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Rangers 2 - 3 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 0 - 2 Aberdeen

SPFL Development League
Rangers scorers: McAusland, Dykes
Aberdeen scorers: McKenna 25, Wright 40, Smith 52.

09/09/2014 | KO: 14:00

The Dons lined up with Mutch in goal, Murray at right back, Rose and McKenna in central defence with Kelly at left back. Gibbons and Storie were the central midfielders with Wright on the left, Felek on the right and Smith playing the free role in behind Shankland. Rangers- who were well beaten by league leaders Hamilton last week- included a number of over age players including Jon Daly.
On 4 minutes a chance for the home side when the ball broke to Walsh but Scott McKenna, fresh from captaining the Scotland U19s last week, did very well to get out and make the block. Then a minute later the Dons put a good move together down the right, the ball was laid back to Storie but his shot deflected off Scott Wright and went just wide. Rangers then enjoyed a good spell of possession for ten minutes or so but the Dons kept their shape well. There were more than a few strong challenges going in all over the park. On 18 minutes Scott Wright produced a great turn and run which eventually led to a corner. Rangers then failed to clear their lines which led to a half chance for Smith but his effort was blocked. The Rangers defence again looked suspect when they failed to deal with a long ball by Mutch. Felek got himself in a good position but his powerful shot was well blocked by Gibson.
Then on 25 minutes the young Dons took the lead. Good battling down the right by Murray led to a free kick about 35 yards out, wide on the right. Felek took it and delivered a perfect ball. His inswinger was glanced on by McKenna into the corner on the net. It was a clever header which gave the keeper no chance. Five minutes later Rangers had a good chance to equalise when the ball fell to Aird just outside the box but his snap shot went inches past. Aberdeen were now looking good on the break and Felek, Wright and Smith were getting more space to run into. However on 35 minutes, the Dons had a left off. Dykes hit a shot from about 25 yards which Mutch appeared to deal with but the ball slipped out of his hands towards the net. Mutch showed good awareness to get his hand round the post and scoop the ball to safety before picking it up off the line. Rangers screamed for a goal and everyone including the referee looked towards the linesman who kept his flag down. It did look a close call however the assistant referee did have a clear view.
Then on 40 minutes Aberdeen scored a quite brilliant second goal. They put together a great move with some lovely one touch passing before Scott Wright played a superb one two with Lawrence Shankland and Wright then drilled the ball home from about 8 yards. Before the break Mutch made a fine save from a close range Daly header and then superb play by Smith again created another opening but Kelly made a good low save.

HT 0-2

Rangers as expected came out strongly at the start of the second half but again the Dons defence held firm. The back four did really well today. On the break Aberdeen continued to look dangerous with Rangers struggling to deal with Cammy Smith who had a very good game. On 52 minutes the Dons broke again and a good pass by Gibbons set Smith free. He still had a lot to do but beat his man before firing the ball low into the net. Another really good goal. That should have been that but on 58 minutes Rangers got themselves back into the game. A good move down the left put McAusland in and he finished well. Kyle had replaced Daly at half time. The goal gave Rangers a big lift and all of a sudden the match became very competitive again.
On 65 minutes Paul Sheerin made a double change; Gibbons was replaced by Campanile and Felek was replaced by Ross. The coach then had to make another change on 70 minutes when the Dons keeper Robbie Mutch had to go off injured. He collided with the post after a challenge by a McAusland. Frustratingly the challenge did not even have to happen as the ball went out of play although to be fair both players were unaware of this and had to go for the ball. U17 keeper Reece Willison came off the bench to make his debut for the 20s. He is only 15 but to his credit he came out and claimed a great cross straight away which helped settle him down. On 75 minutes Craig Storie picked up the first yellow card of the game. Just before that, Aberdeen had enjoyed a better spell again and Smith went close. On 76 minutes Smith and Wright combined to create a chance for Shankland who looked to have poked it home but Kelly did well to get a hand on it.
Then just when it looked like the young Dons had taken the sting out of the game Rangers were awarded a penalty after a foul by Shankland. Although Willison guessed the right way Dykes put it right in the corner- a good penalty. Both teams had chances in the closing stages, Smith put a shot just wide and Halkett put a header just wide. To their credit the young Dons really stood up to be counted in the final stages and showed a lot of character. They had to withstand about 7 minutes of injury time but they did this to claim the three points and remain unbeaten.

Rangers Teamsheet
Kelly, Sinnamon, Finnie, Gibson, Halkett, Hutton, Aird, Murdoch, Daly, Walsh, Dyke
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Mutch (Willison), Murray, Kelly, Gibbons (Campanile 65), McKenna, Rose, Felek (Ross 65), Storie, Shankland, Smith, Wright.

Unused Subs: Henry, Orsi, Jones, Petrie.

Bookings:  Storie (75).
Venue: Rangers FC Training Ground, Glasgow