Archive for the ‘Scotland’ Category

Youths In Turkey

January 18, 2010

It has proved difficult getting information on the youth’s games in their winter training camp in Turkey, the Lokomotive Moscow game being the exception. On Friday they had another 3-3 draw but I have been unable to find out any details of the lineup, scorers or even who they played.

Today they took on the Azerbaijan Under 21 side, although they may not be one of Europe’s top football nations, I thought the age difference would make it a stiff test.

From what I can gather, after a goalless first half, Rangers ran out 3-0 winners. The first coming from the penalty spot and two late goals completed the scoring. Picture above shows Gordon Dick and I think Kane Hemmings in action. No lineup details at present,  scorers were  Gordon Dick, Kyle Hutton & Kane Hemmings.

More pics from the game here:-

http://www.affa.az/index.php?r=1&id=6026&lang=en

Scotland Under 17’s
While their club mates were in Turkey, four Rangers players were in Malta representing Scotland in two friendlies against the hosts. On Monday 11th January, Lewis McLeod captained what was basically an under 16’s friendly in a 2-0 win. Dylan McGeough came on as a substitute for Lewis late in the game.

Two days later and Michael Noble, Kyle McAusland, Lewis McLeod and Dylan McGeough all played the Under 17’s 8-0 rout. With both Kyle and Dylan being among the scorers.

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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.

Ibrox Youngsters Net For Scots

May 28, 2009

Scoland 2 Slovakia 1

Goals from Stephen Stirling and Jamie Ness gave Scotland a perfect start in their Elite Qualifying round for the European Under 19’s Championships.

Trailing to Spartak Trnava’s Martin Guldan’s first half penalty Scotland equalised from the spot through Rangers Stephen Stirling. Scotland’s winner came midway through the second half when Rangers Jamie Ness volleyed home from 15 yards.

Team line as follows: Michael Andrews(Falkirk), Johnathan Brown (Hearts), Ross Perry (Rangers), Danny Wilson (Rangers), Callum Booth (Hibs); David Wotherspoon (Hibs), Stephen Stirling (Rangers), Jamie Ness (Rangers), John Fleck (Rangers); Johnny Russell (Dundee United), Leigh Griffiths (Livingston).

Subs:- Alex McDonald(Burnley,For Russell 57 mins), Craig King (Leicester City, For Griffiths 73mins), Lee Currie (Hibs for Ness 88mins).

Not Used:- Mark Ridgers (Hearts), Paul Hanlon (Hibs), Bradden Inman (Newcastle United, Jim Forrest (Celtic).

In the group’s other game England beat Bosnia 2-0, with a “Ranger” scoring here too, Newcastle United’s striker Nile Ranger netting the second goal. The first having been scored by Tottenham’s Danny Rose.

Scotland’s next game is on Friday, when they take on Bosnia at Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Kick-Off 7pm.

Comfortable Win for 13’s over Dumbarton

May 14, 2009

Rangers (13’s) 6 Dumbarton (14’s) 0

Tonight was an opportunity to taken in and report on one of the younger teams as Rangers under 13’s took on the under 14’s from Dumabarton.  The Murray Park youngsters ran out comfortable winners in a game played over three 30 minute periods.

The Rangers squad was as follows:-

Liam Kelly(GK);

Defenders :- Brett Ward, Johnny Russell, Jack Baird, Lewis Martin, Ryan Sinnamon, Neil McPherson, Liam Smith.

Midfielders :- Scott Roberts, Tom Walsh, Lewis Spence, Lewis Morgan, Mark Filshie, Jordan O’Donnell.

Strikers:- Trialist (No 4), Danny Stoney, Robbie Buchanan, Andy Kay, Trialist (No. 22).

Rangers took the lead early in the first period when the Trialist No.22 got to the byline on the left and his cut back left Trialist No.4 with a simple tap in. The second came midway through the opening period, Jordan O’Donnell’s corner from the right was volley home at the back post by Jack Baird.

Just before the end of the period Rangers added a third, Lewis Morgan did well on the right and found Tom Walsh in centre midfield, he made a great pass inside the right full back and Jordan O’Donnell made it 3-0.

