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Rangers 2012

Football Aid 2012 at Ibrox proved to be a very competitive game, with both teams fighting for the win for the full 90 mins. With the game all equal at half-time (after a pair of excellent goals from both teams) the match could have gone either way, but it was the iconic blue shirts of the Rangers Home side that were ‘simply the best' on the day, taking their chances and edging a 3-2 victory.

Date: Thursday 10th May 2012
Venue: Ibrox
Rangers Home vs Rangers Away
Kick Off: 11:00am
Match Officials: Alan Frame, Ross Birrel and Chris Lithgow

After both teams emerged from the tunnel, to the surroundings of the famous Ibrox stadium to the tune of ‘simply the best', every player's chest was puffed-out with the pride of supporting their team, clear to see. The Away team, sporting red shirts, blue shorts and red socks kicked off the game. Both teams started with a very quick tempo but neither really able to breach either defence. A fantastic tackle by the Home team's Derek Gemmell on David Welsh, just inside the area was a great example of this in the 5th min.

The Away team were applying more pressure, and they got a free kick on the edge of the box after Home defender Andy Hannah held back winger David Welsh. Paul Robertson tested keeper Chris Bruce but the Home team were able to clear the ball to safety.

There was almost a great goal in the 11th min, after a solo run from the hardworking Robertson. He may have had no name on the back of his shirt, but the Home team were definitely aware of who he was after this effort. The Away No 4 Robertson was able to pick the ball up and run through the centre of the Home team's midfield after receiving a pass and go. He then continued his run at the defence before Derek Gemmell did just enough to put him off and the low drive was saved well by the feet of Chris Bruce.

The Away side didn't have it all their own way though. After a great interception by Stewart Henderson to win the ball back and pass out wide to Mark Crawford, Crawford put in a great cross to Gavin McWhirter, who knocked on the ball to his teammate Stewart Henderson. Henderson, who didn't really get a clean strike Away, beat the goalkeeper but an off-the-line clearance from Paul Robertson was needed which kept the score at 0-0. Henderson followed up the clearance but shot straight at Danny Seaman, who was able to dive and collect it.

The first goal of the game was scored by the Paul Robertson in the 14th min, but unfortunately for him it was in the wrong net and for the wrong team! After great work down the right wing by Crawford to chase down a cross field pass, he was able to beat the left back to the ball and target his run to the goal line. Crawford had enough time to look up and try to pick a pass to McWhirter, but Paul Robertson put his left leg out to try and stop the ball going across and ended up putting the ball in to his own net. (0-1)

The Away team almost equalised 2 mins later and it was that man again Robertson who was able to meet a through ball by Ian Smith and Robertson tried rounding the keeper to the left but was taken too far to the goal line before he was able to get a shot away.

A classic counter attack from the Home team almost made it 2-0, after great work by Crawford he played in McWhirter who continued his run to have a one-on-one with the keeper, but his side footed effort went agonisingly wide of Seaman's right post and left him disappointed with his effort.

Henderson was able to run with the ball again towards the Away defence in the 21st min, and using their main outlet on the right wing, Crawford was able to pick his run but could only meet it with an air shot. Grant Wilson should take great credit with putting the oncoming striker off. It was a great run by Henderson but the ball was just in front of him.

Ian Smith almost equalised with a volley after great work again by Crawford to get in to a very dangerous position, but Chris Bruce was able to stop the shot at the 2nd attempt.   

The equalising goal was scored in the 34th min for the Away team and came after a fantastic ball by Wilson over the head of the last centre half, which found the lively David Welsh who was then able get a fantastic left foot strike away on the edge of the box, beating Bruce high at his near post. (1-1)

There was one more chance to sneak a lead just before half time, with a route one style attack. A huge kick from Bruce to just over the half-way, before the ball managed to get flicked just behind the last man for McWhirter to run on to. He attempted to place the ball in to the far right corner but Danny Seaman did very well again to deny a goal and keep the scores level at half-time.

 Half-Time: Rangers Home 1 - 1 Rangers Away

The second half started as it did the first, with both teams battling hard to win possession of the ball.

