Academy Teams Play Morton

With Rangers academy team taking on Morton over this weekend it gave me the opportunity to take in three different age groups. The Under 15’s (2008’s) were at Greenock’s Notre Dame High School on Saturday while the U14’s (2009’s) and U16’s (2007’s) hosted Morton at The Rangers Training Centre on Sunday.

Morton 4 Rangers 4

First up was the Under 15’s game which somehow Rangers managed not to win, leading 4-0 just after the break they missed a few chances to add more goals while allowing Morton to pull level including two goals within the final couple of minutes.

Rangers had the first real chance on twelve minutes when Brandon Ramage went past a defender on the left and into the penalty area with the keeper diverting the shot wide of the near post. Rangers took the lead on twenty minutes, Oliver Goodbrand broke forward and his pass sent Brandon Ramage through to shoot past the keeper.

The lead was doubled within two minutes, Brandon Ramage took on a defender on the edge of the box and when the ball broke to Oliver Goodbrand he shot past the keeper. Midway through the half Morton broke into the left side of the penalty area but the shot was straight at Rangers trialist keeper.

The home keeper was called into action just after the half hour mark saving low to his left from Lewis Marshall’s shot when the ball was laid off to him on the edge of the box. Rangers scored a third eight minutes before the break, Aiden McCallion passed forward to Oliver Goodbrand on the edge of the box where he stepped inside a defender before shooting past the keeper.

Rangers next chance came when Lewis Marshall side stepped a defender on the edge of the box with the keeper saving low to his left.

Half-Time:- Morton 0 Rangers 3

The home side had a chance early in the second half when they broke into the right side of the penalty area with Sam Reid standing up to parry the shot. Rangers extended their lead on fifty-three minutes, Murray Shaw outpacing the defence when he broke from halfway to continue into the box and poke the ball past the keeper.

Within a couple of minutes Morton pulled a goal back with a fine strike from just outside the left side of the penalty area. Rangers were soon back on the attack with Oliver Goodbrand breaking forward, he passed to Brandon Ramage who turned a defender inside the left side of the box but was denied when the defender recovered with a superb challenge.

A short corner on the left was then played to Thomas Falconer on the edge of the box, his shot was deflected but the keeper somehow managed to change direction and produce a superb save low to his right. Almost immediately a poor pass back went straight to a home attacker who showed great composure to side step a defender and keeper before passing the ball into the net.

With thirteen minutes remaining a corner from the right landed at the feet of Lyle Hunter whose shot forced a save from the keeper low to his right. Aiden McCallion in possession on the right passed inside to Zak Richford who’s shot had the keeper stretching to hold under the crossbar.

With two minutes remaining Zak Richford’s reverse pass released Jose Calela inside the box with the keeper saving bravely at the striker’s feet. Morton then attacked on the left and when the ball was passed inside it was fired past the keeper. Deep into injury time Morton played a long ball through the inside left channel releasing an attacker and he lobbed the advancing keeper to square the game.

Full-Time:- Morton 4 Rangers 4

Rangers Squad:- Trialist (Gk), Sam Reid (Gk), Jack Caldwell, Olly Hind, Matthew McIvor, Thomas Falconer, Sam McLachlan, Aiden McCallion, Trialist No.6, Zak Richford, Brandon Ramage, Oliver Goodbrand, Lyle Hunter, Lewis Marshall, Murray Shaw, Jose Calela,

Footnote:- At the same time on an adjacent pitch Rangers took on Morton in an U13 nine-a-side game. I believe Rangers won 6-3 but I don’t have any other details.

Rangers 3 Morton 0

Next up was Sunday morning’s Under 14 game at The Training Centre, it was a comfortable win for Rangers with the game being played almost entirely inside the Morton half, although it took a while to breakdown the spirited Greenock side.

Rangers dominated the opening twenty minutes territorially without really troubling the Morton keeper and it was a minute later the visitor’s had a great chance to take the lead. A corner from the left broke to a Morton player at the back post and Aaron McAlonan twice blocked close range shots with his legs. Rangers best effort in the opening thirty minute period came from a Max Cameron twenty-five yarder that was only just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Early in the second period Morton broke into the left side of the penalty area with Jayden Millarvie saving the shot comfortably low to his left. Rangers reply was a twenty-five yard Josh Carson free-kick that was comfortably held by the keeper.

