With Graeme Murty taking charge of the senior squad in the interim it was left to Davie McCallum and Craig Mulholland to take the U20s as they faced Dundee United at Forthbank tonight.
A very scrappy opening spell saw both sides struggle to take control of the ball and seriously threaten the opposition before Dundee United took an early lead. A low cross on the right was met first by a Dundee United player who poked the ball beyond Robby McCrorie.
Rangers took five minutes or so to regain their composure after going a goal behind before they almost equalised on 17 minutes. Harry Forrester played Houston inside the left-back with a delightfully weighted pass. The Rangers full-back done well to cut inside but then screwed his shot wide of the post.
Rangers then grabbed a deserved equaliser when Joe Dodoo stepped up to score from the spot. The ex-Leicester man coolly slotted home, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Goal Dodoo cc: @Record_Sport pic.twitter.com/qCVZsifKod— Battle Fever (@BattleFeverOn) February 14, 2017
Dundee United’s ‘keeper pulled off a fantastic stop in the build-up to the penalty decision and will feel annoyed at his team-mate undoing his hard-work with a lazy challenge.
As the first period went on Rangers continued to push for a second with Harry Forrester pulling the strings in midfield for the Young Gers alongside Jamie Barjonas and Max Ashmore but they couldn’t find the breakthrough before the break.
The second half began with Rangers bursting out of the traps immediately and looking to get in the lead for the first time in the game but some slack passing by the Light Blues allowed the visitors to to get back into the game and start to pose a threat of their own going forward.
With just under twenty minutes of the second half played Dodoo grabbed his second from the spot. Another clear penalty and another confident finish from the Ghanaian forward.
2-1 Rangers Dodoo pic.twitter.com/wpl0w460a3— Battle Fever (@BattleFeverOn) February 14, 2017
The second goal left United totally flat and allowed Rangers to dictate the tempo of the game until the end. Ross Lyon was unlucky not to grab a third after doing fantastically well to close down a slack goal kick before United’s keeper saved well from the wide man.
Serge Atayaki should have put the game beyond doubt in the final few minutes when he was picked out, unmarked, from a cross in the United penalty area but he couldn’t connect properly and the ball trickled away.
Rangers will be unhappy not to have grabbed a goal in open-play but will be delighted to have come away with the three points in a game they never really looked like losing.
Rangers: McCrorie, Houston, Beerman, Ashmore, Bates, Wilson, Burt (Rudden 65’) , Barjonas (Thomson 46’), Dodoo, Forrester Atayaki (80’), Lyon
Goals: Dodoo 27’ (p), 63’ (p)