Rangers 14s v Academy 14s
Ayr arrived at a very wet & windy Murray Park and were relieved that the pitch passed a late inspection. Ayr started the game brightly and matched Rangers all over the park. They looked comfortable at the back with Lyall Cameron organising the defence and moved the ball well up each wing. Robbie Graham (pictured) and Jackson Sivewright were demanding the ball in the wide areas and were always looking to bring striker Jamie Martin & centre midfield trio of Will Graham, Leon Murphy and Callum Ogston into the game.
Just as it looked like Ayr were going to finish the first period on level terms Rangers got a break when Ayr keeper Jordan Ross did well to parry a long range shot but the ball fell kindly for the on-rushing striker. Rangers gained confidence from the goal and quickly scored a couple of well-constructed goals. Good movement by their midfield coupled with pacey wingers were causing Ayr problems.
Despite the late goals Ayr would have been pleased with their performance in the first period.
In the second period Ayr brought on Greg Connor in goals, Nathan Baird at full back, Graeme Swailes in midfield and Euan McCance up front. Each performed well especially Greg Connor who produced a series of good saves. Euan McCance who was returning from injury linked up well with Jamie Martin and a great through ball from Euan sent Jamie clear but the centre back did well to put Jamie off even though it did look like he had a hold of Jamie’s jersey as he was about to shoot.
Nathan Baird gave a confident performance at full back and later moved into midfield where he partnered the impressive Will Graham.
In the third period Ayr began to tire and Rangers took advantage and scored several well taken goals. This was despite the best efforts of keeper Jordan Ross who pulled off several good saves. Euan McCance who had worked hard throughout the game got his reward when he reacted first to a loose ball in the box and headed past the keeper. Shortly afterwards Leon Murphy found himself one on one with the keeper but the tight angle helped the keeper block his shot.
Head Coach, Jack Martin was happy how Ayr tried to play the ball on the ground throughout the game however he commented that they needed to better match the physical presence and movement of Rangers especially in the later stages of the game.