Archive for the ‘Fixtures’ Category

First Half Double Secures Points

March 13, 2010

Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2

Two first half goals were enough to secure the points at New Southcroft Park this morning, the cushion was required to resist a much improved second half performance from the home side. With Kane Hemmings out with a knee injury his place was taken Max Wright which was the only change from the side that was successful in last week’s Old Firm derby, while Accies were without the suspended duo Brian McQueen and Declan McAvoy following their red cards against St. Johnstone.

There was barely a minute on the clock when Rangers got off to the perfect start. Rhys McCabe sent Archie Campbell clear and he calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Darren Dolan and into the net. At the other end Kevin Komor tried his luck from a free-kick wide on the right, which Grant Adam saved comfortably at his near post.

On 22 minutes a good move down the Rangers left saw Gregg Wylde cut the ball back to Max Wright just inside the box and his effort was a routine save for Dolan.  Just after the half hour mark the home keeper’s ability was stretched a bit more, Kal Naismith winning the ball in midfield and his shot from 25 yards had Dolan diving low to his left to touch the ball clear.

Two minutes before half-time Rangers extended their lead. A long pass sent Wylde down the left and as Dolan came rushing from his line the Rangers full-back lobbed the ball over the keeper towards goal. Archie Campbell challenged Lee Kilday for the loose ball just in front of the unguarded net and it broke into the path of Gordon Dick who scored from close range. A minute later and the Ibrox youngsters should have gone further ahead. Max Wright played the ball to Kal Naismith at the edge of the box, he left two defenders in his wake as he made his way into the box and fed Archie Campbell  who looked certain to score but shot just wide with Dolan stranded.

In first half injury time the home side showed they were not out of it when Kyle Wilkie won the ball in midfield and played it forward to Grant Gillespie who shot narrowly over, although Grant Adam seemed to have his effort covered.

Half-Time:- Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 2

Five minutes after half-time Accies showed their determination to get back in to the game when Jordan Kirkpatrick played the ball out to David Hopkirk on the let he cut inside and tested Adam at his near post. Two minutes later and the Rangers defence failed to clear a long throw, which broke to Wilkie who shot into the side netting.

Just after the hour mark a great move looked certain to reduce the home side’s deficit. Gillespie broke forward from midfield and his ball into Chris Roxburgh at the edge of the box saw the perfect first time lay off send Hopkirk clear inside the box, he looked certain to score but dragged his shot wide.

On 77 minutes Hopkirk again had a chance when ghosted in from the left but shot wide. With five minutes remaining Rangers almost increased their lead with a rare second half chance, Kyle Hutton just failed to get enough of a touch on Kal Naismith’s free kick from the right and the ball bounced tamely into the arms of Dolan.

Just before the end of the ninety minutes only a fantastic goal line clearance kept the Rangers goal intact. Wilkie turned Darren Cole inside the box and when he rolled it across the six yard box it took Adam out the equation, substitute Gerald O’Connell was denied at point blank range by Gregg Wylde’s fantastic block on the line.

Deep into injury time Hamilton Accies got the consolation goal their second-half performance merited. Rhys McCabe was rather harshly adjudged to have impeded Wilkie inside the box and Jordan Kirkpatrick stepped up to send Adam the wrong way from the spot.

Full-Time:- Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2

Hamilton Accies:- Darren Dolan; Jordan McCue (Gerald O’Connell 76 mins), Lee Kilday, Ziggy Gordon, Kevin Komor; Chris Roxburgh, Kyle Wilkie, Grant Gillespie, David Hopkirk; Euan Lindsay (Connor McGlinchey H/T), Jordan Kirkpatrick.

Not Used:- Gary Inglis; Jojo Connolly, Kieran Millar.

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Scott Durie (Gordan Dick 24 mins), Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Max Wright (Kyle McAusland 81 mins), Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe; Archie Campbell, Kal Naismith.

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Dylan McGeough, Ewan McNeil, Michael Noble.

Advertisements

Youths Can’t Break Deadlock

February 27, 2010

Rangers 0 Dundee United 0

Second and third in the table clashed in what was an entertaining goalless draw at Murray Park this afternoon. Billy Kirkwood’s side would be feeling it was an opportunity missed as they had the better chances to secure the three points.

It was the visitors who started the game better and after six minutes Ryan Dow brought out a fine save from Grant Adam who turned his effort round his left hand post. Two minutes later good play on the right involving, David Shaw, Stuart Armstrong and Scott Allan released Shaw inside the box but Adam saved bravely at the full-back’s feet.

On 17 minutes only a stunning save from keeper Marc McCallum prevented Rangers taking the lead. Archie Campbell cut in from the left and unleashed a tremendous shot from 25 yards, it looked a goal all the way till McCallum got the slightest touch to divert the ball on to the bar. Four minutes later another Campbell run down the left sent up Kyle Hutton with a chance from the edge of the box, his shot was powerful enough but too straight to trouble McCallum.

And it was the Dundee United keeper that rescued his side on 24  minutes, Kal Naismith teed up Rhys McCabe to shoot from 25 yards, the United keeper couldn’t hold his effort andwith  Kane Hemmings looking certain to net the rebound McCallum recovered to deny the striker from point-blank range. Just on the stroke of half time a strong run from midfield by Kyle Hutton saw him release Campbell inside the box but his effort was weak and McCallum saved easily.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Dundee United 0

Rangers started where they left off, on the front foot and Naismith had a half chance when a long diagonal ball found its way to him at the back post, but he shot wide. Five minutes into the second-half  McCallum blocked a close range Hemmings effort with his legs after he was given the chance from a Naismith cutback.

