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Sunday, 08 September 2013 15:44

Rangers run riot against Hamilton in last eight

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Rangers FC Girls
Hamilton Caledonian
Kirsty Howat 5, 33
Dana Baird 15
Megan Karagiozis 30, 40+1
Erin Cuthbert 31, 40
Alex Middleton 48
Sarah Robertson 59
Amy Allen 42


17's SWF Youth Cup - Quarter Final
Ibrox Complex
08 September 2013

Darren Carrigan
By Darren Carrigan
YFS West Region Reporter

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Ibrox loomed large over its namesake sport complex as Rangers and Hamilton got ready to go for their quarter final. The girls all looked eager and right from the whistle Rangers attacked with Erin Cuthbert finding Dana Baird out on the right. She found Kirsty Howat who put the ball across the 6 yard but nobody could get on the end of it.
Hamilton took the chance to play a long ball over the left back for Angela Watson’s nice run but Demi Scott was all business to put it out.
Emma Baird collected the attempted clearance and between her nice passes and solid tackles the Rangers defence can’t handle her.
Dana Baird did well on the right, she cut inside and firing off a snapshot that just went wide. Rangers turned up the pressure and really showed their quality.
The ball again found Baird on the right; she put the ball across the ground and low. Howat was on point to slot the ball to the corner for the opening goal: 1-0 Rangers 5 minutes in.
A high ball made it over the Hamilton defence but Kellie McQuade was off her line early and she collected a unpredictable bounce despite a headed challenge by Megan Karagiozis.
Rangers played brilliant patient football that switched play from side to side but Hamilton stood firm under the pressure. Forcing Nicole Wilkie to take a 40 yard shot that went well wide. Hamilton couldn’t relieve the pressure and found themselves on the back foot time after time.
Caitlin McLean did well to find the gap out on the left but her link up with Erin Cuthbert was ended by a foul.
The Rangers side looked confident and the free kick at the 18 yard looked like it could bring a second, but Cuthbert’s shot was just over the top corner.
Hamilton attempted a quick counter but Paige Frame got between the player and the ball and played it back to Lauren Wilkes who cleanly cleared the ball. Rangers won the contested header and played it forward, coming close again when Cuthbert was only denied by a great 1 on 1 save from McQuade.
Rangers set up for the corner and aimed for a head in the 6 yard only for McQuade to take the ball into her chest with little effort.
Rangers again won the ball in the air and Paige Frame found Dana Baird again but Amy Allan was in the right place to cut out the pass and stop the deadly run.
Hamilton looked to have found their feet but Rangers smelled blood and their attacks were relentless. A long ball by the Hammy side sent Angela Watson up against Demi Scott in a battle of pace. Both had tremendous speed but Scott got there first to stop the Hamilton girls from getting through to goal.
Nicole Bell found herself in possession off the shy and she held the ball well at the halfway line before sighting Margaux Watson’s run.  She played a lovely high switch that would leave most defenders useless but Scott again snuffed out a potential threat to keep things tight at the back.
Rangers found some space out on the right wing and the ball was cut inside to Baird in the box who showed a great deal of accuracy to find the corner under immense pressure to make it 2-0 to the Rangers girls.
Rangers were looking strong from front to back so far with both goals coming from expert use of the wide players. Dana Baird and Caitlin McLean were finding gaps in the defence fantastically and Hamilton were struggling to cope with them.
McLean went to play in Baird again but this time Ashley McKeown was on hand to cut out the pass. Emma Malavain then picked it up and chipped the oncoming Bell on the right side, but Chelsie Watson was right where she needed to be clearing the ball after a great piece of covering play.
McLean found Wilkie at the edge of the Hamilton box and after feigning a shot the number 6 skilfully played in Cuthbert only for McQuade to pounce on the first touch to again deny her.
Play staled in the middle, both sides struggling to maintain control or find that killer pass. Howat played a long ball forward for Cuthbert but Emma Malavain was on hand to deny her the chance to score.
The ball found its way back to Cuthbert though and she fancied having a go from 30+ yard and her rocket came close; rattling the post to an audible gasp around the pitch.
Howat then played in Baird on the right whose attempted cross only found the post, though it landed perfectly for Megan Karagiozis who finished against a stranded goalkeeper to make it 3-0.
Rangers had the momentum and as soon as Demi Scott got possession she looked for Cuthbert, her high through ball bounced perfectly for the striker to chip the keeper and get her goal. A mere minute later it was 4-0 Rangers with 31 minutes played.
Rangers continued to beat on Hamilton who were shocked and reeling from the one-two punch they had just been dealt, Karagiozis showed her skill beating two with a nice turn before playing in McLean who was only denied by the efforts of McQuade.
Luck wasn’t with the goalie or Hamilton however as the ball landed right at the feet of Chelsie Watson who showed no mercy when she put it into the middle of the now open goal to make it 5-0.
Hamilton struggled to recover again, but Watson was chasing everything and causing some trouble for the defence. But in the end momentum carried Rangers onward again as Cuthbert picked it up in the middle. She took one touch and expertly opened her body before launching a rocket right at the top corner in what can only be described as a screamer: 6-0 rangers on the stroke of half time. 
The Rangers first half show wasn't finished there. The Caledonian defence were beaten by a lovely pass from Howat which was simply phenomenal. Cuthbert was one on one but instead of finishing she plays it to the side to give Karagiozis the chance of a life time. Megan was hardly going to miss as she made it 7-0 in first half stoppage time.
Hamilton got fired up and suddenly it was a different game as the Hamilton girls were committing to every tackle and competing for every ball. No longer were Rangers controlling the game as the midfield became a warzone, and one that Hamilton were winning.
Rangers looked vulnerable for the first time as Emma Baird played a diagonal that beat Frame and Watson but was just too hard for Angela Watson to catch.

