Rangers Colts stun Ballymena United, Bears praise young stars
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers Colts stun Ballymena United, Bears praise young stars

On Wednesday evening, Rangers Colts pulled off a stunning victory in Northern Ireland.

Graeme Murty’s side progressed to the Fourth Round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup, by defeating Ballymena United 1-0.

Murty’s youngsters delivered once again. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Rangers Colts stun Ballymena United

Downing NIFL Premiership opposition who have only lost one of their opening six league matches this season is a significant achievement.

It’s even more impressive when you consider this isn’t even the best side the Rangers academy could muster. Sure, Greg Docherty was drafted in for this one, while Albania international Eros Grezda continues to feature.

Yet, right-back Jordan Houston and the player who helped fire them to third-round, Josh McPake, have both recently gone out on loan, joining a plethora of other homegrown talents currently gaining experience away from Ibrox.

In McPake’s absence, it was Serge Atakayi who came up with the goods.

Atakayi has recently returned from an injury absence. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

In the final few minutes of normal time, the substitute capitalised on a mistake from Ballymena’s skipper to fire home the winner at the Showgrounds.

The result is a huge achievement for the Colts, who are the Gers Academy’s flagship team. In 2018/19, the equivalent side including the likes of Dapo Mebude crashed out in the first round of the competition to Falkirk.

Therefore, there’s evidence that real progress has been made.

Plenty of Bears showed their appreciation for the team’s efforts on Twitter:

Next up, is a trip to English National League side Solihull Moors, in a fixture currently scheduled for 12 October.

Who’s to say that after their recent exploits, they won’t then march even deeper into the competition?