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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 1 Rangers

Youth Cup Semi Final
Aberdeen scorers: , Ruth 29.
Rangers scorers: McCausland 39

21/02/2020 | KO: 14:00

Next Stop Hampden for Young Dons After Defeating Rangers

Two first half goals from Michael Ruth were good enough to see Barry Robson's Under 18 starlets get the better of Rangers and win their way through to the final of the SFA Youth Cup where they will meet either Kilmarnock or Hearts.

Aberdeen started with Tom Ritchie in goal behind a back four of Kieran Ngwenya, Andy Paterson, Luke Turner and Lyall Booth. Calvin Ramsay and Connor Barron were in centre midfield flanked by Kevin Hanratty and Lewis Duncan with the two Michaels, Ruth and Dangana, up top.

Rangers had the first shot at goal in the third minute, Ebiowei doing well to create the opportunity with a neat turn, his shot though too high to trouble Ritchie. Aberdeen responded quickly, Dangana firing over from Ruth's driven cross.

The Dons struggled to clear the box following a Rangers corner and the ball fell to King on the 18-yard line, but again the shot was lifted high over.

On nine minutes a long ball from Barron sent Dangana racing down the left and the striker did well to cut inside and fire in a fierce shot which was well saved by Budinauckas.

A dangerous cross from Ebiowei flashed across the face of the Aberdeen goal, but there was no-one in a blue shirt to get a telling touch.

Budinauckas came outside his penalty area to grab the ball ahead of Dangana, a free kick to Aberdeen but, surprisingly, no card from the referee. Barron's delivery into the area was too close to the keeper.

Aberdeen had settled into the game well and were beginning to dominate possession. And they got their reward in the 20th minute. The ball was played to Ruth in the box, but he couldn't get a shot away so laid it back for Ramsay whose left footed effort was spilled by the keeper. The alert Michael Ruth was first to react to the loose ball and fired it into the net despite a defender's desperate effort to keep it out. First blood to the Dons.

Nine minutes later it was two. Ruth again the scorer as he turned Barron's corner in from close range after the keeper had been caught out by the flight of the ball. The perfect start for Barry Robson's young guns who were right up for this one.

Rangers fought back and after a good spell of possession, full back Devine broke clear on the right to provide the perfect cross for McCausland to slide the ball past Ritchie to make it 2-1 on 39 minutes.

Two minutes later Ebiowei was booked for pulling Hanratty back as the winger threatened to break clear.

Rangers threatened from a couple of late set-pieces, but the half time whistle sounded with the Dons fully deserving of their interval lead.

Half time - Aberdeen 2 Rangers 1

Rangers missed an early chance to draw level when O'Connor couldn't get on the end of a dangerous free kick then McCausland fired over after creating space in the box.

King was the second Rangers name in the book on 54 minutes after a crunching challenge on Hanratty.

Rangers were totally dominating the ball in the opening part of the second half but weren't able to create much in the way of shooting chances. Ebiowei tried his luck from a 25-yard free kick, but the shot was too straight to trouble Ritchie.

Calvin Ramsay was booked on 63 minutes for not retreating at a free kick, then Barry Robson was cautioned for disputing a dubious free kick decision. Tensions were rising.

Ritchie saved well from King as Rangers continued to press, McKee coming on for Ebiowei as they sought to change things around.

Booth and Dangana combined well on a rare break forward from the Dons but they were unable to fashion a shot as the Rangers defence closed ranks. The visitors continued to press, and McKee's deflected cross swirled across the face of the Aberdeen goal and away to safety.

A brilliant double save from Tom Ritchie denied Young-Coombes in 78 minutes then Paterson denied the strike as he was set to pull the trigger. The pressure was all on Aberdeen as they struggled to get any possession of the ball.

Kevin Hanratty saw yellow for a foul on Henderson with seven minutes left, Max Barry taking over from the winger as Barry Robson looked to shore up the midfield area.

McClelland was cautioned with three minutes left after picking the ball up in his hands even though it was still in play. In stoppage time Young-Coombes had a free kick chance but Ritchie was perfectly positioned to save.

Time ran out for Rangers who, despite constant second half pressure, just couldn't break the Dons down so it's a Cup Final to look forward to for the Pittodrie babes.

Full time - Aberdeen 2 Rangers 1


Aberdeen Teamsheet
Ritchie, Ngwenya, Booth, Paterson, Turner, Ramsay, Hanratty (Barry 85), Barron, Dangana, Ruth, Duncan.

Unused Subs: Dalling, Mykyta, Duncan, MacIver, Shanks, Hyslop.

Bookings:   (63),  Hanratty (83).
Rangers Teamsheet
Budinauckas, Devine, Henderson (Anderson 85), King, O?Connor, McClelland (C ), Ebiowei (McKee 66), Miller, Young-Coombes, Ritchie-Hosler, McCausland

Unused Substitutes: Hogarth (GK), Fraser, Balde, Hampl

Bookings:  Ebiowei 41,   King 54,   McClelland 87
Attendance: 250
Venue: Balmoral Stadium, Cove
Referee: Scott Leslie
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride