LAST weekend the Rangers under-14 football team, plus three guest players from Lerwick Thistle (Andrew Robertson, Gavin Bell and Jack Clubb) travelled to Aberdeen to play a couple of friendly matches.
John Peterson, formerly of Sandness and brother of Jim Peterson (Spurs), kindly organised the teams to play against.
The first game on Saturday morning against Mintlaw Academy was very close throughout. Rangers had some early pressure and some good moves with Roy Wood and Ashley Govier up front pressurising the Mintlaw goals. It was Mintlaw, however, who scored with a well-worked move which caught out Rangers due to poor marking.
Rangers fought on and with Finn Watt playing very well along with his defence of Kristopher Thomason, Gavin Bell and Alex Nunn-Thomson the Mintlaw team struggled to penetrate. In the midfield Andrew Robertson and Thomas Grant battled hard for every ball.
Unfortunately it was Mintlaw who again scored when a loose ball fell to one of their strikers who looped the ball over keeper Harry Pitt.
Rangers kept fighting and were rewarded when a good cross from Wood was headed home by Watt at the far post. They equalised when after a good passing move the speedy Govier ran on to a good through ball and slotted the ball past the keeper.
Both teams scored again to make it 3-3 with Govier netting a second for Rangers with a very narrow angled shot at the near post.
It looked as if the game might end up in a draw when a slight lapse in marking in midfield allowed Mintlaw extra numbers in attack and they took the lead.
Rangers pushed players up to try and get an equaliser and were very unlucky when Andrew Robertson, who played superbly all game, struck a thunderous shot which beat the keeper but unfortunately hit the post and rebounded out.
Unfortunately it was Mintlaw who capitalised on the pressing Rangers with another goal that sealed the game in the dying minutes.
On Sunday Rangers played a friendly against a combination of players from Formartine Juvenile and Newmachar School who were older and much bigger in stature.
The home team piled on the pressure with the younger Rangers boys struggling, but after some desperate defending they started to settle down and get stuck in.
The game finished up 6-2 for the home team with their superior height and size making a big difference when the ball was in the air. Three of the goals were scored from corners.
The first Rangers goal came after a well-placed cross by Wood to the far side of the box was controlled and struck home by Govier. The second was a great team goal with the ball being moved to Robertson who struck it perfectly high into the net with good power. Although the final score was very convincing for Formartine/Newmachar, the Rangers coaches were extremely pleased with the performances of the all the players, who worked very hard for the whole game.
The coaches said they would like to thank John Peterson for organising the teams to play against and arranging free tickets for the Aberdeen home game and a ball signed by all the Aberdeen players.
They also thanked John Wood for going away as a helper, plus the SIC for the travel accommodation grant and NorthLink for the discounted travel, without which the trip would not have happened.