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Derek Hall’s report on the Bonnyrigg Rose v Rangers b team on 11th September 2021

todaySeptember 25, 2021


Bonnyrigg Rose 2-5 Rangers B
First versus second in the Lowland League with Bonnyrigg Rose welcoming Rangers B and almost a thousand fans were inside New Dundas Park for an eagerly awaited match. With three minutes gone, Ross Gray wormed his way into the Rangers penalty area before getting the ball onto his left foot, but the contact was poor and Jay Hogarth grabbed the ball fairly easily. A minute later, Lee Currie found Dean Brett and his back post cross picked out Dean Hoskins but the header dropped wide and then Kieran McGachie beat a somewhat static Rangers defence to the ball on the edge of the box and found Currie, but the 20 yard drive was blocked. It was nine minutes before the visitors registered a shot on goal as Charlie Lindsay’s right foot effort was deflected behind by Alan Horne but within sixty seconds they made the breakthrough as Tony Weston burst down the left wing before stepping inside his man and firing in a fierce drive from the edge of the box which took a huge deflection, wrong footing Rose keeper Michael Andrews completely and landing in the net for a fairly fortuitous opening goal. On 14 minutes, nice play down the right flank saw a lovely ball pick out Adam Devine and he played in Lindsay whose shot from 15 yards was beaten behind by keeper Andrews and the keeper was interested again two minutes later as another deflected effort, this time from Charlie McCann, had the home keeper scrambling across his goals as the ball spun wide. Rangers had the bit between their teeth now and Robbie Fraser was next up to test Andrews with a low fifteen yard drive which the keeper pushed behind. After 21 minutes, Rangers full back Adam Devine was warned by referee George Calder for holding the shirt of Hoskins near the touchline as the big defender attempted to move past him and a minute later Hoskins was up again to head another Currie corner wide at the back post. Two minutes later the big Bonnyrigg defender threw over a back post cross which saw Rangers keeper Hogarth back pedalling to clutch under his crossbar but Bonnyrigg were struggling to force some real telling chances, although on 27 minutes, Neil Martynuik wasn’t too far away with a 22 yard half volley which drifted over as Hogarth looking on attentively. Murray Miller then came forward for the visitors and worked a nice one two with Weston before firing in a low right foot drive which Andrews seemed to have covered as it went wide. Rose skipper Jonathan Stewart sent Callum Connolly into the Rangers box and his dangerous low cross was well turned away by Leon King. After 32 minutes, Cole McKinnon found Robbie Ure who let fly from 20 yards with yet another deflected effort which flew wide but four minutes later the visitors got the second goal their dominance probably deserved as Weston rolled the ball inside to McKinnon and he took a touch to control before firing a low 20 yard right foot drive just inside the base of the diving Andrews right hand post for a two goal advantage which few could grudge the Ibrox side. Six minutes from the break, Lee Currie had the home fans on their feet with a trademark 30 yard free kick which forced Hogarth into an excellent save high up at his near post as he pushed the ball behind but when the corner was cleared to the feet of Gray, his shot on the turn rolled harmlessly wide. Connolly then worked an opening for Currie and this time it was the Bonnyrigg no10 who saw his left foot drive deflected behind. Currie took the corner himself and placed it on the head of Bob Wilson who saw his ten yard header drift over and the home side were going all out to try to pull one back before the break. Right on half time they came so close to doing just that when Gray worked hard to win a further corner and Curries delivery took a touch before finding the head of Horne whose goal bound header was brilliantly tipped behind by Hogarth up in the postage stamp corner, a world class save. At the interval, the visitors control of the middle part of the first period had given them a platform which transformed their pressure into goals, but Bonnyrigg had shown towards the end of the half that they felt there was something in this game for them.