A minute later the ball broke to Gregg Wylde following a throw in and his shot flashed just wide. A couple of minutes later Dundee United threatened, Kris Irvine broke down the right and his pass inside was met by Gavin Stokes and Adam had make a smart save..

With Fifteen minutes remaining Hutton sent Campbell clear on the right and his low cross flashed across the six yard box with no takers. A minute later and Rangers came close to breaking the deadlock, the ball was worked to Gordon Dick at the edge of the box and his effort was deflected  just wide, with keeper McCallum beaten.

The final minute saw the last effort on goal when following a throw-in Hemmings tried his luck from the edge of the box with keeper McCallum saving comfortably low to his right.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Dundee United 0

Rangers :- Grant Adam, Scott Durie, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski (Gordon Dick 74mins), Rhys McCabe; Kal Naismith ( Dylan McGeough 64 mins), Kane Hemmings, Archie Campbell.

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Kyle McAusland, Christiano Kisuka

Dundee United:- Marc McCallum. David Shaw, Craig Hill, Ross Smith (Kris Irvine 40mins), Grant Mosson; Scott Allan (Liam Scott 89mins), Gavin Stokes, Michael Lee, Ryan Dow; Robert Thomson (John Murray 68mins), Stuart Armstrong.

Not Used:- Louis Swanson, Willie Robertson.

Youths Hit Six

January 30, 2010

Rangers 6 St.Johnstone 1

Rangers Under 19’s continued their climb up the table by hitting St. Johnstone for six at Murray Park this morning. A heavy overnight frost saw the youth pitch unplayable, but with the under soil heating on the professional pitch the game went ahead, even though it meant the kick-off was delayed for almost an hour. Billy Kirkwood gave the side that won against Aberdeen last week the nod, while the Saints side included Zander Clark, Sean Porter and Darren Kelly who were on Rangers books at younger age groups.

The Rangers youngsters got off to the perfect start taking the lead in the first minute. A free-kick from the right by Rhys McCabe was glanced on by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith was on hand to net from close range. The visitors then found themselves two down seven minutes later, Kyle Hutton and Max Wright combined in midfield to release Kane Hemmings in the inside left channel, he advanced to shoot across keeper Zander Clark into the corner of the net.

Within two minutes Rangers had another chance McCabe releasing Gordon Dick inside the box only to see his effort deflected wide. On 17 minutes Rangers went three up with a goal created by some great wing play by Naismith, he skinned full-back Ross Alexander on the left and his low cross was perfect for Archie Campbell who beat Clark from around eight yards.

Up to this point St, Johnstone had shown little in attack but midway through the half Rangers had an escape when the visitors had what looked strong penalty claims when Grant Adam appeared to bring down striker Rikki McIntosh inside the box. It looked like the Saints would be doubly punished when Campbell sent Hemmings clear and just when he looked certain to score he shot wide.

Rangers always looked likely to add to their lead and on 34 minutes a good passing move sent Dick to the byline and his low cross brought out a fine save from Clark. The Saints defence was breached again a minute later, Kal Naismith was fouled near the byline out on the left, Max Wright took the resultant free-kick and Chris Scott was on hand to power home a header. It also saw the last involvement for Gordon Dick who picked up an injury and was replaced by Dylan McGeough. Right on the stroke of half-time  a poor clearance was gathered by Campbell thirty yards out and he sent a shot narrowly wide.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 St.Johnstone 0

It didn’t take Rangers long to be creating chances in the second half. Hutton, Campbell and Darren Cole combined on the right and Hutton had a great chance when Campbell cut the ball back, but his shot was weak and Clark saved easily. The respite only lasted a minute and when McCabe sent Wright clear his cross into the box was a carbon copy of Naismith’s in the first half and the result was the same with Archie Campbell converting from around the same range.

Rangers then grabbed a sixth goal on the hour mark, great play from McGeough saw him cut inside to the edge of the box, keeper Clark seemed to have his shot covered only to fumble it from his grasp giving Kane Hemmings the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net. Campbell then had a chance to complete his hat-trick, chasing an Adam clearance he won the challenge with keeper Clark but was forced wide and his effort was cleared.

With four minutes remaining St. Johnstone grabbed a consolation goal, their substitute made progress on the right and his low cross found its was to former Ranger Darren Kelly who scored from close range. The game ended where it had started with Rangers on the attack and Kyle McAusland came close when his effort following a McGeough corner was deflected over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 St. Johnstone 1

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski (Kyle McAusland 72 mins), Darren Cole; Max Wright, Gordon Dick (Dylan McGeough 36mins), Kyle Hutton, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Christiano Kisuka 79mins)

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Scott Durie, Steven Forbes.

St.Johnstone:- Zander Clark; Ross Alexander (Chris Moffat 46  mins), Sean Porter, John Lindsay, Ryan Sullivan; Liam Caddis, Martyn Shields (Keiran O’Hear 46mins), Matt Helmsley, Darren Kelly; Steve May, Rikki McIntosh (Scott ????? 83mins)

Youths Progress In Cup

December 6, 2009

Dunfermline Athletic 0 Rangers 3

Rangers youngsters progressed to the next round of the Youth Cup with a comfortable if unspectacular win against Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park this afternoon. There were three changes to the team that drew with Kilmarnock last week, with Jamie Ness, Kamil Wiktorski and Max wright coming in to replace Dylan McGeough, Scott Durie and Archie Campbell. While the Pars were with out Lee Graham and Jordan White who have moved on loan to Clyde since the last round.

