ANOTHER strong performance from Rangers’ under-20s saw them defeat a St Mirren side packed with first-team stars on Tuesday indoors at Ravenscraig.
In a highly entertaining encounter, Ryan Hardie scored twice early-on as Gers flew out of the traps. The striker’s first came from an excellent ball from Matty Shiels while his second was all about anticipation, latching on to a short Gregor Buchanan pass-back.
With the quality the Paisley outfit possess in their ranks, they were always likely to cause Gers problems and they were handed a route back into the game when Lewis Mayo tugged back Nathan Flannigan inside the area.
Up-stepped the vastly experienced John Sutton to stroke the ball home beyond Aidan McAdams. Rather than feel sorry for themselves however, Rangers regained the initiative in the game and strode further clear before half-time.
Hardie this time turned provider, setting up Cammy Palmer for number three before number four came from Matty Shiels. He firstly won a McAdams clearance in the air before playing a neat one-two with Hardie before finishing beyond the goalkeeper.
4-1 became 5-1 just after the interval, with Hardie making it a hat-trick. Jordan Thompson’s through pass found the striker in acres of space, and again he retained his composure to finish to ensure he would be leaving Ravenscraig with the match ball.
Former Ger Darryl Duffy pulled one back on the hour mark to bring the scores to 5-2, with that goal seemingly rejuvenating the Saints who hammered in further goals from Cammy McPherson and Ross Stewart to set-up a nervy finish.
Rangers held firm however to ensure they emerged victorious from the game.
RANGERS: McAdams, Houston (Bradley, 45), Wilson, Mayo, Shiels (Atakayi, 59), Thomson (Zata, 74), Palmer (Dallas, 45), Thompson, Kelly, Rudden, Hardie.