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Rangers claim Youth Cup glory after Hampden thriller

Celtic 2

Harper, 47, Kennedy, 48

Rangers 3

Dickson, 5, Mebude, 7, Young-Coombes, 66
  • Thursday, 25 April 2019
  • Hampden Park
  • Under 18´s
  • Scottish FA Youth Cup Final

Nathan Young-Coombes sealed Youth Cup glory for Rangers over their arch-rivals Celtic after a brilliant 3-2 victory at Hampden.

Rangers netted twice in the opening ten minutes before Celtic pulled it level with a couple of their own in the early stages of the second half. Young-Coombes became the hero for his side, converting a header to give the young Gers victory.

In the opening couple of minutes Young-Coombes showed how much of a threat he could be, finding space in the Celtic box, before seeing his shot deflected wide.

Only five minutes had been played before Ciaran Dickson put Rangers in front. The youngster picked up the ball on the edge of the area and sent a lovely side footed shot into the bottom corner.

Adedapo Mebude doubled Rangers’ lead two minutes later. The forward found some room in the Celtic penalty area and blasted his shot past goalkeeper Liam Hughes.

Some sloppy play in the young Gers midfield allowed Celtic forward Cameron Harper to break away on the counter. The move eventually came to nothing as Harper’s shot was turned around the post by Rangers stopper Lewis Budinauckas.

Joshua McPake missed a good opportunity to all but end things on the 42nd minute mark, but his shot from the left fizzed just wide of the post.

  • Half Time:
  • Celtic
  • 0-2
  • Rangers

Celtic came out flying after the break. Just two minutes after the restart Karamoko Dembele showed some great feet before finding Harper. He made no mistake with the finish, dragging his side right back into proceedings.

Just a minute later the Hoops were level. Paul Kennedy’s free kick took a massive deflection off the wall and ended up in the bottom corner, leaving Rangers to rue the chances they squandered in the first half.

The start to the second half was even more manic than the first, but things went quite during the next 15 minutes, with both teams fighting for possession in midfield.

It was Rangers who were to strike next after a brief lull in this pulsating clash. Young-Coombes got on the end of a free kick and guided his header into the top corner to restore Rangers’ lead.

The Ibrox side were then awarded a penalty after Mebude was clipped as he made his way towards goal. Celtic keeper Hughes turned came out on top, pushing Kai Kennedy’s penalty round the post.

The game raced from side to side in the latter stages, Rangers looking to kill it off and Celtic looking for a way back in. Chances were few and far between though as both sides waited patiently for an opening.

Celtic thought they had pulled it back two minutes from time when Harper headed home Dickson’s cross, but it was quickly ruled out as the ball was judged to have went out of play.

Rangers held in there and got over the line, lifting the Youth Cup after a terrific 90 minutes of football.

  • Full Time:
  • Celtic
  • 2-3
  • Rangers

Lineups

Celtic
Rangers
1. Liam Hughes
2. Dylan Forrest
3. Brody Paterson
4. Liam Morrison
5. Christopher McQueen
6. Paul Kennedy
7. Karamoko Dembele
8. Barry Coffey
9. Cameron Harper
10. Scott Robertson
11. Armstrong Oko-Flex
12. Dave McKay
13. Ryan Mullen
14. Owen Moffat
15. Ben Wylie
16. Michael Sparkes
17. Sam Denham
18. Connor McBride
1. Lewis Budinauckas
2. Nathan Patterson
3. James Maxwell
4. Ben Williamson
5. Daniel Finlayson
6. Kyle McClelland
7. Adedapo Mebude
8. Ciaran Dickson
9. Nathan Young-Coombes
10. Kai Kennedy
11. Joshua McPake
12. Harris O'Connor
14. Declan Butterworth
15. Leon King
16. Joao Balde
17. Kieran McKechnie
18. Matt Yates
21. Brian Kinnear
Star Player
Celtic
Rangers
Cameron Harper was the main man for Celtic. The eyes may have been on Armstrong Oko-Flex and Karamoko Dembele, but the young striker was the star of the show. He took his goal well and finished brilliantly later on, even though it was eventually ruled out.

He was at the heart of all good attacking play for Celtic and he can hold his head high after a very encouraging performance.
There were a few star performers for Rangers, but Joshua McPake just about edges it. He terrorised the Celtic defence all night, with his quick feet and technical ability proving tough to deal with.

McPake looked like a mature player out on the park and a successful career surely beckons for young Gers star.
Magic Moment
Celtic
Rangers
Cameron Harper’s goal was a big moment, not just for Celtic, but the game as a whole. It looked dead and buried as a contest after Rangers’ dominant first half display, but Celtic came back swinging in the second half. This goal really galvanized them and set up an enthralling encounter.
It can only be Nathan Young-Coombes’ header to send the Youth Cup Rangers’ way. After a nervy opening to the second half where they conceded two goals, the young Gers were on the ropes. Young-Coombes stepped up and made the difference for his side, getting his moment of glory by netting the winner.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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