Rangers had an early chance when  Gregg Wylde’s free-kick from the right broke to Chris Scott inside the box but the big central defender fired over. Following a quiet spell Max Wright broke forward onto a Kane Hemmings header and as he made his way into the box an excellent clearance from Harry McGregor averted the danger at the expense of a corner.

On the 26th minute mark a free-kick from the halfway line was headed on by Kyle Hutton and Kane Hemmings just failed to connect with an attempted over head kick and keeper Craig Bald saved. Two minutes later and Rangers took the lead, Kane Hemmings controlled a long ball from Rhys McCabe on his chest and broke clear, as keeper Bald came out he slightly miss hit his shot and it went past the keeper to give Rangers the lead.

Just after the half hour mark Rangers doubled their lead, Kyle Hutton rising to head Gregg Wylde’s corner past the desperate attempt by Rees Smith to clear on the line. Two minutes later and Hemmings broke from midfield to send Kyle Hutton clear but keeper Bald came rushing from his line to block with his legs.

Dunfermline were not out of it and with ten minutes of the half remaining Rees Smith tried his luck from 25 yards and was just too high to trouble Grant Adam in the Rangers goal. Then just before half-time they came closer still, Aaron Scott’s cross from the inside right channel was met by the head of Paul Willis and with Adam beaten the ball rebounded from his left hand post.

Half Time:- Dunfermline Athletic 0 Rangers 2

After a quiet opening to the second half the first real chance came on 63 minutes when Gordon Dick sent Substitute Archie Campbell clear, with the home keeper Bald coming out of his goal to block his shot. Five minutes later and another though ball from Dick saw Kane Hemming get there just before keeper Bald, who caught the Rangers striker and sent him tumbling for a clear penalty, Archie Campbell stepped up to blast the ball straight down the middle to make it 3-0.

On 76 minutes we had the start of a period when Rangers had three chances in as many minutes. Archie Campbell broke down the left and fired in a great shot that Bald tipped over. From the corner Darren Cole headed back across goal and Bald excelled again, touching Hemmings header over. Again Dick’s corner caused the home side problems, this time McCabe’s volley just going over.

In the Final ten minutes The Pars had a couple of near things that almost brought a consolation goal. A cross from the left by Lewis Turner found its way to Ryan Thomson inside the box but he shot narrowly over. Then with six minutes remaining Paul Willis cut in on left and made his way along the byline only to be denied by the foot of Grant Adam at the near post. The final effort of the game came with two minutes remaining and saw a comfortable Adam save from Willis’s effort from just outside the box.

Full Time:- Dunfermline Athletic 0 Rangers 3

Rangers :- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Kamil Woktorski (Scott Durie 75mins), Jamie Ness (Archie Campbell 46mins), Gordon Dick; Max Wright, Kane Hemmings.

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Dylan McGeough, Kyle McCausland

Dunfermline Athletic:- Craig Bald; Blair McWhirter, Ryan Thomson, Harry McGregor, Rees Smith; John McDonald (Scott McIntosh 66 mins), Aaron Scott, Lewis Turner, Stefan Scougall (Kevin McHattie 75mins); Steven Leslie (Conner Schivone 59 mins), Paul Willis.

Not Used:- Ryan Goodfellow, Stuart Thomson

Rangers Can’t Break Deadlock

November 29, 2009

Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

With Saturday morning’s game clashing with the first team fixture at Pittodrie it meant I couldn’t make it along, thanks to Laudrup1 for the match report.

Rangers couldn’t quite do enough to secure three points this morning against Kilmarnock. The two sides had met at the end of September and Rangers had been looking for a repeat of the 3 points gained in a 6-1 victory but it wasn’t to be.

Rangers started the better of the two teams and were finding space in the middle of the park. Rhys McCabe picked up a loose ball, drove at the defence and played Hemmings in on the right hand side but he couldn’t get his shot away. Hemmings then turned provider with a similar run to give Archie Campbell a chance but his shot was blocked.

Danny McKay, recently voted SPL u19’s player of the month, was looking impressive for Kilmarnock in the lone striker roll. Scott and Durie had to be at their best to force him wide on a few occasions to avert any danger.

The rest of the half was played out without any real threat from either side and a draw at 45 minutes was probably a fair reflection of proceedings.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

Unchanged at the start of the second half, Rangers had an almost immediate chance to take the lead. Campbell was played in down the left but his shot from 15 yards was blocked by the Killie keeper. From this point on, the second half was to be all Rangers.
Good work on the left hand side by Dylan McGeough saw space open up for a cross and he found Hemmings but the striker could only guide his header wide.

The out of sorts Archie Campbell was then replaced by Max Wright upfront.

On 60 minutes Hemmings caused the Killie defence problems again as he skipped past two challenges and found Dick with space to shoot but his attempt was turned round the post for a corner.
McCabe had a strike from distance that was turned over the bar by the keeper for another corner but the set piece was then cleared.

There were shouts, from the spectators, as Cole’s free kick on the right was headed towards the net and, as it bounced off the bar and downwards, seemed to cross the line, but the referee’s assistant on the near side had flagged for offside regardless.