Two further goals were added in the second period, first the two Trialists combined and this time Trialist No.4 returned the favour and set up Trialist No 22 for an easy goal. The great work down the right by Mark Filshie took him past two defenders and Danny Stoney converted his cut back.

In the final period great work again by Mark Filshie set up Robbie Buchanan to complete the scoring. It was a good way to spend a nice spring evening and a wee change to be able to report on one of the younger teams.

15/16’s Friendly Win Over Clyde

May 12, 2009

Rangers 6 Clyde 3

A side made up of under 15’s and 16’s took on a slightly older Clyde team at Murray Park tonight. In a high scoring game Rangers ran out comfortable winners.

Clyde were first to threaten and Blair Currie made a fine save from close range on 7 minutes. Ten minutes later Rangers trialist striker broke down the right and out muscled the Clyde defender, his cut back was met by Nicky Main who knocked the ball just wide of the post.

On 21 minutes Clyde striker was clean through and Blair Currie came out to narrow the angle and make a fine save. Four minutes later Clyde took the lead, a free kick from out on the left touchline was crossed deep into the penalty area and was misjudged by keeper Blair Currie and end up in the back of the net.

Their lead was short lived when three minutes later Frankie Owens broke forward and fed Anthony Meringhi who’s excellent cross was knocked home by Trialist No. 10. A minute later good work on the right by Gregor Fotheringham and Lewis McLeod saw the Clyde keeper save at the feet of the Trialist striker at the expense of a corner.

On 35 minutes Rangers took the lead, following a corner from the left the ball was played back into the box and collected by Murray Wallace who passed across the 18 yard box to Lewis McLeod who made no mistake with a cool finish. Good play down the right by McLeod then set up a chance for Robbie Crawford, but he was denied by a fine diving save.

Five minutes before half-time Rangers extended their lead, the trialist striker made his way down the left and his cut back from the byline was knocked home by Lewis McLeod.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Clyde 1

After a quiet start to the second half Clyde pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on 59 minutes. Their striker made progress down the left and as he made his way into the box he was brought down by Scott Rumsby, the well taken penalty gave keeper Currie no chance.

Almost immediately Rangers restored their two goal lead, Robbie Crawford playing the Trialist No. 10 through the inside right channel to slot home. The same combination produced a fifth goal two minutes later, this time Crawford’s pass was through the inside left channel for the Trialist No.10 to beat the keeper.

Next chance came when Owens broke forward and his pass across the 18 yard box found McLeod who’s shot brought out a fine diving save. With 20 minutes remaining Fotheringham released McLeod on the right, his cut back was miss hit by Mark Taylor but looped over the keeper and came back off the crossbar.

On 78 minutes the Clyde keeper denied Taylor from a tight angle when he dribbled along the byline. Clyde were still battling on and pulled a goal back two minutes later, they broke through on the right and Currie could only parry leaving the striker with a simple tap in.

Back to the other end and an own goal restored Rangers three goal margin, Meringhi’s dangerous corner from the right was knocked into his own net by the Clyde defender trying to clear.

With four minutes remaining an audacious chip from Taylor came back of the crossbar, it was collected by Crawford who tried his luck with a similar effort which was tipped over by the Clyde keeper.

Rangers :- Blair Currie; Gregor Fotheringham, Scott Rumsby, Murray Wallace, Frankie Owens (Blair Smith 77mins); Lewis McLeod (Trialist 83 mins), Robbie Crawford, Nicky Main, Anthony Meringhi; Trialist, Mark Taylor.

Glasgow Cup Victory For Under 17’s

May 12, 2009

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

A man of the match performance from Kane Hemmings gave Alan Kernaghan’s under 17’s victory in tonight’s Glasgow Cup Final against their Old Firm rivals. They almost took the lead in the 3rd minute, good play on the left by Kal Naismith set up Max Wright and only the right foot of Celtic keeper Robbie Thomson prevented a goal at the expense of a corner.