An excellent tackle by Horne after 48 minutes allowed Brett to find Connolly and his dangerous cross to the back post saw Lindsay heading behind. Three minutes later Brett swung in another good cross towards Hoskins and it took a good defensive header from Devine to snuff out the danger before the hard working Gray sent another effort from the edge of the box a couple of yards wide but the home side had upped the tempo and looked full of intent. McKinnon responded for the Glasgow side with a good run before finding Weston whose shot was confidently grabbed at head height by Andrews with Ure right behind him looking for any mistakes. After 53 minutes, Fraser of Rangers went down injured but after treatment, he was able to continue. King cleared again from McGachie as he tried to retrieve a Gray pass before at the other end, the offside flag halted Ure as he looked to get through on Andrews. However on the hour, a pivotal moment as Weston beat Martynuik before finding McCann and he showed great feet to sidestep his man and then had the coolness to place a beautiful 17 yard drive all along the ground across the helpless Andrews who was rooted to the spot as the ball found the bottom corner for Rangers third of the afternoon. At this juncture, Bonnyrigg took off Gray and Connolly and brought on Kieran Hall and Andy Mair with the visitors replacing Weston with Ross McCausland. McGachie almost found Hall with a nice head flick on the edge of the box but a thumping clearance from the impressive King ended any chance of progress for the home side. On 68 minutes, a Rose corner was cleared out to McCausland who raced clear of Hoskins and ran fully 70 yards before stepping inside Stewart and curling a 16 yard effort only just wide of Andrews far post. The visitors then replaced Lindsay with Kane Ritchie-Hosler just before a Currie corner saw Hogarth punch clear and the follow up shot from Hall was blocked on the edge of the box. With a quarter of an hour remaining, Wilson was a little short with a headed pass back and Andrews did well to get to the ball before Ure at the edge of the box before at the next stoppage in play, referee Calder brought out his yellow card for the first time following a comment by Currie which earned him a needless caution. A minute later, any lingering doubt as to the result was put to bed as Ritchie-Hosler found McCann and he drove into the box before rolling the ball into the path of Ure and he slid the ball under the advancing Andrews from around eight yards to make it 4-0. Bonnyrigg then took off the hard working Hoskins and brought on Bradley Barrett. With ten minutes remaining, Turner sent a nice cross to the back post and Barrett could only find the side net from about ten yards but in truth it was a difficult chance. Rangers then brought on Zak McKay for Fraser and just after this, Currie got himself into the box but could only pull his angled drive across the six yard area without finding any takers. However seven minutes from time, a defensive clearance was returned back into the visitors box and with the defence looking for an offside flag which didn’t materialise, Hall did superbly to control the ball on the stretch and then rifle a twelve yard low drive under Hogarth into the net for a very nice finish. With four minutes remaining, the four goal cushion was restored as cheap possession lost in midfield allowed Ritchie-Hosler to stride forward into the box before drawing keeper Andrews and rolling the ball calmly home from around twelve yards to make the score 5-1. Bonnyrigg still wouldn’t go away and a cross to the back post from Horne saw Barrett rise at the back post but his nine yard header looped over. Right on 90 minutes, Ritchie-Hosler broke forward at pace for Rangers and when he tried to turn back inside Turner a couple of yards inside the box, the Bonnyrigg man hung out a leg and brought the winger down giving referee Calder no option but to award the most stonewall of penalties. McCann fired his spot kick hard and low to Andrews left but the keeper guessed correctly and made a brilliant save to beat the ball away and the home fans were still celebrating the save as Rose broke down the left wing before the ball was turned inside to Hall on the edge of the box and he turned to smash a tremendous 18 yard drive past Hogarth and at least end the match on a high for the home side. Bonnyrigg will feel that they were unlucky to get this young Rangers side on a good day and were certainly unlucky to fall behind in the manner they did during what had been a good start to the game by them. However, Rangers looked a very good side at times, dominating both possession and the pace the game was played at and with King marshalling his defence superbly at the back, it was a very difficult day up front until late on for a Bonnyrigg team used to scoring goals. This Rangers side had pace to burn all over midfield and up front and any side would have struggled to cope with some of their lead up play. However Robbie Horne’s men will regroup and will be ready to go next time out and with one or two key players hopefully returning from injury, this setback will soon be forgotten by a team still currently sitting top of the Lowland League.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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