Continual pressure provided a good few more chances but the finishing touch just wasn’t there and Gordon Dick was guilty of missing the best chance of the game on 80 minutes.

Hutton and McCabe combined well to play the midfielder in and his first touch was decent as he went past the defender. He pulled his shot though and it skidded past the far post when it seemed easier to hit the target.

Kilmarnock had one chance in the second half but Adam saved well. It was clear the Ayrshire side were happy with the point as the held the ball up at the corner flag from the resultant set-piece. The ref blew for full-time and Rangers can only be disappointed they never managed a win.

Full Time:- Rangers 0 Kilmarnock 0

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Darren Cole; Chris Scott, Scott Durie, Gregg Wylde, Gordon Dick, Rhys McCabe, Kyle Hutton; Dylan McGeough (Kamil Witkorski 70); Archie Campbell (Max Wright 55 mins), Kane Hemmings
Not Used:- Mark Weir, Christiano Kisuka, Kyle McAusland, Michael Noble

Sunday Development Teams

I did manage along to take in the two games against Kilmarnock on Sunday. The Under 15’s game was a friendly and kicked off at midday and the under 17’s was a development league game and kicked off at 2pm.

Under 15’s

Rangers 2 Kilmarnock 2

This was a friendly and played over the usual three thirty minute periods. The Rangers lineup included two trialists from Northern Ireland, a goalkeeper and a left back.

Rangers almost took the lead in the first minute,  good play in midfield saw Blair Munn play the ball forward to Callum McConnell on the right, the striker cut inside and his shot beat the keeper but rebounded from the post. Eight minutes later and it was Andy Murdoch that played Charlie Telfer through and he was denied by a fine save at the expense of a corner. From the corner the Killie defence failed to clear and the ball broke to Greg Pescizio who shot against the post with the keeper beaten.

Midway through the first period a long ball from Blair Munn gave Jordan Wilson a chance but he shot over. The remainder of the first period failed to produce and other chances ans the teams cancelled each other out.

A couple of minutes inf the second period and Rangers fell behind, Kilmarnock broke down the left and the pass through the middle sent the striker clear to carry on into the penalty area and beat the trialist keeper. Five minutes later and Rangers were back on level terms, Jordan Wilson with his back to goal outside the penalty area hooked the ball over his head and over the Killie defence, Darren McGill won the challenge with the keeper to head into the net.

Kilmarnock then had a chance when they broke down the right, but striker shot across goal. Rangers edged in front a couple of minutes later when Charlie Telfer’s cross from the left was met on the volley by Blair Munn who gave the keeper no chance.

Rangers trialist full back then made a great interception to deny Killie a chance at the expense of a corner. The Gers defence failed to clear and the trialist keeper made a fine save from point-blank range. Just before the end of the period Greg Pescezio volleyed a Blair Munn corner just wide.

A fantastic save denied Rangers at the start of the third period when a Blair Spittal cross was deflected goalwards by a defender, the Killie keeper despite being wrong footed managed to change direction and save at the post. Charlie Telfer’s diagonal ball then gave Blair Spittal a chance and the keeper produced another save. The corner was then helped on by Pescizio and the Trialist stooped to head goalwards only to see it cleared off the line.

Telfer and McConnell then combined on the left and Spittal was again denied by the keeper. With 13 minutes remaining Greg Pescizio was adjudged to have brought  down the Killie striker when through and they scored from the resultant penalty.

Substitute keeper Sam George then prevented Kilmarnock getting a winner on two occasions. First with ten minutes remaining diving high to his left after Rangers failed to clear a corner. The in the final minute coming from his line to block the Killie striker’s effort when through on goal.

Rangers:- Trialist (Sam George) ; Dylan  Dykes, Greg Pescizio, Jack Donaldson, Trialist; Blair Munn (Blair Spittal), Andy Murdoch, Darren McGill, Jordan Wilson (Ciaran Summers); Callum McConnell, Charlie Telfer.

Under 17’s

This was a development league game but was played over the conventional two 45 minute periods.

The first chance fell to Lee Cochane when he latched on to a through ball and brought out a fine save from the keeper. Rangers scored when Nicky Main made progress down the right and his low cross into the box was converted by George Scott at the second attempt after his first was blocked.

The next goal came when Kyle McAusland glanced a header from Anthony Marenghi’s free kick into the top corner. A good ball down the right from Robbie Crawford to Lee Cochrane saw him go past a defender and set up Anthony Marenghi who was only denied by a fine save.  Kilmarnock then pulled a goal back when the centre forward lobbed over Blair Currie when played through.

In second half the visitors keeper saved a McAusland header from a Marenghi corner. At the other end Kilmarnock’s substitute striker shot just wide. From another Marenghi corner this time deep to the back of the area saw Frankie Owens shot cleared off the line.

McAusland was then in action at the other end with a great challenge denying Kilmarnock. Rangers scored again when Marenghi’s free-kick from the right saw McAusland head against the post, but Frankie Owen was on hand to net the rebound.

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Nicky Main, Kyle McAusland, Stuart Urquhart, Michael Noble; Robbie Crawford, Frankie Owens, Steven Hetherington, Anthony Marenghi; George Scott, Lee Cochrane (Michael Mosson).

Aussies Visit Murray Park

November 20, 2009

Rangers 5 Melbourne Stars 0

Rangers Under 17’s took on Australian visitors Melbourne Stars at Murray Park this afternoon. It was a return visit for the Aussies, having beaten a Rangers side 3-0 on a visit last year.

