton Orient 1

Saturday morning saw two teams from Leyton Orient’s academy visit the Rangers Training Centre. I couldn’t got to both and Tynecastle so I took in the morning’s 2007 clash. Rangers deservedly edged out their physically bigger and stronger opponents.

Rangers had the first real chance on eight minutes when Lewis Stewart passed to Josh Gentles on the right side of the box and his shot forced the keeper to save low to his right. Five minutes later the London side took the lead, a free-kick on the edge of the box was fired high past Alfie Halliwell.

Rangers were back on level terms just before the twenty minute mark, Josh Gentles on the right hand byline played the ball into the six yard box where a mixup between defender and keeper allowed the ball to run to Chris Eadie at the back post for a tap in. The visitors had a great chance to restore their lead five minutes into the second period when a Connor Campbell trip saw a penalty awarded. Keeper Alfie Halliwell came to the rescue diving to his left to produce a fine save.

Five minutes later Grant Marchant’s through ball sent Jayden Fitzpatrick clear but he was denied by a fine save from the Orient keeper. The next chance came from an enterprising run from left back by Connor Campbell that took him deep into the left side of the penalty area but he shot wide of the far post.

Rangers were now looking the most likely and when Cameron Scott played the ball over the defence Frankie Aitchison advanced into the box but he was crowded out by defender and keeper as the ball was cleared for a corner. With twenty minutes remaining Rangers were awarded a penalty for hand ball which was duly converted by Chris Eadie. The win was secured with four minutes remaining when Frankie Aitchison latched on to a loose ball and sent a shot from around twenty-five yards high past the keeper.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Leyton Orient 1

Rangers Squad:- Alfie Halliwell, Jace McCulloch, Kenzie McLelland, Leo Fisher, Connor Campbell, Grant Leitch, Harry Weir, Arran Kerr, Josh Gentles, Lewis Stewart, Chris Eadie, Grant Marchant, Jayden Fitzpatrick, Frankie Aitchison, Duncan Barlow, Cameron Scott.

Footnote:- In the later game Rangers beat Leyton Orient 6-1 with the goals coming from Rory Wilson (4) and Finlay Curtis (2).

 

Alloa Athletic 1 Rangers 2

Late Sunday morning it was U16’s CAS Cup sectional tie at The Indorill Stadium, it was a ninety minutes that the young Rangers side dominated from start to finish although their creation and taking of chances could have been better.

The first chance came around twelve minutes with Dire Mebude exchanging passes with Robbie Ure to break into the right side of the penalty area but was denied by the keeper who blocked the shot with a foot. A couple of minutes later Darren McInally collected a return pass from Dire Mebude and a superb turn allowed him to get a shot away from the edge of the box with the keeper getting down to his right to make a fine save.

Rangers took the lead in the eighteenth minute, Jack Harkness broke forward from left back, his initial shot was blocked but the rebound landed at his feet inside the penalty area and he shot into the keeper’s bottom left hand corner. Five minutes before the break the home side levelled, a free-kick from midway inside Rangers half and wide right was sent into the box where it was headed on and fired past Jack McConnell from the edge of the six yard box.

Rangers almost restored their lead in first half injury time, Jack Harkness played the ball forward and Leyton Dunlop’s neat flick released Robbie Ure but the Alloa keeper produced another excellent save low to his right.

Half-Time:- Alloa Athletic 1 Rangers 1

Rangers continued to dominate after the break but the half was into the twentieth minute before they made the break through. Mackenzie Strachan’s superb pass picked out Leyton Dunlop inside the right side of the penalty area and he played the ball across goal for Robbie Ure to convert. Within a couple of minutes Robbie Ure had another chance from a Darren McInally pass but this time was denied by the keeper.

Rangers were having a productive period and when the ball was cleared from the Alloa box a minute later Darren McInally’s powerful strike was straight at the keeper. With twenty minutes remaining Mackenzie Strachan’s free-kick from just outside the left side of the box beat the keeper but bounced clear off the inside of his right hand post.

Less than five minutes later Mackenzie Strachan’s pass was dummied by Darren McInally allowing the ball to run to Leyton Dunlop inside the right side of the box but his shot was saved by the keeper. The home side had a chance in injury time from a free-kick on the edge of the box but the shot went narrowly wide of Jacob Pazikas’s right hand post.

Full-Time:- Alloa Athletic 1 Rangers 2

Rangers:- Jack McConnell (Jacob Pazikas 77 mins); Zak McKay (Jamie Newton 77 mins), Kristian Webster, Kelsey Ewan (Adam Forrester 77 mins), Jack Harkness; Mackenzie Strachan; Darren McInally, Connor Allan (Gavin Gallagher HT); Leyton Dunlop, Robbie Ure, Dire Mebude (Ryan Duncan 71 mins)