The young Gers faced a tough challenge when they welcomed top-of-the-table Ross County to Forthbank in the Development League but will be disappointed to only come away with a point after controlling the game for long periods. Rangers were forced to do without four of the regular U20 starters with Liam Burt, Myle Beerman and Ross & Robby McCrorie all unavailable for Graeme Murty's side.
Rangers’ first real chance came after 26 minutes when Billy Gilmour’s corner was met perfectly by captain-for-the-night Aidan Wilson. The Scotland U17 starlet saw his header cannon back off the crossbar with the County keeper beaten to keep the scores level. Just a few minutes later, however, Rangers got a deserved opener when Jamie Barjonas and Ross Lyon broke quickly down the right before Lyon crossed into the six-yard box. Ross County’s keeper could have done better but it fell nicely for Rudden who rolled the ball home. County almost found an immediate equaliser but Aidan Wilson’s quick thinking got him behind Kieran Wright to clear when the keeper beaten by a header. It would be the best chance for the visitors in the opening period.
There was almost an instant goal from Rangers in the second period when the Ross County defence just about got away with some poor marking at a corner kick. Gilmour picked out Rudden before Aidan Wilson flicked a header goalwards but the County defence managed to clear their lines.
Rangers continued to push for a second to kill off the game and secure the three points but the County defence were dogged throughout. With 20 minutes left County got level against the run of play after capitalising on some slack defending and picking up a Rangers goal kick before stroking the ball beyond Wright. Wilson and Wright should have done better in dealing with the ball but it was the only mistake either made all night.
With time running out both sides tried to find a winner but struggled to break down the opposing defence and create any real chances before ref Lorraine Clark brought an end to proceedings.
Rangers: Wright, Houston, Bradley, Ashmore, Bates, Wilson, Lyon, Barjonas, Rudden, Gilmour, Gibson
Goals: Rudden 29’