RANGERS’ young guns snatched their second three points of the week as they thumped Dundee United.
On a wet afternoon at Murray Park Ian Durrant’s side cruised to a victory that saw them jump to third place in the Development League table.
The under 20s were two goals to the good within five minutes; Dylan Dykes converted a penalty before Liam Burt added a second. Ross McCrorie nicked one just before the break and Burt got his second, and third of the week, in the 63rd minute.
Rangers started in sprightly fashion with no signs of tired legs from their 5-2 win over Aberdeen on Monday. Within four minutes Dykes had been hauled down for a spot-kick and he promptly converted from 12-yards to give his side a dream opening.
A minute later Burt profited from a mix up in the United lines, which saw Harry Souttar pressured into a mistake by Ross Lyon and the 16-year-old fired home.
Rangers kept the tempo going and by the 11th minute Barjonas had threaded a lovely ball into Lyon, who couldn’t profit and Scotty Roberts had a shot saved.
Roberts looked lively and on 14 minutes he drove another shot at Luis Zwick who did well to save. The keeper looked ruffled by Rangers intensity and when Lyon cut in from the left and danced through, Zwick spilled his shot. Roberts was there to lap it up but was booked for adjudged simulation as he went to ground.
How Roberts didn’t score during the first period is anyone’s guess, he had the goal gapping on 21 minutes but side footed wide. Kyle Bradley had done well to get to the by-line and cut back for him but the striker couldn’t profit at the far post.
Moments later Dundee United sculptured their first chance of the game as Aaron Duke tested Robby McCrorie’s reflexes.
A couple of minutes later his twin was in action up the other end as he tried one from 20-yards out but his left foot couldn’t quite curl the ball goalwards and he sent his shot high. Lyon forced another save out of Zwick and then Dykes spotted him off his line and attempt to lob the ball over him from 40-yards – it was just inches short of the target.
With five minutes to go until the break Rangers surged into a three goal lead through a well worked free-kick. Ross McCrorie profited from the good delivery which found him lingering in the right of the area. The defender judged the flight of the ball well to swirl a strike into the top corner.
Dundee United received somewhat of a rollicking at half-time and came out all guns blazing as the second period opened. Robby McCrorie made the first save of the half after 48 minutes and his brother cleared the danger.
But Rangers didn’t let the visitors take a hold on the game and soon Burt was looking to add to his tally. On 50 minutes Zwick had to be alive to his strike from 15-yards. And then United had their best chance of the game as Duke slipped in and took advantage of a momentary lapse in concentration from the Gers backline. McCrorie had to make himself big and the striker somehow pulled his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.
With 63 minutes played Burt had his second and Rangers their fourth. It ended a brilliant sweeping move that led the youngsters from defence to attack in a set of flowing moves and the youngster finished with a superb take from the edge of the box. That goal meant the under 20s had scored nine goals in four days in the league.
Rangers kept the pressure up by pouring forward and David Brownlie made a last ditch block to keep United at bay after Cammy Ballantyne looked likely to get the visitors off the mark.
They did get their consolation goal in the end though, Rangers tiring and allowing Justin Johnson to poke the ball over Robby McCrorie.
RANGERS: Robby McCrorie, Bradley (Lang 59’), Mills, Barjonas (Ashmore 65’), Brownlie, McCrorie, Lyon, Dykes, Roberts, Burt (Ruden 68’), Jeffries
Subs not used: Wright, King