U20s v RangersMonday, 12th Aug 2013
El Bakhtaoui (5) 0-1; Buttons (10) 1-1; El Bakhtaoui (20) 1-2; Gasparotto (24) 2-2; Walsh (36) 3-2; Husband (58) 3-3; Dixie (79) 4-3; Sub 17 (86) 5-3; Gray (88) 5-4.
Dunfermline under 20s travel to meet their Rangers opposite numbers at the Bet Butler Stadium in Dumbarton on Tuesday night. The Fifers kicked off through Jordan Moore and Robert Thomson attacking the goal at the river end but it was all too soon that James Washburn was forced to head behind for a Rangers corner on the left. When that came over Craig Halkett's header was powered over the cross bar, all within 90 seconds.
A strong run from Ryan Williamson was to create the opportunity for the Pars to take an early lead. The right back travelled across the park where he fed Scott Mercer and his delivery into the six yard box was challenged by Thomson and cleared only as far as Fayssal EL BAKHTAOUI who slotted the ball home from ten yards. 1-0 to the visitors and just under five minutes on the clock.
Next Mercer blasted an attempt over the Rangers crossbar before in tenth minute Rangers equalised. Jamie BUTTONS took advantage of Pars keeper Ryan Goodfellow coming well out on the left side of the box, the striker chipped him and it was all square.
Dunfermline regained the lead just ten minutes later when Mercer pumped a high ball into the box from a free kick on the right. The ball was half cleared and again EL BAKHTAOUI was waiting to smash the ball into the net from 20 yards.
Again Rangers made a quick reply going level just four minutes later. Tom Walsh lobbed a free kick in from the right and when the Pars defence failed to clear, Luca GASPAROTTO stuck the ball in the net from six yards. 2-2
Goodfellow made a good save on a Barry McKay shot, all the better since the effort from 25 yards took a nasty deflection. Anestis Argyriou was then stretchered off after he went down injured in the Pars half. No.15 replaced him on 32 minutes and on the resumption Walsh rocketted a fine shot narrowly over the crossbar.
It was not long however before WALSH did get himself on the scoresheet. Just two minutes later Callum Gallacher brushed off Ross Drummond on the right and hit the crossbar with a shot from 15 yards but then the Rangers no.10 was well placed to smack the rebound past Goodfellow from the edge of the box.
In 44 minutes Dunfermline produced a good strong attack. Moore was on half way when he laid the ball off to Husband but the suspended midfielder drove forward and laced the ball into the path of Thomson. The trialist got in a shot but Halkett deflected the shot behind for another Mercer corner that the keeper easily held.
Half Time: Rangers 3 Dunfermline 2
First noteworthy action in the second half was a 51st minute cross from Drummond that Bakhtaoui couldn't get enough on and his header sailed over the bar. Seven minutes later Moore was chopped down 26 yards out as he travelled across the pitch. HUSBAND stepped up and cracked a trademark low drive into the Rangers net. 3-3
Dunfermline kept up the pressure with Moore feeding Williamson deep on the right and his cross was nicely met by El Bakhtaoui but deflected behind off Darren Ramsay. James Washburn challenged for the cross but his effort was forced wide left. Husband had another whistler of a free kick that cleared the bar and rattled the top of the perimeter fence.
Keeper Alan Smith only just got his fingertips on a El Bakhtaoui shot in 65 minutes but there was a let off at the other end when Rangers sub Dixie failed to net and then Goodfellow made a good one handed save from Kyle McAusland.
There was yet another impressive cross field sortie by Williamson who teed by Husband for another attempt on goal but alas not with success. Williamson was taken down when he tried this again but Mercer pumped the ball in too close to the all yellow stripped keeper.
Goodfellow held a header powered on target by Halkett from a corner on the right in 76 minutes but could not stop Rangers finding the net three minutes later. A free kick from the left touchline was sent to the far side of the six yard box and when the ball was headed back across the Rangers players reacted faster with Dylan DYKES sticking the ball home from close in. 4-3
John Potter's side continued to try to get something from the game. Drummond had a shooting opportunity but pulled his shot wide. It was Rangers who were to score next however when their sub Daniel STONEY broke away down the right and slotted the Gers fifth of the night past Goodfellow.
The final minutes were made extremely competitive after Scott GRAY netted in 88 minutes meeting a ball played deep from the right and heading back across the goal to find the net. Pars came close with Mercer hitting a shot over the top and Husband being dispossessed on the top of the box. Nine goal thriller but three points were all Rangers.
RANGERS: Alan Smith; Ryan Simamon, Anestis Argyriou (32), Craig Halkett, Luca Gasparotto, Kyle McAusland, Callum Gallacher (Daniel Stoney 54), Darren Ramsay (Dylan Dykes 68), Jamie Buttons, Tom Walsh, Barry McKay.
SCORERS: Buttons (10), Gasparotto (24), Walsh (36), Dykes (79), Stoney (86).
YELLOW CARD: Halkett (61)
DUNFERMLINE: Ryan Goodfellow; Ryan Williamson, James Washburn, Lewis Martin, Ross Drummond; Fayssal El Bakhtaoui, Lewis Spence,Stephen Husband, Scott Mercer; Jordan Moore (Scott Gray 65), Robert Thomson.
SUBS NOT USED: Jordan Orru, Gavin McMillan, Finn Graham, Declan O'Kane, Cameron McClair, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: El Bakhtaoui (5, 20), Husband (58), Gray (88)
REFEREE: David Munro
WEATHER: Overcast 16C