On 9 minutes Rangers threatened again when a long throw from Kane Hemmings broke to Rhys McCabe and his goal bound shot was deflected wide. From the resultant Dylan McGeough corner the ball was headed back across goal by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith only just failed to force it home at the keeper’s right hand post.

Following a period of midfield stalemate Rangers took the lead on 31 minutes. Kane Hemmings was sent clear by Max Wright, keeper Thomson did well to block is effort, but it rebounded off the onrushing defender Matty Hughes and was about to cross the line for an own goal but Hemming was on hand to help it on its way and claim the opener. Eight minutes later keeper Thomson had to rush from his line to save at the feet of  Wright as he raced on to a McCabe through ball.

Five minutes from the break Celtic equalised with their first real effort at goal. A free kick out of the left touchline was crossed to the edge of the box by Jordan Lowdon where it was headed on by Hughes to James Keatings who headed past Gary Inglis.

Half Time Rangers 1 Celtic 1

Rangers took the lead in the first minute of the second half with a superb goal. A long clearance from Gary Inglis was brilliantly controlled by Kane Hemmings, he held off the attentions of defender Hughes and played the ball to Kal Naismith, Naismith got to the byline and his cross was met on the volley by Kane Hemmings which gave keeper Thomson no chance as it found the net of the underside of the bar.

Only a fine double save from Thomson a minute later prevented Rangers extending their lead. A corner from Naismith was headed back out to him and his cross was met by the head of Rhys McCabe which was blocked by the keeper, Darren Cole then set up Max Wright but Thomson made a fine diving save to his left. Ten minutes later a free kick out on the left was sent into the box by Gordon Dick broke to Chris Scott who’s goal bound shot was deflected past.

Celtic were struggling to cope with the pace and power of Hemmings and on 65 minutes he broke down the left and his ball into the box was met by Dylan McGeough and was deflected for another corner by the legs of keeper Thomson. Rangers had plenty chances to make the game save and another came along with seven minutes remaining. The two substitues combined when Kyle McAusland’s great turn on the right set him free his cut back was miss hit by Cristiano Kisuka but it almost looped over keeper Thomson who was forced to tip over.

As time was running out Celtic had a bit more possesion but failed to create any real opportunities and only a coner from the right had Gary Inglis under any pressure but the Rangers keeper punched clear and the Ibrox youngsters held out for a well deserved victory.

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Andy Milne; Dylan McGeough, Gordon Dick, Rhys McCabe, Kal Naismith; Max Wright (Cristiano Kisuka 64mins), Kane Hemmings (Kyle McAusland 80 mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Murray Wallace, Nicky Main, Anthony Meringhi, Robbie Crawford.

Celtic:- Robbie Thomson; Lewis Toshney, Matty Hughes, Grant Mosson (John Young 64mins), Jordan Lowdon; Callum McGregor, Stephen McDonnell, Callum Bagshaw ( Islam Feruz 64mins), Keiran Brennan; John Marsden (Laurie Donald 84mins), James Keatings.

Not Used:- Connor Fairley, Kieran McDonald, Michael Lynch.

Disappointing Finale For Youths

May 11, 2009

Inverness CT 2 Rangers 0

It was a disappointing result and performance for the under19’s in their final league game. I was unabe to attend due to other commitments so the report is a bit limited. The Ibrox youngsters failed to recover from the loss of two goals in the opening five minutes.

A double from Stuart Leslie gave the home side all three points, his first a right foot shot after 3 minutes and he doubled the highlanders lead with a header two minutes later.

Full Time:- Inverness CT 2 Rangers 0

Inverness CT:- Keiran Wilson; Struan Scott-Woodhouse, Shaun Porter, Michael Finnis, Graeme Shinnie; Stuart Leslie, Matthew Hemsley, Connor Rennie, Nicky Ross; Shane Sutherland, Kevin Fraser (?? Armstrong).

Not Used:- Shaun Carroll, David Chambers.

Rangers:- Arturs Vailculis; Scott Durie, Ross Perry, Chris Scott, Darren Cole (Gordon Dick); Gregg Wylde, Steven Forbes, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith ( Rhys McCabe); Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Max Wright).

