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Rangers reach Scottish FA Youth Cup final after victory over Ayr

Rangers 1

Burrows 58

Ayr United 0

  • Sunday, 03 May 2015
  • Ibrox
  • Under 20´s
  • Scottish FA Youth Cup - Semi Final

Ameen Rabanni | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]
 

Rangers progressed to the final of the SFA Youth Cup after a Jamie Burrows goal was enough to see them edge past Ayr United in the semi-finals at Ibrox.
 
The Gers were determined to book their place in the final for a second consecutive year from the off, making an intense start which Ayr found difficult to cope with. The away side were camped in their own half, struggling to make their way up the pitch as the hosts pressurised in a dominant opening 20 minutes.  
 
Ian Durrant’s men had the bulk of the possession for the majority of the half and managed to register some early chances, the first falling to Darren Ramsey who drilled a shot wide from 20 yards. Less than a minute later, Rangers were back in the attacking third with Ryan Hardie dribbling past the challenges and making his way into the box, the striker rounded keeper Shaun Newman but was denied by the crossbar from a few yards. The forward has been in terrific form in this competition but failed to add to his three goals on this occasion.  
 
A goal for the Blues looked imminent and on 15 minutes a triple chance looked like it might break the deadlock; Jamie Mills was on the end of a cross by Ryan Sinnamon and was unlucky to see his initial attempt hit the woodwork, then he reacted quickest to fire a snap-shot towards goal but Newman was equal to it. Ayr could not get the ball clear but Sinnamon's shot was deflected over from the edge of the area.
 
Midway through the half, Craig Halkett headed over from a corner for the home side after beating his marker to the ball as Ayr finally began to look a little more comfortable. The visitors did not offer much attacking threat in the opening 45, finding it difficult to link their play and add rhythm. However, the best chance of the half arguably fell to them when right-back Gordon Young delivered an excellent cross to the back post which picked out the unmarked Sean McKenzie but the number nine failed to direct his header towards target. 
 
At the other end, the pressure was not as relentless as it was earlier on but Rangers still looked more threatening and Hardie was sharp, working hard and he nearly finished off a nice, flowing move but the effort was blocked while Jamie Burrows could not make enough contact from Sinnamon’s cut-back as he tried a flick towards the near post on the stroke of half-time. There were a couple moments for Ayr in between those opportunities, long range drives from Dale Shirkie and Steven McCreadie but neither caused Liam Kelly any problems in the home goal.
  • Half Time:
  • Rangers
  • 0-0
  • Ayr United
There was more intent from Ayr in the second period which opened up the game and they were very close to making a breakthrough within five minutes of the restart. Ryan Nisbet sent a ferocious strike from 25 yards towards Kelly which the keeper was glad to see drift wide. Meanwhile, Burrows also tried his luck from distance in similar fashion and found the same result.
 
He was not to be denied just before the hour-mark though, as Hardie dribbled past Andrew Muir and found Fraser Aird. The midfielder’s low shot clipped Burrows on its way to goal with Newman helpless as Rangers deservedly took the lead.
 
Rangers again took control as the chances flowed for the Ibrox men. Twice Darren Ramsey found space in the box, the first time from Mills’ pull-back, then Sinnamon found the number 10 but on both times he failed to hit the target. 
 
Scott Roberts was introduced for the Glasgow giants, adding energy and pace on the right flank and he too had chances to double the lead but side-footed wide from 10 yards before seeing his near-post strike parried by Newman. 
 
As the closing stages approached, Ayr threw more men forward and although they could not carve out anything clear-cut, set pieces caused Rangers some difficulty. Shirkie in particular saw one free-kick from the left side of the box narrowly evade the far post while the holders had to be alert from corners.
 
Hardie almost added to the scoreline, going on another mazy run, beating two players but Newman did well to smother the shot then the striker tried a clever back-heel from close range which was cleared off the line.
 
The six-time winners of the trophy saw out the remaining minutes and will play either Celtic or Hibs in their 15th Youth Cup final.  
  • Full Time:
  • Rangers
  • 1-0
  • Ayr United

Lineups

Rangers
Ayr United
1. Liam Kelly
2. Ryan Sinnamon
3. Jamie Mills
4. Kevin Mbabu
5. Craig Halkett
6. Dylan Dykes
7. Jamie Burrows
8. Fraser Aird
9. Ryan Hardie
10. Darren Ramsey
11. Greg Pascazio
12. Kristian Gibson
14. Ross Lyon
15. Scott Roberts
16. Lewis White
21. Lewis McMinn
1. Shaun Newman
2. Gordon Young
3. Andrew Muir
4. Josh McArthur
5. Craig McCracken
6. Steven McCreadie
7. Dale Shirkie
8. Darren McGill
9. Sean McKenzie
10. Alan Forrest
11. Ryan Nisbet
12. Craig McGuffie
14. Peter McGill
15. Luke McGowan
16. Regan Ross
17. Lyle Avci
Star Player
Rangers
Ayr United
Ryan Hardie - A close call between Hardie and Kevin Mbabu but the striker was a threat all day, offering plenty of movement and going on some good runs himself. On a frustrating day in front of goal his extra guile made the difference.
Shaun Newman - Kept his side in the game at various stages, making some excellent saves. If it was not for him the game would have been more comfortable for Rangers.
Magic Moment
Rangers
Ayr United
The dribble by Hardie in the first half, taking on three players including the goalkeeper and he was unlucky to see his finish hit the bar.
The cross by Gordon Young in the first half which was perfect for Sean McKenzie to attack. The best piece of attacking play by Ayr in the 90 minutes.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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