Melbourne Football Stars are an organisation that provides Melbourne’s elite Youth players with an opportunity to travel to Scotland & England to gain an insight into the world of professional Football. Today’s game saw them take on a much more recognisable Rangers Under 17 side than last year.

After a quiet opening period where Rangers dominated possession, the home side took the lead. Dylan McGeough set up Lee Cochrane with a chance at the edge of the box, his first effort was blocked but when the ball came back to him he sent it into the top right hand corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

Rangers doubled their lead on the half hour, Anthony Marenghi sent Christiano Kisuka clear on the right hand side of the box and his ball across the six yard box gave Lee Cochrane a simple tap in for his second goal. Five minutes later and Melbourne had what proved to be their only real chance of the game. A ball in from the right broke to the No. 9 on the six yard box but his shot past the post.

On the stroke of half time Rangers when three up with a fantastic solo effort. Christiano Kisuka picked the ball up 40 yards out, his run to the edge of the box took him past three defenders where he shot low past the keeper.

Half Time :- Rangers 3 Melbourne Stars 0

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Rangers scored again. Another Marenghi pass sent Kisuka clear, this time on the left, and again his ball across goal set up a simple tap in , this time for substitute Callum McConnell.

There was no further scoring until the final minute, when Lee Cochrane, who had come back on to replace the injured Callum McConnell, latched on to a Frankie Owens pass to shoot across the keeper and into the net to complete his hat-trick.

The Australian youngsters now go on to play Hibs, Dundee United, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. I hope they enjoyed their game at Murray Park today and wish them luck in the rest of their games.

Full Time:- Rangers 5 Melbourne Stars 0

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Frankie Owens, Kyle McCausland, Michael Noble, Michael Mosson; Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough (Darren McGill 46 mins), Steven Hetherington, Anthony Marenghi; Christiano Kisuka, Lee Cochrane (Callum McConnell 46mins).

Pittodrie Cup Win For Youths

November 8, 2009

Aberdeen 1 Rangers 2

A late penalty ensured a nervy end for the Ibrox youngsters at Pittodrie this afternoon. Well in control for most of the game the converted spot kick lifted the home side but they failed to create another chance.There were two changes to the side that defeated Hibs last week,  Kyle Hutton was back from injury and Dylan McGeough dropped to the bench. With Gregg Wylde unavailable, sixteen year old Ewan McNeil came in for his debut at this level.

Rangers took the lead on nine minutes with the first effort on target in the game. A Rhys McCabe corner from the right was headed past keeper Scott Bain by the unmarked Kyle Hutton. Almost straight from the kick off the goalscorer lost possession 30 yards from goal to Nicky Low who then went past Chris Scott and shot narrowly over from the edge of the box.

That was a rare forray into the Rangers box and it was no surprise when Rangers increased their lead on 17 minutes. Kamil Wiktorski strode forward from midfield and played a one two with McCabe, who set the Polish youngster up perfectly to volley past Bain from just inside the box. Rangers were pretty much in control and the home side’s only other effort in the first half came when Stirling Smith shot over from long-range,  Grant Adam having the shot covered.

Half Time:-Aberdeen 0 Rangers 2

Aberdeen came out for the second half looking to make an impact and Callum McRobbie sent Low down the left and only a great challenge from Darren Cole cleared the danger from his low cross. On 57 minutes it was down the same flank that the home side threatened. Dean Jarvis, Low and McRobbie combined and Mitchell Megginson got a touch on the later’s cross, the ball  looped up towards the far post where Adam saved without too much difficulty.

On the hour mark Dylan McGeough was fouled wide on the right and from Ewan McNeil’s free kick McCabe headed powerfully goalwards but Bain reacted to save. Five minutes later Gilli Sorensen brought out a diving save from Adam when his cut inside Darren Cole.

With 10 minutes remaining a mixup between Chris Scott and Adam almost gave Megginson a chance, but the keeper and defender managed to scramble the ball clear. A couple of minutes later and McCabe went close again with a header, this time from a McGeough corner, his effort going just wide of the post with Bain beaten.

With three minutes of the ninety remaining Aberdeen where thrown an unlikely lifeline. Adam parried a Nicky Low shot from the edge of the box, the ball going to Jack Grimmer. With Aberdeen substitute running away from goal along the byline Adams challenge was unneccessary, but the Rangers keeper sent him tumbling for a clear penalty. Up stepped Mitchel Megginson and he was a little fortunate to see his weak shot squirm under keeper Adam.

This set up a nervy last few minutes, but with the home side failing to creat another chance the Ibrox youngsters progressed to the next round.

Full Time:- Aberdeen 1 Rangers 2

Aberdeen:- Scott Bain; Stirling Smith,Joe Shaughnessy, Scott Ross, Dean Jarvis; Gilli Sorensen (Jack Grimmer 84mins), Ryan Jack, Hallur Hannson (Clark Robertson 68 mins), Nicky Low; Callum McRobbie, Mitchel Megginson.

Not Used:- Prezmyslaw Lukasik, Anthony Bolger, Jordon Brown

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Scott Durie, Darren Cole; Kyle Hutton (Dylan McGeough 56mins), Rhys McCabe, Kamil Wiktorski, Jamie Ness; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Kyle McAusland, Gordon Dick, Max Wright

Youths Start Pre-Season With A Win

July 21, 2009

Rangers 5 Queen’s Park 1

The youths opened their pre-season fixtures with a comfortable win over Queen’s Park tonight at Murray Park. With Grant Adam, Jamie Ness, Darren Cole and Gregg Wylde involved in this afternoon’s 2-0 reserve win over Oxford United and the absence of Danny Wilson and John Fleck there were quite a few eligible players omitted and several trialists were involved.