With the final ten minutes of the second period approaching Lewis Smith crossed from the left and Trialist No.16 headed wide of the near post. Rangers took the lead a minute later from the penalty spot, Trialist No.11 was tripped inside the right side of the box as he went past a defender and Connor Owen stepped up to convert from the spot.

Five minutes later Euan Gray’s net bound shot from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide of the keeper’s right hand post. A minute later Callum Young worked along the eighteen yard line from right to left and shot back across the keeper into the corner. 

Rangers were now creating regular chances and when Josh Carson’s cross found the head of Callum Young the keeper stretched to clutch under the cross bar. The final effort of the period saw Oliver Preston exchange passes with Euan Gray inside the left side of the penalty area but saw his shot tipped over.

Five minutes into the final period some good play setup a shooting chance for Luke Moore inside the right side of the box but it was just wide of the far post. Luke Moore came close again when fed by Oliver Preston inside the right side of the box with the keeper touching his shot wide.

On the halfway mark of the period Max Cameron tried his luck from distance with the ball clipping the crossbar on the way over. With four minutes remaining a corner from the right found its way to Ally Shaw on the left hand angle of the box with the keeper saving his shot.

Rangers scored a third with the last attack of the match, Trialist No. 16 crossed from the right and Max Cameron’s header looped over the keeper and into the net.

Full-Time:- Rangers 3 Morton 0

Rangers Squad:- Arron McAlonan (Gk), Jayden Millarvie (Gk), Rory McKay, Josh Carson, Connor Owen, Lewis Smith, Ashton Patton, Ben Hutton, Luke Moore, Euan Gray, Max Cameron, Trialist No.11, Ally Shaw, Oliver Preston, Callum Young, Trialist No.16.

Rangers 4 Morton 2

My final game of the weekend was Sunday Afternoon’s Under 16 clash, Rangers went behind to a first minute penalty, looked comfortable at 2-1 but were pegged back with just over ten minutes remaining but won the game with two late goals.

Morton broke into the left side of the penalty area in the opening minute and the winger was brought down by Kenzie McClelland for a clear penalty that was duly converted. Rangers came close within minutes, Lancelot Pollard cutting in past a defender from the left and his shot beat the keeper but came back off his right hand post.

On nine minutes Callum Adamson fed Chris Eadie breaking into the left side of the box, the keeper forced him wide and his shot from a narrow angle was headed from the goal line and cleared for a corner. From the flag kick Kenzie McClelland’s header was headed off the line.

A minute later Harry Weir’s corner from the right found Connor Campbell beyond the back post from where he headed narrowly over. Rangers drew level just beyond the half hour, a good move on the left involving Harry Weir, Lewis Stewart and Lyle Wark saw the final pass back to Harry Weir who shot past the keeper from around eight yards.

Rangers took the lead six minutes before the break, a pass sent Lewis Stewart to the left hand byline and he played the ball across goal for Chris Eadie to net from close range. The final chance of the half came from a Lancelot Pollard pass that released Cameron Scott inside the left side of the penalty area with the keeper saving the shot.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Morton 1

Rangers threatened seven minutes into the second half through Harry Weir who went past two defenders before shooting just wide of the keeper’s right hand post from around twenty-five yards. Goalmouth action was at a premium until the game entered the final quarter hour, a short corner was worked on the right and from Harry Weir’s cross Chris Eadie’s header bounced of the top of the crossbar.

A couple of minutes later the sides were level, an in swinging corner from the left hand keeper and defence struggling an the ball crossed the line via a Rangers defender for an Own Goal. Rangers were back in front with four minutes remaining, Lancelot Pollard went past two defenders on the halfway line and passed to Harry Weir who sent Lewis Stewart through the inside left channel, he continued into the box and calmly beat the keeper as he passed the ball into the far corner.

Morton the attacked on the left and the ball into the box broke to an attacker with Colbi McQuarrie blocking the shot with a leg. Chris Eadie should have made the game safe in injury time, sent through on a Lewis Stewart pass he was denied as the keeper advanced from his line to block with his legs.

Barely a minute later he did extend the advantage to two goals, Lancelot Pollard passed to Chris Eadie on the right hand angle of the box and he cut inside to shoot across the keeper into the far corner,

Full-Time:- Rangers 4 Morton 2

Rangers:- Colbi McQuarry; Leo Fisher, Kenzie McClelland (Grant Marchant HT), Cameron Scott, Connor Campbell; Lyle Wark, Callum Adamson (Grant Leitch 26 mins); Lancelot Pollard, Harry Weir, Chris Eadie, Lewis Stewart.

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