RANGERS Reserves battled back from being two goals down to record a 2-2 draw in a friendly with Burnley’s second string at the Clarets’ Gawthorpe Hall training ground yesterday.
The young Light Blues had a slow start to the game and conceded twice before striker Andy Dallas was brought down in the home side’s 18-yard box with 40 minutes played. Dallas took the penalty and found the net to make it 2-1 at the half-time interval.
In the second period it was defender Nathan Patterson who scored an excellent equaliser on 54 minutes after impressive build-up play involving Liam Burt and James Maxwell.
Coach Peter Lovenkrands believes his side could, and probably should, have won the game after that, but nevertheless he came away pleased with the way the Rangers players performed.
He said: “I think we started a bit slowly and in the first 10 to 15 minutes we were trying to find our feet.
“We went two-nil down and they were two sloppy goals. We could have done a lot better defensively for both if we had better communication, but the reaction from the boys after that was really good and really pleasing.
“We started playing some fantastic football and I was actually quite confident that we were going to come back.
As soon as we got the goal from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 we were the dominant team and at half-time there was a positive team talk after the performance in the last half an hour of the first half.
“So it was an easy team talk at the break and I thought second half we were dominant all the way through.
“We scored a great second goal. The way the boys played through with Nathan pushing forward from left-back and scoring in the box tells you about the way we were playing.
“It was really good to see and we deserved to go on and win the game. We could have had a couple of penalty shouts but these things sometimes don’t go for you.
“But we were really dominant and overall I was really pleased with the performance.”
Dallas was allowed to travel to Lancashire with his Gers teammates despite being on loan at Championship side Greenock Morton.
Ton manager Jonatan Johansson agreed that the powerful striker would benefit from game time this week and Lovenkrands was delighted with the graft the 19-year-old put in against Burnley and the way he put his spot kick away. The Dane also praised full-back Patterson after he scored his side’s deserved equaliser.
He said: “Andy actually won his goal himself because he made a fantastic run down the side and then gets the penalty.
“It was maybe a wee bit soft but he does so well to put the decision into the referee’s hands with the defender making the challenge on him.
“He showed his pace and strength and then gathers himself and sticks the penalty away with a very good finish.
Andy is still in loan at Morton but he didn’t start the last game for them [on March 9 v Ross County], he was on the bench and went on, so they just wanted him to get minutes in his legs.
“After talks with JJ they thought it would be okay for Andy to travel with us and play in the game and he showed a great attitude.
“Being a boy on loan and coming back, it was great to see him get his goal and I was really pleased for him.
“Nathan Patterson, who was playing at left-back when normally he’s a right-back, also had a really good game.
“The way he linked up play for his goal was brilliant and he then finished it off with a great finish.
“So Nathan was really good and I thought Liam Burt was a standout as well. He was excellent, but of course he is one of the older ones and you expect that bit more from him.
“Overall it was a really good performance from the boys.”
RANGERS: Brian Kinnear (GK), Harris O’Connor, Nathan Patterson, Ben Williamson, Aidan Wilson, Rhys Breen, James Maxwell, John Balde, Andy Dallas, Liam Burt, Josh McPake
Subs Used: Nathan Young-Coombes, Kieran McKechnie, Matt Yates, Lewis Budinauckas (GK)
Rangers Goals: Dallas 40pen, Patterson 54