In the early part of the game it was the visitors that threatened and had a great chance in the first minute when their striker was through but his attempted lob over Mark Weir was high and wide. Six minutes later a long ball from the Queen’s Park defence caught out Kyle Hutton and Mark Weir had to look sharp to block the striker’s effort.

Rangers took the lead on 28 minutes with their first real effort on goal. A great cross field pass from the Trialist No.8 found Kal Naismith on the right, the winger tricked his way to the byline and his cut back found Archie Campbell who fired home. Two minutes later Rangers doubled their lead, Gordon Dick and Kal Naismith combined in the centre of the park and Naismith’s through ball released Archie Campbell who made it 2-0.

Rangers added a third a minute before the break, Kal Naismith fed Kane Hemmings who sent Archie Campbell clear to round the keeper and and slot home.

Half Time Rangers 3 Queen’s Park 0

A few minutes after the break two of the trialists involvement almost added another goal. A corner from the left by Trialist No 18 was cleared to the edge of the box where Trialist No 8 hit a powerful shot which the Queen’s keeper did well to block with his legs. On the hour mark Rhys McCabe’s cross from the left was headed out straight to Kal Naismith who shot just wide.

Only a great defensive block by Scott Durie denied the visitors five minutes later when he threw himself in front of the attempted shot at the expense of a corner. At the other end Max Wright brought out a fine save from the Queen’s Park keeper. With 15 minutes remaining Rangers added a fourth, Max Wright released Christiano Kisuka on the right and the big striker rolled the ball across the six yard box to give Trialist No. 18 a simple tap in.

Five minutes later The Spiders pulled a goal back, a free kick was crossed into the box from the right and no Rangers defender picked up the runner and who was allowed a free header to easily beat Mark Weir from close range. With a few minutes remaining Trialist No.18 grabbed his second and Rangers fifth. He brought down Rhys McCabe’s cross on his chest and thundered home from around the penalty spot to complete the scoring.

Full Time Rangers 5 Queen’s Park 1

Rangers :- Mark Weir; Steven Forbes, Scott Durie, Kyle Hutton, Trialist No3; Kal Naismith, Gordon Dick, Trialist No 8, Trialist No 11; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings.

Subs:- Trialist No 19 (For Trialist No 3 46mins), Trialist N0 20 (For Dick 46mins), Trialist No 18 (For Trialist No 11 46mins), Rhys McCabe (For Forbes 60 mins), Dylan McGeough ( For Trialist No 8 60 mins), Max Wright (For Campbell 60 mins), Christiano Kisuka (For Hemmings 60 mins).


Youth Team Review Of The Season

June 15, 2009

Regular youth team watchers welcomed the start of the season in anticipation, looking forward to the current squad’s attempt to match the previous two season’s double winning sides.

With only six 1990’s (that is players in their final season at under19’s) in the squad, it was a young group of players set to take up the challenge. With Craig McShea recovering from a broken leg this number was reduced to five and  they were dealt a further blow when another, new signing Tom Miller sustained a serious knee injury in pre-season and was ruled out for almost the entire season.

August

It was a great start to the season for the lads, winning all three league games. With work and first team fixtures getting in the way I only managed along  to the first game, away to Falkirk. A late goal from substitute Rhys McCabe secured a 1-0 win.

This was followed up with a 2-1 home win over Hearts, with goals from Ross Perry and new signing from Tamworth Kane Hemmings. A week later an Archie Campbell hat-trick sealed an impressive 3-1 victory away to Aberdeen.

September

This month only saw two league games, both of which I managed to attend. First up came and Old Firm Clash at Barrowfield, and with several players unavailable it was a great defensive performance from a young Rangers side to pick up a point in a goalless draw, with Scott Durie outstanding in central defence.

They then had to come back from a goal down when former Ranger Lacine Cherif gave Kilmarnock the lead at Murray Park. With our on loan keeper Mark Weir in the Killie goal it took  another Archie Campbell goal and one from Isa Bagci to complete the successful fight back.

October

With European Qualifiers taking place and both Under 17’s and Under 19’s it impacted on the youth fixtures and there were only two again this month.

A trip to Hibs impressive new Training Centre saw the youths suffer their first defeat of the season. Over the ninety minutes Hibs were the better side in a game that saw Rangers reduced to nine men. Chris Scott was rather harshly given a straight red, and the home side went in to a 2-0 lead.  Gordon Dick pulled a goal back to give the youngsters hope, only for John Fleck to see red for retaliation.  Despite being down to nine men they almost snatched an unlikely point and only a stunning save by Hibs keeper Thomas Flynn from Danny Wilson’s free kick with the last kick of the game denied them.

In their next fixture away to St. Mirren they bounced back with a comfortable 3-0 win with goals from Campbell, Bagci and Gregg Wylde.

At Under 17’s Darren Cole, Max Wright, Gordon Dick and Kal Naismith were all selected for Scotland’s Qualifiers against San Marino, Slovakia and France. Scotland qualifying in second place, with Gordon Dick scoring in all three games.

