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U20s lose in Irn Bru Cup; Murty positive about progress

Graeme Murty’s side knocked out in the first round

Graeme Murty’s U20 side have been knocked out of the Irn Bru Cup after losing 2-1 to Championship Dumbarton.

Goals in each half from Calum Gallagher and Mark Stewart sealed the Son’ place in the second round despite a strong Rangers performance.

Ryan Hardie grabbed Rangers goal on 72 minutes to spark hope of a comeback but the Colts couldn’t turn their dominance into an equaliser.

Former Rangers attacker Calum Gallagher opened the scoring after Aidan Wilson conceded an early penalty.

After going a goal down the young Gers created several chances with Jamie Barjonas, Zak Rudden and Jason Holt all going close.

Just after half-time, Mark Stewart doubled the host’s lead but Rangers again looked to get back into the game and finally got their goal with 18 minutes left.

Zak Rudden finding Hardie in a swift counter-attacking move, before Hardie fired beyond Scott Gallacher.

Speaking to after the seeing his side go out at, U20s boss Graeme Murty was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, saying: “I’m disappointed for the players as, in the first half particularly, we played some really, really good stuff, but we gave away two really bad goals.

“But that is part of their ongoing education – you can’t just turn up and play – you have to be switched on mentally at all times and I don’t think we accommodated their style enough, particularly from restarts, but I am proud of the way they tried to play the game on a difficult night.”

There were positives too for Murty and the former Scotland international his side created plenty of chances: “I thought some of the football they played really was of a high standard.

“I thought there was more goals to be had, and when we look back on the game, we will recognise the need to be more clinical in both boxes as I thought we created more than enough to get the second goal, and had we got that, I think we would have gone on to win it.”

“What they (the players) have to take away from it is this is men’s football and this is winning football. It is incredibly different from the Academy football they have been used to and they are dealing with consequence now.