A FIRST-HALF penalty from Matty Yates was the difference as Rangers Under-18’s beat Fleetwood Town 1-0 at the Hummel Training Centre this afternoon.
David McCallum’s side featured five trialists for the game, with four of them taking a position in the starting XI.
Rangers threatened early on as captain Kyle McClelland made ground down the right before a cross which met the head of one of the trialists at the front post but his effort was just over the bar.
Just a minute later the same trialist had another chance to open the scoring as he got on the end of a ball from another of the afternoon’s trialists but headed his effort just wide of the target.
In an eventful start to the game, Fleetwood came close after just six minutes as a dangerous cross from Shayden Morris was fired across the face of goal before being clipped back to Carl Johnston but his shot from the edge of the box was blocked by the Rangers defence.
The Young Gers were awarded a penalty on the 12th minute after a handball in the box. Matty Yates stepped up to the spot and sent the keeper the wrong way with his low drilled right-footed effort.
There was almost an equaliser for Fleetwood on the 35th minute as Billy Batch crossed to Shayden Morris who had space in the box but headed just wide of target.
McCallum made four changes to his side at half-time as Kyle McClelland, Murray Miller, Leon King and Kane Ritchie-Hosler were replaced by Ryan Muir, Lewis McKinnon, Umaro Balde and a trialist.
Yates almost had his second of the afternoon as he found space on the edge of the box to get a shot away but his effort was parried away by the visiting keeper.
Matty Yates was again involved as he won the ball back in the middle of the park for Rangers before linking up with two of the forward trialists, the ball landed back at Yates who was driving into the box but his shot drifted over the bar.
Just before the hour mark, Adam Devine and Matthew Henderson came on to replace two of the trialists.
Rangers came close on the 64th minute as Ryan Muir went on a run down the right wing before playing in Matty Yates. Yates avoided pressure from a Fleetwood defender to get a dangerous ball in the box but the trialists header bounced just wide of the target.
Fleetwood were almost level as Shayden Morris won the ball back inside the Ranges box and set up Enoch Tapke but he couldn’t keep his shot down as his effort blasted over the bar.
Jay Hogarth was called into action on the 87th minute as Shayden Morris used his pace to run through on goal but the Rangers keeper got a touch to divert the ball from the target.
Ryan Muir almost added a second for Rangers in stoppage time as he run into the box before taking on the shot but his effort was blocked by the feel of the Fleetwood keeper.
Rangers: Hogarth, McClelland, Trialist, Miller, Trialist, King, Ritchie-Hosler, McKinnon, Trialist, Trialist, Yates.
Subs: Muir, Devine, MacKinnon, Henderson, Balde, Trialist, Lyall, McCausland