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Rangers 2014

The Football Aid 2014 fixture at Ibrox was a hotly contested affair that saw goals aplenty and some great attacking football. The game produced 14 goals shared equally between the two sides and ended in a well deserved and fair draw. The level of football skill was something to be proud of for the players and some of the finishing was outstanding with several contenders for moment and goal of the match. At the end of the day the sides couldn’t be separated which was a fair result considering the work ethic shown by both sets of teams.

Date: Sunday 27th of April 2014
Venue: Ibrox
Rangers (Home) vs Rangers (Away)
Kick off: 11:00 am
Legends: Gordon Smith, Ian Murray and Jonatan Johansson
Match Officials: Alan Burnett, Steven O'Neill, Martin ConNo r and Fraser Marr

The Rangers Away side got the game underway wearing the Black Away kit facing their opposition who adorned the famous Royal Blue Home kit. The Away side didn’t wait for their opponents to get started either, as within 1 min they already had the ball in the net. The No  8 Callum Frew collected the ball out on the left wing before approaching the box and sliding a low cross that flashed past the goal to the back post where centre forward Gavin Bryce was there to meet it with a sliding finish (0-1).

Just five mins later and the Away side had doubled their advantage thanks to a penalty that was cooly dispatched by Sean Hunter. The initial foul came from a Home team mistake as Gavin Bryce stole the ball before getting just inside the box and was then taken down giving the referee, an easy decision to give (0-2).

The lead that the Away team had created got halved within mins as the Home side’s No  7 John Russell was given a gift. With No 9 David Welsh winning a corner for his side the Home team must have thought they had a chance at a set piece to pull one back. The ball was whipped in and there was Russell at the back post with a free header he couldn’t miss (1-2).

Although the Home side tried to level the scores it wasn’t long before the Away team showed their class. A lovely through ball from centre mid Gary Harper saw left winger Callum Frew through on goal. What the Away side were not expecting was for Home goalie Gordon Love to make an incredible double save using both of his feet separately to keep Frew out. The ball rebounded to No 7 Peter Baird who smashed his effort off the woodwork and eventually the Home side could clear it.

However, the Home side didn’t give up on their attempts to level the game and were rewarded for their determination. A slick through ball from Baljinder Singh saw the ball break to No 10 Douglas Ross whose sliding effort was expertly cleared off the line by Away legend Jonathan Johansson. The pressure didn’t end there from the Home side; the ball being returned into the box by No 11 Sean Guidera and as the ball was pin-balling about in the box the No 9 David Welsh latched onto the loose ball to hit it home and level the score (2-2).

The game continued to excite and the Away side swiftly restored their lead. A long hopeful ball forward from No 5 Ian Kearney was masterfully flicked on by No 9 Sean Hunter to his forward partner Gavin Bryce who finished well into the bottom corner under the goalie’s legs (2-3).

It was an end to end game at this stage and the exciting play produced yet another goal within mins of the last; however, this time to the Home team. A well worked run down the right side by No 7 John Russell ended in a square ball across the top of the box to No 11 Sean Guidera who squeezed it under a tackle to his strike partner David Welsh. The striker nonchalantly strolled past one player before lifting it into the air and into the top corner (3-3).

With only seconds to go before half-time the Away side once again took the lead, and the goal came from an unlikely source, their centre half Ross Duncan. From a corner the ball dropped to No 6 Colin Downie, his effort was going wide until Duncan guided it into the corner of the net (3-4).

A breathtaking half of football drew to a close with the Away side enjoying a narrow lead over their opposition. The game was largely so high-scoring because of the accuracy and precision of both side’s attackers, as their finishing was a joy to watch. A thrilling, end to end game meant the players deserved a well earned rest before the 2nd half began.

Half Time: Rangers (Home) 3 - 4 Rangers (Away)
At half-time in the Away dressing room manager Gordon Smith outlined the importance of short passes to the players and making themselves available, as this would create chances for them in the 2nd half. In the Home dressing room the players were roused by Captain Sean Guidera who pointed out that they had gifted the Away side goals in the 1st half and that if they cut out the mistakes they could go on and win the game.