Not Used:- Gary Inglis, Dylan McGeough, Andy Milne.

Final Seconds Heartache For Youths

April 29, 2009

Rangers 1 Hibs 2

A goal in added time of extra time was cruel end to Rangers Youth Cup reign, but an ecstatic climax to to Hibs Youngsters season. Rangers had Danny Wilson, Ross Perry, Kyle Hutton and Kane Hemmings back in the starting eleven for tonight’s final at Hampden.

Hibs were first to threaten on 9 minutes when Kurtis Byrne and David Wotherspoon combined to set up a chance for Patrick Deane but Gregg Wylde made a great block to clear the danger. Four minutes later Deane came to the rescue for Hibs at the other end when a Stephen Stirling corner broke to Danny Wilson inside the box Deane’s last ditch challenge denied the Rangers captain.

Hibs then had a scare on the half hour mark when Kal Naismith’s corner on the right was flicked on by Archie Campbell and keeper Thomas Flynn missed his punch but gathered at the second attempt. Three minutes later Hibs took the lead, Wotherspoon found himself in space down the right and his cross was fired past Grant Adam by Kurtis Byrne.

Rangers replied when Stephen Stirling played the ball through to Kane Hemmings who shot wide of the far post. The final opportunity of the first half fell to Hibs with a few minutes remaining when Byrne collected Callum Booth’s throw and his powerful shot was straight at Adam.

Half Time :- Rangers 0 Hibs 1

Rangers made a great start to the second half equalising within three minutes. A long clearance by Adam was flicked on by Hemmings to Archie Campbell who held off the Hibs defenders to shoot past Flynn. Five minutes later Flynn had to look sharp to head clear outside his penalty area to deny Hemmings.

At the other end an Oliver Russell pass gave Byrne the chance to shoot and he brought out a fine save from Adam, tipping the ball over for a corner. On 70 minutes Rangers suffered a blow when keeper Adam came to collect a high ball and collied with the Hibs forward, he was stretchered from the field and replaced by Arturs Vailculis.

With six minutes remaining Hibs missed an excellent chance. A crossfield pass from Kyle Hutton was intercepted by Scott Taggart who sent Byrne down to the byline, his cross had Vailculis in trouble and when he failed to gather Fergus Bell could only knock the ball wide at the far post.

At the other end a Darren Cole long throw was flicked on by Jamie Ness to be headed narrowly over by substitute Isa Bagci. Then in the final minute Hibs missed another excellent chance when Wotherspoon failed to connect with a  Byrne cross with the goal at his mercy.

End Of 90 Minutes:- Rangers 1 Hibs 1

The first half of extra time was pretty uneventful, with both team tiring there was half chances at both ends. The second half was following a similar pattern till the 118th minute when Booth advance down the left and his cross  looked like being forced home but the Rangers defence scrambled clear.

With the 120 minutes up and penalties looking likely Isa Bagci lost possession at the halfway line, the ball was played into the box and broke to Scott Taggart his shot bounced into the turf  and  as it spun up Kurtis Byrne got a touch with his head to loop the ball over the stranded Vailculis to clinch a youth double for the Hibs youngsters.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Hibs 2

Rangers :- Grant Adam (Arturs Vailculis 70mins); Darren Cole, Ross Perry, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith (Isa Bagci 85mins); Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Gordon Dick 65mins).

Not Used:- Scott Durie, Dylan McGeough.

Hibs:- Thomas Flynn; Ally Park, Ewan Moyes (Matthew Welch 110mins), Scott Smith, Calum Booth; Fergus Bell (Darren Kelly 88 mins), Oliver Russell, David Wotherspoon, Lee Currie, Kurtis Byrne; Patrick Deane (Scott Taggart).

Not Used:- Lewis Graham, Keith Murray

 

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.

Old Firm Stalemate

April 18, 2009

Rangers 0 Celtic 0

For the second time this season the youth teams of Rangers and Celtic fought out a goalless draw. With the the Edinburgh derby also finishing level it now means at win for Hibs in their last game away to Motherwell would clinch the title. Anything less would give hope to both Rangers and and Hearts who have two and three games left respectively.