At Under 19’s Grant Adam, Ross Perry, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness and Danny Wilson were selected for Scotland’s Qualifiers against Azerbaijan, San Marino and Hungary. Stephen Stirling scoring twice against San Marino and the only goal against hosts Hungary, ensuring Scotland topped the group.

In addition Arturs Vacilius and Isa Bagci were part of the successful Latvia and Turkey squads respectively.

November

A busy month, with four league games and the start of their defence of the Youth Cup. It started with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Hamilton Accies with goals from Wylde, Campbell, Stirling & McAusland.

Six different scorers  saw them ease past Brora Rangers in the cup. Next up came Inverness CT at home and disappointingly Stephen Stirling’s goal was only enough for a point.

They got back on track with narrow victories away to Kilmarnock and home to Motherwell, 1-0(Hemmings) and 2-1 (Bagci & Campbell) respectively.

This month also saw Scotland’s under 16’s Victory Shield campaign live on Sky TV. With Adam Hunter, Michael Noble, Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough & Kyle McAusland providing the Rangers contingent.

December

Only two games before the winter break saw a couple of uninspired performances. Firstly an unspectacular 3-1 cup win over Dumbarton and then more dropped points at home in the league in a 1-1 draw with St. Mirren. The only highlight being Archie Campbell’s three goals over the two games

January & February

January was mainly friendlies to keep the squad ticking over with a league game on the last day, where a last gasp Kal Naismith strike secured the points against Dundee United.

February was a contrast to the disappointment of December. A thrilling 4-3 extra time cup win at Fir Park ( I was watching 1st team draw 0-0 at Parkhead), was followed by an excellent 2-0 victory away to Hearts, having played around an hour with 10 men.

March

As we entered the final stages of the season March looked like a good opportunity to push on, with the first  two games against the bottom two sides. It started well with a 4-0 away to Hamilton. Only to turn in the season’s poorest performance the following week, losing 2-0 at Tannadice.

With leaders Hibs also dropping points around this time it set up an intriguing top of the table clash at Murray Park. After a poor first half the youngsters found themselves 0-3 after 50 minutes. A storming second half performance with goals from Naismith & Campbell saw them back in the match. When former Ranger Ally Park handled on the line in the final minute it looked like they could grab an unlikely point, only for Kal Naismith to blast his penalty high and wide.

The boys put that disappointment behind them two weeks later to book their place in the Youth Cup Final. An easy 6-2 win over Inverness CT, in a match where they could have score even more goals.

March also saw Darren Cole, Gordon Dick & Max Wright represent Scotland Under 17’s in the elite qualifying round of the European Championships. Unfortunately Scotland lost all three games to Georgia, Italy and Austria, Max Wright scoring Scotland’s only goal.

April

The month that would decide the ultimate destination of the prizes started in similar fashion to March. A good performance saw a comfortable 4-0 win over Falkirk, only to be followed with a performance almost as poor as the previous month’s Tannadice show, losing 0-2 away to Motherwell.

Celtic then put a dent in our league hopes when in a game of very few chances they held on for a goaless draw. Both sides finishing the game with ten men, the Celtic red card coming when their defender hauled back Archie Campbell when clean through and likely to score. The only other real chance came in the dying seconds when their keeper denied Campbell.

Rangers then went into the game with Aberdeen knowing a last minute goal for Hibs in the earlier kick off had clinched the title. A Max Wright strike gave Rangers a 1-0 victory in a game that lost any significance in the title race.

The month ended cruelly when Kurtis Byrne’s injury time goal denied them the chance of taking the Youth Cup Final to a penalty shoot out. His earlier goal having been cancelled out by a fine individual effort from Archie Campbell.

On a positive note the Under 17’s cruised past Queen’s Park to set up an Old Firm Glasgow Cup Final. Doubles from Chris Scott & Kyle McAusland and one from Max Wright secured a 5-0 win.

The first step on the international recognition ladder saw three Rangers players selected for Scotland at Under 15’s. George Scott, Lee Cochrane & Gregor Fotheringham taking part in two friendly games against Belgium.

May

The league season came to a disappointing end with a 2-0 defeat away to Inverness CT that saw the Under 19’s slip to third in the final placings.

A magnificent Kane Hemmings double for the Under 17’s ensured that the “youths” would end the season with something to show for their efforts. His volley for the second goal was the highlight in a 2-1 win over Celtic in the Glasgow Cup Final, in what was a much more comfortable win than the scoreline suggests.

The season was not not quite over for Danny Wilson, Ross Perry, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness & John Fleck as they were part of the Scotland Under 19 squad just pipped by England in the elite qualifying round. With both Stirling & Ness netting in the win over Slovakia and Perry doing likewise in the win over Bosnia.

Arturs Vailculis also was on international duty for the elite round for Latvia in their group with Romania, France and Norway. The Baltic side finishing bottom of their group.

My overall assessment of the season would be pretty positive for what was a young squad. On the evidence I saw Hibs were probably the best team and deserved their success. I’m slightly disappointed we slipped to third as two league wins and a friendly win of Hearts suggest we should have finished above them.

The squad can look back at where the title was lost. Perhaps it was the two defeats to champions Hibs, disappointing home draws with Inverness CT and St.Mirren, failure to beat what was a poor Celtic side in the two league meetings or the season’s two poorest performances in defeats at Motherwell and Dundee United.

Now we can look forward to next season and one of the unique features of the youth league is the natural squad turnover. Although with Rangers having a young squad this season there are only a handful now too old, and two of those missed most of the season through injury. Rangers will have much the same squad, but they could decide to limit the use of Danny Wilson and perhaps Jamie Ness at this level next season, like this season with John Fleck, who only made one league appearance for the youths.