Within 30 secs of the restart the game had continued in its excitement from the first half. The Away No 7 Peter Baird whipped a ball in which was missed by both centre forward, Sean Hunter, and goalie, Gordon Love. However, after the ball had passed, Love collided with Hunter because of his efforts to get to the ball. This was deemed as a penalty to the referee much to the confusion of the Home team players who believed it was a 50/50 for the ball. Nevertheless, Hunter stepped up and despatched the penalty without hesitation (3-5). 

Just a couple of mins later and the Home side had a penalty for their own. The No 9 David Welsh was played in and was nearing the touchline before being taken down by full back Colin Lowie. Up stepped Welsh to take the penalty only to be denied another goal by the Away goalie Matthew McCafferty’s sweeping leg which scooped the ball out of play to safety.

Not too long after and the Away No 7 Peter Baird was causing problems again down the right wing. Baird produced a lovely cross just dying to be smashed into the net and that is exactly what happened. It bounced through past strikers and defenders alike before reaching Darren Burnside at the back post who controlled it perfectly on his chest before volleying Home emphatically (3-6).

A thrilling match still had plenty of time to go and the Home side were not ready to lie down easily. A cheap corner resulted in a long looping ball back into the box after it had initially been cleared, which hit the bar as players scrambled around it. As the Away players looked on hopefully they were disappointed to see the ball drop straight to the feet of No 17 Ryan Veasey who managed to finish well despite slipping on the muddy goalline (4-6).

And the Home team’s fight-back didn’t end there! Yet again they produced a well-worked attack using close passing to their advantage. Legend Ian Murray made a long run down the centre before playing a one-two with right-mid John Russell. Murray then proceeded to play a delightful through ball to centre forward David Welsh who finished coolly (5-6).

With just over five mins left to play the Home side’s comeback was complete. A chance produced from nothing really; the ball was cleared out to No 15 Callum Frew who then laid it off to No 8 William Gourley. Gourley took the ball in his stride before attempting a cheeky looping effort that bounced off the bar and into the back of the net, with goalie McCafferty only being able to watch (6-6).

Much to their surprise, the Home team took the lead for the first time in the game. Just past the halfway line, No 15 Callum Frew was taken down but just before he managed to spread the play out wide to fellow substitute No 14 Ross Stirling. Thanks to the referee letting play go on, birthday boy Stirling took a touch before getting his head up and unleashing an incredible effort from the angle which flew high over the goalie and into the far corner of the goal (7-6).

With little time to spare and needing a goal quickly the Away team pressed all men forward including goalie McCafferty. And when they most needed a goal their legend, Jonatan Johansson, popped up with a sublime low finish across the goalie into the bottom corner. The ball was played into the former Finnish International before he curled it round and beyond the keeper to save his team and give them a deserved draw (7-7).

An enthralling game at Ibrox ended, quite appropriately, in a draw which portrayed both teams' attacking threat. Chances were well taken at either end throughout, namely David Welsh’s efforts and excellent solo goals from Stirling and Gourley. The Away team’s goalie McCafferty must also be mentioned for his, in the end, game winning penalty save. A great day of entertainment and thoroughly impressive performances all over the pitch produced a wonderful day of football.

Full time: Rangers (Home) 7 - 7 Rangers (Away)

Man of the Match Home: David Welsh
Man of the Match Away: Gary Harper
Moment of the Match: Ross Stirling

Home Team: Gordon Love, Derek McLeod, Ian Murray, Stefan Laird, Philip Higgs, Baljinder Singh, John Russell, William Gourley, David Welsh, Douglas Ross, Sean Guidera (C), Ross Stirling, Craig Watson, Ryan Veasey
Home Manager: Gordon Smith
Home Mascot: Scott Love

Away Team: Matthew McCafferty, Colin Lowie, Jonatan Johansson, Ross Duncan, Iain Kearney, Colin Downie, Peter Baird, Callum Frew, Sean Hunter, Gary Harper, Gavin Bryce (C), Andrew Scott, Craig Smith, David McMunn, Darren Burnside
Away Manager: Gordon Smith
Away Mascot: Harry Stabler