Rangers booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup last night with a remarkable penalty shootout win over Solihull Moors following a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes.
The National League side took the lead in the opening minutes before Jamie Barjonas’ curling strike pulled the Gers level and turned the momentum of the game on its head.
Despite going down to two well-worked goals after Barjonas drew the Gers level, Graeme Murty’s side kept working hard and trying to play the right way after being shelled by long balls by the hosts.
The Gers finally got their reward as Eros Grezda’s double pulled them level before Serge Atakayi and Nathan Young-Coombes both had chances to seal the win in 90 minutes.
With the game going straight to penalties, keeper Lewis Budinauckas pulled off two fantastic stops to deny Solihull and book a clash with Wrexham in the quarter-finals next month.
Here’s how Graeme Murty’s side performed against Solihull Moors:
Lewis Budinauckas – 7
Well beaten for all three goals but showed fantastic character to make two excellent penalty saves and secure the win for the Rangers. Will have been a big learning curve after being thrown into the game late on.
Nathan Patterson – 7
Really shaky opening ten minutes as he struggled to get to grips with the Solihull attackers before settling into a really impressive night’s work.
James Maxwell – 7
Like Patterson, Maxwell didn’t start off well but really grew into the game and posed a big threat going forward. Solid performance overall and he can be happy with how he came through the game.
Ben Williamson – 6
Replaced by Serge Atakayi at half-time. One or two really nice passes but struggled to really get going as the Gers midfielder failed to get control of the game in the opening 45.
Rhys Breen – 7
Strong performance from both central defenders despite the Gers conceding three times. Breen didn’t looked fazed by Solihull’s strikers and worked hard to marshall the defence when needed.
Daniel Finlayson – 7
Headed pretty much everything that came his way – and there was plenty of it. Captained the side and looked the part at the heart of defence as Murty’s side made it through.
Eros Grezda – 8
Two goals and a really impressive performance from Grezda. While there’s got to be a pinch of salt taken with the performances of a several-million-pound international playing ‘Conference’ players, he still needs to show up and deliver – and he did last night.
Jamie Barjonas – 7
Brilliant strike to draw the Gers level before drifting out of the game for spells. Became a real driving force as the Rangers tried to draw level again and a real mature performance from him.
Dapo Mebude – 6
Worked himself into the ground despite little coming off for the front man. Playing against Solihull’s defender’s was always likely to be a struggle for Dapo but committed himself well and worked hard for the team.
Ciaran Dickson – 7
Showed some real flashed of brilliance before being replaced later in the game as the Gers chased an equaliser. Impressive performance in a game which showed off two very different styles.
Kai Kennedy – 7
Another who covered a huge amount of ground and ran himself ragged. Could’ve scored late on but a real thorn in Solihull’s sides going forward. Got better as the game went on and more spaces appeared for him to drift into and cause problems.
Substitutes: Serge Atakayi – 5; Nathan Young-Coombes – 4