RANGERS’ Under 17s brushed aside a ten-man Celtic to lift the 2018 Glasgow Cup in some style.
Brian Gilmour’s side took advantage of their extra man to slot a penalty home early on and the same player, Ciaran Dickson doubled the Gers lead before half-time.
A brilliant move saw the Gers add a third midway through the second-half via Kai Kennedy. It was a dominant display which saw the academy side keep their city rivals at bay for the majority of the game.
The game sprang into action on 12 minutes as Celtic found themselves down to 10 men. As Josh McPake ran through on goal Brody Paterson dragged him back and the referee wasted no time in showing him the red card. It was debatable whether McPake was well and truly the last man but it was certain Rangers would have the man advantage for the majority of the game. Kennedy put the resulting free-kick just over the bar from 25 yards out.
Minutes later the referee was making another big call in the Glasgow Cup Final. This time Alastair Grieve pointed to the spot when Owen Moffat handled the ball in the area. The Gers’ Dickson rattled the resulting penalty beyond Ryan Mullen in the Celtic goal. Rangers had the advantage.
In a frenetic opening McPake went close to doubling his side’s lead as he drilled a low shot at Mullen. A deflection off Christopher McQueen skewed the flight of the ball and the keeper did well to get down and tip the ball around the post for a corner.
Dickson doubled his and Rangers lead just before the half hour mark. The whole move stemmed from a brilliant run down the left from Zac Butterworth who launched a ball into the box. Somehow it evaded everyone before landing at the feet of the Gers number 10, he dropped a shoulder, jinked inside and drove the ball deep into the corner before celebrating with his arms outstretched.
Dapo Mebude went close to a Rangers third, when a last gasp block denied him from close range, after some tidy feet found him a few yards out with the ball still at feet.
On the stroke of half-time Kennedy found the space open up for him on the edge of the box. He didn’t need much invitation to take a couple of touches and try to curl the ball into the postage stamp corner. Mullen, in goal for Celtic, had to be at his best to get a palm to it at full stretch.
Kennedy had the best opening chances of the second half with a double of free-kicks. His second was the better as he whipped the ball round the wall and went inches close to finding the bottom corner.
He had the rewards for his early efforts on 58 minutes when he tapped the ball over the line from a few yards out. It was a superb flowing move from the Rangers youngsters with the bright Patterson the provider. The right-back made a great run to the by-line down the right to flash a ball across the face of goal, while Kennedy moved in from the left wing to get a deft touch and put his side three goals ahead.
Kennedy smashed a late chance at Mullen from outside the box and only a great leap from the Celtic stopper denied the winger, who was superb on the night. John McPake followed up that chance when he drilled a strike at the keeper a couple of yards out but he hung on to spare further blushes for his side.
RANGERS: Budinauckas, Patterson, Butterworth (O’Connor 84’), Williamson (Yates 84’), Finlayson, MlClelland, McPake, Miller, Medude (Maxwell 70’), Dickson, Kennedy.
Subs not used: Hogarth, Mack, McKinnon, Balde
Goals: Dickson 14’ 28’ Kennedy 58’