Seaman was called into action straight away, pulling off an excellent double save from Ben Ferguson and Crawford. Ferguson was given time on the left wing to put in a dangerous cross, but needed a touch from the goalkeeper to take it Away from any threat which then bounced to Crawford who was able to gain a yard on his defender before aiming a shot towards the bottom left corner. The keeper was able to get a strong hand to the shot and tip it away for a corner. More fine goalkeeping by Danny Seaman in the Away goal.

The Away team managed to create a chance in the 53rd min, after a great counter attack. Ian Redpath found himself in plenty of space on the right wing to put in an out swinging cross aimed for the boot of David Welsh, but a composed piece of defending by Derek Gemmell was able to control a header back to his goalkeeper.

It was all the Away team at this point of the game, with the Home team struggling to gain possession and great effort from the Away team to close down any Home team players. A great ball by Gavin Stevely on the near touchline to split the central defenders found fellow 2nd half sub Ian Redpath. Redpath took a fantastic touch to get the ball out of his feet before unleashing a left foot drive, but to his disappointment he just fired the ball wide of the post.

Robertson was even more disappointed with his attempt in the 59th min, he found himself in plenty of space around the penalty area to have a free shot at goal. However he opened his body too much to put the ball well wide of the goalkeepers' left post.

The constant pressure from the Away side created another chance. Gemmell was unable to clear his lines and Welsh took the ball from his foot to have a run in at goal. However he blazed the ball over the bar and remarkably the score stayed at 1-1.

It was a case of this year's ‘Hand of God' that lead to the Away teams next goal. After intercepting a ball by Michael Mann, Richard Caplan was able to break away and drive at the Home defence before playing a delightful through ball to the lively David Welsh. Welsh had his first shot saved by Bruce, before his second attempt looked to be going in, but a ‘super-‘mann' punch by Michael Mann - who dived to the side to divert the ball out of play with his left hand - denied him his 2nd goal of the day. It was a last gasp save that any keeper would have been proud of, but despite Mann's best efforts the referee rightfully pointed to the spot. David Welsh stepped up and was able to compose himself and send the goalkeeper the wrong way, to get a well deserved 2nd goal. (1-2)

Another astonishing moment occurred two mins later. The Away team were able to break down the right wing with Welsh, before finding Ian Smith at the edge of the box to have a shot at target, but goalkeeper Bruce was again equal to it, however the rebound fell to Richard Caplan 12 yards out, but his shot was struck too hard and agonisingly it hit the crossbar to rebound back into play and into the keeper's arms. It is a miss that will surely haunt Caplan until his next Ibrox appearance!

The Away team paid for all their missed chances as Mark Crawford was able to break free from the Away defence at the half way line after intercepting a pass from Gavin Stevely to John Welsh and run in on goal. Crawford showed a touch of class to compose himself and send a delightful right footed chip over Danny Seaman's head into the back of the net. It was a clinical finish from just inside the area to level the scores with the end of the game fast approaching. (2-2)

The game swung in the complete opposite direction after the goal, and Crawford was almost on the score sheet again after an intricate interchange of passing with McWhirter just inside the area, but his shot was well saved by the, all of a sudden, busy Seaman.

The comeback was complete in the 78th min, with another clinical finish by the Home team and goal-scorer Paul Wilson was clearly delighted with his effort. Another fine passing move by the Home team split the opposing defence, leaving Robert Johnstone clear to slide the ball to Paul Wilson, who rifled a left footed shot into the roof of the net to the huge disappointment of the Away side. (3-2)

The Home team could have scored a 4th late on, but a close range save by Danny Seaman and a last ditch interception by John Armstrong kept the Away side in with a fighting chance. But as both teams searched for another breakthrough, the Home team's battling spirit saw them over the finishing line to end the game as winners and finish a very entertaining match.

Full-Time: Rangers Home 3 - 2 Rangers Away

Man of the Match Home: Derek Gemmell
Man of the Match Away: David Welsh
Moment of the Match: Mark Crawford

Home Team: Bruce, Hannah, Gemmell, Mann, Mackinnon (C), Crawford, Wilson, Johnstone, Henderson, McWhirter, Mackinnon, MacArthur, Laird, Ferguson
Home Mascot: Jack Shaw

Away Team: Seaman, Wilson, Robertson, Armstrong, Holt, Welsh, McLeod, Smith, Dunsmore, Welsh (C), Stevely, Shields, Caplan, Redpath
Away Mascot: James McAlpine