In a disappointing first half that was dominated by Celtic, but failed to produce anything of note until the 30th minute and even then it was only to report a change of keeper for the visitors. When Daniele Giordano who had picked up a knock in an earlier challenge by Archie Campbell was replaced by Andrew Kennedy.

A minute later Rangers in their first real attack had the first real sight of goal, Campbell picked up the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area and played it square to Kal Naismith who made space for himself but screwed his shot well wide. Just before half time Krisjanis Vallers had a chance for Celtic but shot weakly straight at Grant Adam.

Half-Time:-Rangers 0 Celtic 0

Rangers started the second half in more determined fashion, first Kane Hemmings had a great run past two defenders only to see his shot blocked. Then in the second minute Gregg Wylde broke forward and shot wide.

On 50minutes Kyle Hutton was yellow carded for a rash challenge on Sean Fitzharris. This proved costly two minutes later when the referee deemed his foul on Vallers worthy of a second yellow and Rangers were reduced to 10 men.

On 66 minutes a good turn by Hemmings gave him a chance but he shot straight at keeper Kennedy. Then at the other end  Fitzharris shot straight at Adam.

With six minutes remaining Celtic were also reduced to 10 men. Archie Campbell burst past three defenders and was clear through on goal only to be hauled by back Ryan Strachan for a clear foul and clear red card. From the resultant free kick Stephen Stirling shot tamely straight at Kennedy.

In the dying minutes Rangers came close in a couple of ocassions, Scott Durie headed a Gregg Wylde free kick just over. Then with Grant Adam up in the Celtic box for a corner the visitors defence eventually managed to clear.

The best chance of the match came in the final minute, Campbell held the ball up inside the box and laid it back in to the path of the late arriving Gordon Dick who’s effort was tipped over by Kennedy for a corner. From the corner Danny Wilson headed just wide, which was to prove the final action of what had been a game of few goal scoring chances.

Full-Time:- Rangers 0 Celtic 0

Rangers :- Grant Adam; Scott Durie, Darren Cole, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith (Tom Miller 56mins (Gordon Dick 67mins)); Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Isa Bagci 72mins).

Not Used :- Steven Forbes, Chris Scott, Dylan McGeough, Arturs Vailculis.

Celtic:- Daniele Giordano (Andrew Kennedy 30mins); Grant Gallagher, Ryan Strachan, Matty Hughes, Antonis Kurakins; Phillip Johnstone (James Keatings 85mins), Richie Towell, Krisjanis Vallers, Michael Tidser, Jim Forrest; Sean Fitzharris (Danny Gardiner 72mins).

Not Used:- Declan Gallagher, Callum Bagshaw, Luca Santonocita, Lewis Toshney

Footnote:-

Rangers under 17’s cliched their place in the Glasgow Cup Final, with a 5-0 win over Queen’s Park on Tuesday night. The winners will meet either Celtic or Clyde in the final on 11th May.

After a goaless first half Rangers took the lead on 49 mins via a Chris Scott header from a Rhys McCabe free kick.  The lead was doubled on 54 minutes when Kyle McAusland headed home a Michael Noble Cross. Max Wright made it 3-0 on 63 minutes slotting home a Dylan McGeough square pass.

Rangers added another two in the final minutes, Chris Scott with a tap in from a Max Wright cross and the final minute another Max Wright cross was converted by Kyle McAusland.

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Kyle McAusland, Michael Noble (Scott Rumsby 83mins); Nicky Main (Robbie Crawford 80mins), Dylan McGeough, Rhys McCabe, Anthony Meringhi; Max Wright, Cristiano Kisuka (Murray Wallace 70mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie

Queen’s Park :- Paul Cankaye, ?? Garvie, Danny McKenzie, Fraser Barbour, Kevin Green, Nathan Blockley,  ?? Galbraith, Ryan Murney, ?? Sinclair, ?? Durante, Scott Morton

Subs:- Anton McDowell, ?? Newall, ?? Jones, Jamie Hunter