ROBBY McCRORIE was proud of the effort Rangers’ under-21 side put in as they lost narrowly to SPFL Championship outfit Falkirk in the Irn Bru Cup.

Two early goals from the Bairns had Paul Hartley’s side ahead but Graeme Murty put Glenn Middleton on at half-time and that seemed to give fresh impetus to the young Gers as they fashioned several good opportunities. In the end, one was converted, through striker Zak Rudden with just minutes left in the tie.

Goalkeeper and skipper of the side McCrorie was pleased with the shift the team put in though and took plenty of encouragement from the display against a strong senior group at Forthbank Stadium.

“The only way to get better is to play against these teams especially as a younger player, you do need to get that experience in the games,” he said. “I think we more than held our own, to a man, all the young boys. Even the youngest in the team. Again it’s against experienced players, Falkirk’s been about in the Championship and we looked decent out there.

“We’re disappointed that in the end we got beat 2-1. We done well in the first half and we dominated the second half. Their goals were two set-pieces really, they’ve both come from the corner and with a bit of physicality. The first goal I felt I could have done better myself even just in terms of stopping the crosses.

“In general we did have chances where we could have got it back and I do think if we had scored a bit earlier in the second half we would’ve put them under more pressure. At 2-0 down, we did feel we could still get back in the game, you don’t want it to be just 45 minutes of playing it out. We did want to show something because we felt that we could do something. I do think you could see that, there was a lot of positive passages of play right from the back going through. Maybe just that final ball, even the one that’s offside I don’t know if it was obviously. But it was just an eagerness to get back in the game.”

With the Games Programme being mixed with the new Reserve League in this new campaign, McCrorie is prepared for the different challenges the team will face both domestically and on the continent, and is hoping that he and others in Murty’s side can catch the eye of first-team boss Steven Gerrard.

McCrorie said: “Obviously last year we pulled out so it’s competitive football, it’s a league so we’ll be going out to win every game. You’ll have maybe once a month that you are travelling around Europe and getting that different sort of competition so you’re getting a good mix. I think for all young players at the club now, everybody’s just wanting to push on because there’s opportunities with the first team. If you do well the gaffer says he’ll give you a chance.”

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