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Derby day delight for Hoops over Gers

Rangers FC 0

Celtic FC 1

Miller 44
  • Tuesday, 17 January 2017
  • Murray Park
  • Under 20´s
  • SPFL Development League

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

It was a perfect start to 2017 for Tommy McIntyre’s side, with Calvin Miller’s goal on the cusp of half time enough to see off their Glasgow rivals at Murray Park. Yet despite controlling the match for long spells Celtic could not find the finishing touches to make sure of the three points, giving Rangers hope into the game’s closing stages.

It Is a Rangers squad in the process of transition, and Graeme Murty’s side boasted no fewer than three under 17s, including the highly rated Billy Gilmour. Murty’s players will have gained some valuable experience against opponents who have already tested themselves against Europe’s elite in the UEFA Youth League this season.

The European adventure has meanwhile left Celtic with a fixture backlog to fulfil, as well as taking its toll on the players at McIntyre’s disposal. A number of the squad made the winter trip with Brendan Rodgers’ first team, with only Ross Doohan returning in goal after the break in Dubai. All in all Celtic made five changes from the side which lost in December’s last league outing to Dunfermline.

They began purposefully enough though, keen to set the tempo and make up the ground lost in league after that disappointing defeat to the Pars. Celtic looked hungrier closing down in midfield and in getting Theo Archibald and Jack Aitchison running at the Rangers defence. Within the opening 10 minutes Aitchison was testing McCrorie with the home keeper called into action twice from two shots at goal.  

Rangers were gradually being pushed deeper and were struggling to clear lines, with Aitchison and Luke Donnelly chasing down Bates and Wilson in their own half as Rangers tried to play the ball out from the back. The hosts tried to find a way into the game, their best chance arriving on 13 minutes, after a long ball over the top by Thomson had Burt bearing down on Doohan from the angle of the box. But under pressure he could only find the side netting with his shot.

And but for the that, the rest of the half was largely one way traffic as Celtic continued to press well up field and build momentum, seeking to switch the play quickly with angled passes down each flank. Yet despite Calvin Miller and Archibald getting into some dangerous areas they struggled to create further clear cut chances.

Murty’s side may have begun to think they had weathered the storm but with 1 minute to go until half time Celtic finally grabbed the advantage, and it was a goal which told the story of the half. Rangers were quickly dispossessed in midfield and Donnelly showed good vision to switch the play for Miller advancing down the left side of the area. His low finish flew past McCrorie who will have been disappointed to lose at his near post.

  • Half Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 0-1
  • Celtic FC

Emerging after half time, Celtic kept their foot on the accelerator, with a number of chances going begging. Archibald found good space in the box to set himself after good work down the right by Anthony Ralston, but he could only blast over the bar. Then he should have done better on 60 minutes after a sliced clearance by McCrorie fell at his feet, but dwelled on the ball and the Gers defence recovered to ease the danger.

Rangers were just a goal in arrears but had shown little threat in attack, unable to get forward into the game to relieve the pressure on the defence. Gilmour showed the occasional flash, but all too often was forced to track back and help his team mates. Murty brought Atayaki on for Dallas to try and provide fresh impetus, but the Celts rear-guard snuffed out any opportunities.

It was the visitors who continued the pressure as the game ticked down, with further scoring opportunities passed up in the final 10 minutes. Firstly Crossan was unable to latch onto a ball in the box with the goal at his mercy, before a long range chip from Conor McManus was tipped over by McCrorie.

With the lively Archibald due to begin a loan spell at Rovers, Celtic will be hoping to have more players back in coming weeks as they seek to make up games in hand and get moving back up the table. Saturday’s Cup tie with league leaders Hibs could prove to be a defining match of their season. Rangers meanwhile hope to bounce back to winning ways as they face Falkirk.


  • Full Time:
  • Rangers FC
  • 0-1
  • Celtic FC


Rangers FC
Celtic FC
1 Robbie McCrorie
2 Ross McCrorie
3 Beerman
4 Thomson
5 Bates
6 Wilson
7 Burt
8 Barjonas
9 Rudden
10 Gilmour
11 Dallas
21 Wright
12 Atayaki
14 Jeffries
15 Houston
16 Abaradan
17 Ashmore
18 Bradley
1 Doohan
2 Ralston
3 Mcilduff
4 McCart
5 Kelleher
6 McManus
7 Archibald
8 Hill
9 Aitchison
10 Donnelly
11 Miller
13 McAdams
12 Crossan
14 Wardrop
15 Hendry
16 Duffy
17 Johnstone
18 Kerr
Star Player
Rangers FC
Celtic FC
Gilmour showed some good touches in midfield without really crafting a clear opportunity.
Theo Archibald was a driving force in the waves of Celtic attacks, showing good vision to create the game's solitary goal.
Magic Moment
Rangers FC
Celtic FC
Burt could have been the home hero, clean through on goal on 13 minutes.
Miller's assured finish was eventually enough to seal the points for Celtic.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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