Half Time: Rangers FC Girls 7-0 Hamilton Caledonian
The whistle blew and at half time Rangers had killed off the game, they dismantled the visitors. It would have been easy for Hamilton to have given up or thrown away the game from frustration but the girls managed to keep a cool head in a display of terrific mental strength.
Hamilton kicked off and the play was back and forth until M. Watson dispossessed the Rangers left back and played through Amy Allan who chipped Lauren Wilkes effortlessly. Hamilton started the second half perfectly and got on the score sheet to make it 7-1 on 42 minutes.
Hamilton looked good at the start of the second half, Allen’s big presence causing the defence some trouble and paired with the pace, skill and positioning of Erin Gould, they were a formidable strike partnership.
Caitlin McLean held off a challenge well to keep Rangers in possession deep into the Hamilton half, but the Hammy defence would not give an inch and they forced the Gers back. Until they forced the home team to concede a shy.
Cuthbert intercepted the shy and played a first time and simply majestic diagonal high ball right to Alex Middleton who cut it back across to Cuthbert who had run 20 or 30 yards to support the move, but incredibly McQuade won the 1 on 1 again.
Hamilton came right at Rangers with everything they had, Amy Allen throwing a long shy right into the 6 yard box. Karen Baillie brought it down perfectly but she had to spin to get off her volley, throwing off her balance and making the shot go wide. Hamilton won the header and strung together a series of passes but all that Baillie wins from Frame is a shy.
Baird played in Demi Scott who had surged all the way up the park and beaten the line as if she were a born striker, but her shot was just inches wide of the post.
Baillie took it off the Rangers defence but her reverse through ball to Erin Gould was just too close to Malavin and was sent away.
Allen and Gould linked up for Hamilton, but Watson again stands strong to it run through to Lauren Wilkes. Hamilton finally showed their quality, if they had played like this from the start itmight have been a more competitive or even different game completely.
Right before the end Demi Scott found herself with space at the halfway line and a long through ball to Claire Docherty was on. Docherty beat the line with professional accuracy and took it past McQuade before calmly slotting it into the net for a 9-1 game a minute from time.
That was the final blow Rangers struck and the girls all shook hands after the game, even sharing a joke or two between the teams in an excellent display of sportsmanship.
But at the end of the day Rangers simply dominated the Hamilton side, they figured out where to hit and hit it hard. The Hammy girls might have rallied back in the second half but the damage was done, Rangers progress through to the semi finals.
Full Time: Rangers FC Girls 9-1 Hamilton Caledonian


Rangers FC Girls Hamilton Caledonian
1. Maureen Stevenson
2. Paige Frame
3. Demi Scott
4. Niamh Catherine Johnston
5. Chelsie Watson
6. Nicole Nancey Wilkie
7. Caitlin McLean
8. Erin Cuthbert
9. Kirsty Elizabeth Howat
10. Megan Karagiozis
11. Dana Baird
12. Alex Georgie Middleton
14. Sarah Robertson
1. Kellie McQuade
2. Amy Allen
3. Nicole Bell
4. Suzzane Smith
5. Emma Malavin
6. Emma Baird
67. Erin Gould
30. Sophie Laird
9. Margaux Watson
10. Angela Watson
11. Lilly Tavendale
12. Karen Baillie
14. Claire Docherty
15. Ashley McKeown
16. Lauren Connor
Megan Karagiozis had a great game, supported every move Rangers made and helped create great chances two. Thoroughly deserved her goals.
Erin Gould played extremely well when he came on, she was crucial to the Hamilton play when they resurged in the second half. Her creativity and passing were good as was her ability to find runs.
Megan Karagiozis said: "Today was a good team effort. We had great passing and the through balls that we worked in training really paid off for us. I think I had a good game but mostly becuse the service from the team was great and a lot of the runs made playing easier."
Erin Gould said: "I thought we gave it our all for the whole match despite the result. We really could have finished more but we were up against a solid defence. I feel that I personally could have done more but I did well to help others get chances."
Last modified on Monday, 09 September 2013 20:42
Darren Carrigan

Darren Carrigan | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

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