Where as champions Hibs lose nine of their successful side and all the others clubs fall somewhere in between. So keep this bookmarked and get updated when the new season starts.

Rangers have released one of last season’s squad, goalkeeper Arturs Vailculis. I am sure all Rangers fans wish Arturs all the best in his future career.

Win Not Enough For Youngsters

April 24, 2009

Rangers 1 Aberdeen 0

By the time the Rangers youngsters kicked off today it was known that Hibs late goal in the earlier kick-off at Fir Park had ended their title hopes. There were three changes to the side that drew with Celtic last weekend. Danny Wilson is on first team duty, Kyle Hutton suspended after last week’s red card and Kane Hemmings has joined Ross Perry on the injury list. Chris Scott, Steven Forbes and Kyle McAusland coming in as replacements

Rangers missed and excellent early chance in the 8th minute, Kal Naismith knocked the ball out wide left to Kyle McAusland and his cross should have been converted at the back post by Steven Forbes but he headed wide. Then just after the 15 minute mark Archie Campbell passed up another excellent chance, he raced clear on a Grant Adam clearance, but as he tried to round keeper Scott Bain he over ran the ball and the chance was lost.

Straight away Aberdeen threatened at the other end when Peter Pawlett broke down the right, but Calum McRobbie failed to connect properly when he met the cross into the box. The visitors continued to threaten and Nicky Low tested Adam with a long range shot.  Then just before the half hour mark Hallur Hansson was tackled inside the Rangers box, but the ball broke to McRobbie and Adam saved his powerful shot.

A few minutes later Stephen Stirling picked the ball up on the halfway line and his run took him past three Aberdeen defenders and Bain made a fine save low to his left from his shot from the edge of the box. The next chance came when Steven Forbes got to the byline on the right, his cross was punched into the air by keeper Bain, Kal Naismith met it on the volley which was blocked on the line by Rogvi Holm.

Chances were being created at both ends and the next effort saw Stephen O’Donnell shoot just wide of Adam’s right hand post. In 43 minutes Aberdeen had their best chance of the half, Mitchel Meggison sent McRobbie clear and Adam came racing out side his area to block with his legs. Not to be out done Bain then kept the scoreline blank at half-time with a great double save from Jamie Ness and Archie Campbell.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Aberdeen 0

The Dons were first to threaten after half time, in 54 mins only a great challenge by Scott Durie on Low prevented a scoring opportunity. Then three minutes later Pawlett fed O’Donnell inside the box but he could only shoot into the side netting.

Bang on the hour mark Rangers took the lead, Jamie Ness combined with substitute Max Wright creating a chance for the latter who shot home from the edge of the box.  Aberdeen then missed a great chance to equalise when Pawlett was through but shot weakly at keeper Adam. Straight to the other end and a Kal Naismith cross had keeper Bain scrambling to tip over.

With 15 minutes remaining Bain produced another fine save, touching a Jamie Ness 30 yarder past the post.  O’Donnell then missed another chance to level, after a one-two with Pawlett, shooting over. Rangers immediately went up the park and Gordon Dick combined with Naismith, it looked like Max Wright would covert Naismith’s cross but headed wide.

With a couple of minutes remaining, after a scramble in the box the ball broke to Rhys McCabe and Bain made a fine save from his powerful shot. Aberdeen then had one last chance to salvage something when McRobbie broke down the left and crossed in to the box, Chris Scott won the race to clear under pressure from Meggison.

So it is congratulations to Hibs in the their League success, the consensus is that they have been the best team in the league this season. Rangers can now look forward to Wednesday’s Youth Cup Final against the Edinburgh side. Both league games have been good close encounter’s and Billy Kirwood’s side look to make it three cup wins in a row.

Full-Time:- Rangers  1  Aberdeen 0

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Scott Durie, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde (Rhys McCabe 75mins); Steven Forbes, Steven Stirling (Gordon Dick 62 mins), Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell ( Max Wright 55mins), Kyle McAusland.

Not Used:- Arturs Vailculis, Dyland McGeough.

Aberdeen:- Scott Bain; Jonathan Crawford, Rogvie Holm, Chris Gallagher; Stephen O’Donnell, Calum McRobbie, Hallur Hansson, Peter Pawlett, Nicky Low; Mitchel Meggison.

Not Used:- Ross Gibson, Ryan Jack, Dean Jarvis, Jamie Masson, Clark Roberston.

Footnote:-

Rangers under 15’s took on Clyde in a friendly at Murray Park on Thursday night.

Rangers 4 Clyde 0

Rangers too the lead in the 8th minute when the Trialist No9 got to the byline and his cut back was fired home by Lewis McLeod. The second came on 37 mins, when the Trialist No9 headed in a Lewis McLeod corner.

On 63 mins a Lewis McLeod corner was met by Andy Murdoch who’s effort was blocked, but broke to the Trialist No9 who made 3-0 from close range. And the fourth came from yet another Lewis McLeod corner 77mins, this time headed home by Frankie Owens.

Rangers :- Blair Currie; Ross Dickson, Darren Ramsay, Gregor Fotheringham, Blair Smith; Mark Taylor, Lewis Barr, George Scott, Frankie Owens; Trialist, Lewis McLeod.

Subs All Used :- Sam George (GK), Andy Murdoch, Jack Donaldson.