Match Report: Rangers B Triumph Over Gretna

RANGERS B Team have again shown how much they are learning from the Lowland League after a strong winning performance against Gretna at Dumbarton Stadium.

Two hat-tricks from Christopher McKee and Tony Weston, a double from Robbie Fraser and a goal from Kane Ritchie-Hosler saw the youngsters collect another three points today after a dominating performance against Gretna.

The young Gers piled on the pressure from the first whistle, creating great play throughout all areas of the pitch, forcing important interceptions and saves with critical shots on goal.

In the early minutes from kick-off, Charlie McCann found a small pocket of space to make an excellent through ball to Christopher McKee. The striker drove into the left of the box, but his strike fell just wide.

10 minutes into the game, Gretna were down to 10 men after goalkeeper, Matthew Connelly, was given an immediate red card after handling the ball out with his box. The Light Blues were then awarded a free-kick a few yards outside the box, Alex Lowry stepped up to take it and fired it low past the defenders’ feet but the subbed goalkeeper, Lee Kilbride, managed to get a hand to it.

From this the boys built their pace, creating multiple chances and dangerous plays to enter the visitors’ final third.

Gretna managed to break the deadlock in the 21st minute of the first half with one of their first shots on goal. Robbie Ivison cut in from the wing towards the box and took a strike but unfortunately Lewis Budinaukas couldn’t get a hand to his shot.

Gretna began to build their momentum and were looking dangerous in the Rangers B final third. The boys in white almost made it two just before the end of the second half after Josh Cooper broke through the backline to challenge the Rangers stopper. Budinaukas made the critical save with his feet to keep the score line as it was, and the ball was then cleared by a blue shirt.

Christopher McKee got the equaliser for the Gers 15 minutes before the end of the first half. After many deflections, Adam Devine delivered a low ball into a busy box to meet the feet of McKee whose first touch met the back of the net.

Less than a minute later, McKee got his second that took the Light Blues ahead. Lowry fired in a shot from the left of the box but was deflected by the keeper, the deflection fell to the feet of McKee who struck the ball with power and made it two for the home side.

McKee completed his hattrick with seconds left of the first 45 minutes, putting the Teds in good stead going into the second half. Devine delivered another excellent cross into a congested box, firing it low and hard. McKee linked with the ball at the front post surrounded by white shirts but flicked it behind him to hit the net at the back post.

The young Gers were playing through into the final third effectively and efficiently at the start of the second half. Robbie Fraser got the fourth goal for his side after making a break down the left wing for a cross. His first touch was able to allow him to take a strong strike putting it past the keeper.

Tony Weston put Rangers up another goal with the fifth of the game after the keeper went for a clearance, but Weston used his body to deflect the ball into the net. Less than two minutes after, Weston made it 6 – 1 with a close range shot past Kilbride.

Weston then hit the back of the net again, but it was disallowed for ruled being offside. Kane Ritchie-Hosler did manage to get the goal, however, after a fantastic run cutting into away side’s final third, taking a flying strike outside the box and putting it past the keeper’s hands into the top right-hand corner.

Rangers made it eight after threatening cross into the box from Devine to meet the head of Fraser, whose header slammed into the goal.

Minutes later Weston completed his hat-trick with another close range shot within a tightknit box, making it his sixth goal of the season, and putting the game to bed.

RANGERS: Budinauckas, Devine, King, McClelland (66), Fraser, McKinnon, McCann, Lowry (66), Weston, McKee (60), Lindsay.

SUBS: Hogarth, MacKinnon (66), Strachan, Lindsay, Ritchie-Hosler (66), Lyall, McCausland (60).

GRETNA: Connelly (10), Emerson (T), Sneddon, Duffy (T), Harvey, Ivison, Cooper, Hale, Duffy, Cameron, Quinn.

SUBS: Kilbride (10), Griffiths, Smith, Giovanazzi, Jeffrey.