Graeme Murty’s young Rangers side managed to come from a goal down to see off Falkirk in the Development League tonight at the Falkirk Stadium. A hat-trick from Zak Rudden was enough to see off a stubborn Falkirk side who featured a number of experienced players in their starting XI.
Falkirk took an early lead when Nathan Austin bulleted a header beyond Robbie McCrorie from five yards out. The ex-East Fife man was completely unmarked in the penalty area and all Reis Peggie had to do was find him with his cross.
The opening fifteen minutes won’t have made pleasant viewing for new under 20s boss Graeme Murty. Defensively Rangers looked very poor with a number of miscommunications between Robby McCrorie and his back-line. The visitors never looked like seriously threatening the Falkirk goal and Lewis McMinn couldn’t have hoped for an easier start to his evening.
There was an enforced stoppage midway in the first-half when Falkirk keeper Lewis McMinn went down after a challenge from Andy Murdoch. The Bairns’ keeper went right over Murdoch and landed horribly on his shoulder, neck and head and appeared to be unconscious for a few moments. He eventually recovered enough to continue briefly before being replaced by Deniz Dogan Mehmet.
Falkirk should have made it 2-0 just moments later when on-loan defender David Bates was robbed of possession 25 yards out but the Falkirk striker couldn’t make anything of the opportunity after Bates recovered well.
Rangers had their first opportunity after 30 minutes when Ross Lyon’s cross evaded everyone in the box and could only be cleared for a corner. Zak Rudden stretched desperately to reach it but couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
With just a minute of the first-half left Rangers levelled the scores. Ryan Sinnamon showing excellent determination to win the ball from Mark Finalyson before finding Zak Rudden with the cutback. Rudden took a touch before curling a right foot shot in off the far post leaving Dogan Mehmet helpless.
Rangers began the second half looking much more compsed than they had in the previous 45 and it only took five minutes of the second period for Rangers to take the lead. Ross Lyon’s cross was met by Zak Rudden who’s side-foot volley rattled in off the near post.
The young Gers continued to push their hosts looking for a third and Max Ashmore and Ryan Sinnamon both had efforts at goal which were dealt with comfortably. Falkirk couldn’t get into the game and Rangers put the result beyond doubt with just under 10 minutes left. Ross Lyon done well to rob Eadie of possession before driving deep into the Falkirk area and squaring the ball to Rudden to fire home his third of the evening.
Falkirk: McMinn (Dogan Mehmey 35’), Finlayson, Henderson, Mitchell, Eadie, Johnson, Peggies, Craigen, Shepherd, Austin, O’Hara (Langton 75’).
Subs: Langton, Stowe, Jarvis, Keary, Sweeney
Goals: Austin 5’
Rangers: Robby McCrorie, Ross McCrorie, Sinnamon (White 70’), Bradley, Crooks (Burt 70’), Bates, Jeffries, Murdoch, Rudden, Ashmore (Gibson (77’), Lyon.
Subs: Wright, Wilson, Dallas, Barjonas
Goals: Rudden 45’, 50’, 80’