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U20s: Rangers 5-1 Falkirk

Despite going a goal down to an early, and dubious, penalty the U20s booked their place in the semi final of the Scottish FA Youth Cup with a comfortable win over Falkirk at Ibrox today. Goals from Zak Rudden, Jack Thomson, Billy Gilmour and a Jamie Barjonas double were enough to see off a disappointing Bairns side who looked a shadow of the team who beat Rangers 11 days ago in the Development League.

Rangers were keen to avenge their recent loss to Alan Maybury’s side and were immediately on the front foot. Zak Rudden caused all sorts of trouble for the Bairns and it was only a couple of offside decisions which stopped him getting an early opener.

Falkirk took the lead on 21 minutes Falkirk were awarded a soft penalty for a handball by Aidan Wilson. A shot was fired against his hand from point blank range but the referee pointed to the spot regardless. Robby McCrorie saved Kevin O’Hara’s initial effore but couldn’t keep the rebound out.

Rangers almost immediately equalised through a phenomenal strike by Jamie Barjonas. The ball fell to the midfielder some 30 yards out before he unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner.

Barjonas quickly popped up with a second goal when, after some good work by Houston and Jeffries down the right saw the ball eventually fall to the Scotland youth international who cooly slotted home from the edge of the box.

Graeme Murty’s side looked to double their advantage before the break with Zak Rudden having a few half chances but they couldn’t turn their superiority into a third goal.

Rangers began the second half in much the same vein as they ended the first and it only took just over ten minutes for them to get their rewards. A foul on Liam Burt was initially adjudged to have been outside the box but after consulting with one of his assistants the decision was changed to a penalty. Zak Rudden stepped up and expertly dispatched the spot-kick, sending McMinn the wrong way.

The young Gers kept the pressure up and it was quickly 4-1 when Gilmour burst through the Falkirk defence before sliding the ball underneath McMinn.

The goalscoring didn’t end there though. Jack Thomson joined his midfield partners Barjonas and Gilmour on the scoresheet when he fired a high into McMinn’s net from distance.

Graeme Murty, and the watching Mark Warburton, will have been delighted as the Development Squad put in what is argaubly their best performance of the season and remained on course for some silverware at the end of the season.

RANGERS: Robby McCrorie, Houston, Beeman, Thomson, Ross McCrorie, Wilson, Jeffries, Barjonas, Rudden, Gilmour, Burt

Subs: Bradley, Ashmore, Atakayi, Lyon, Gibson, Abaradan, Wright

Goals: Barjonas 23’, 30’, Rudden 57’, Gilmour 65’, Thomson 76’

FALKIRK: McMinn, Finlayson, Johnson, Eadie, Mitchell, Peggie, Langton, Blues, O'Hara, Stowe, Dunne

Subs: Dunne, Munro, Keary, Jarvis, Walker, McBride, Sweeney

Goals: O’Hara 21’ (p),