Rangers under-19s were in UEFA Youth League action last night as they strolled to a dominant 2-0 win over Slovan Bratislava at a wet Firhill to put them in a fantastic place to reach the playoff round.
Goals from Dapo Mebude and Nathan Young-Coombes either side of half-time were enough to secure a good lead for Graeme Murty’s side to take into the return in three weeks.
A bumper crowd turned out on a horrible night and were treated to a polished performance from the young Gers and the scoreline could have been much bigger had the Gers been more clinical in front of goal.
The Gers will now turn their attention to next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter-final with Wrexham and picking apart the win over Slovan.
📸 GALLERY | View all the images from tonight's victory.
— Rangers B & Academy (@RFC_Youth) November 6, 2019
Other than two brief spells, there will be little to concern the Academy staff with Rangers in control for the majority of the game and never looking in any danger of not winning.
The return of Lewis Mayo for injury will be a big positive for the Gers but it was Kai Kennedy’s performance that caught the eye for Murty’s side and the winger was the real stand-out performer for Rangers.
Here are how Graeme Murty’s young stars performed against Slovan Bratislava:
Lewis Budinauckas – 7
Quiet night for the keeper after his heroics in Solihull last week. Called into action with a late save to deny Slovan but little else to do otherwise.
Nathan Patterson – 7
Up and down the flank constantly as both full-backs looked to support the attackers in getting through the Bratislava defence. Fantastic engine and used the ball sensibly as Rangers tried to build attacks.
James Maxwell – 7
Caught the eye again with a hard-working performance to really cause problems for the visitors. Looks to have all the tools to make the grade at Ibrox long-term and consistently performing like this will only help.
Lewis Mayo – 7
Back in the side after picking up an injury in the last round and strolled through the game without ever really hitting top gear. Once he gets back up to speed he’s be hoping to follow up his promotion to the first-team dressing room with first-team games.
Danny Finlayson – 6
Both central defenders had pretty quiet nights and spent more time helping to recycle possession than breaking up attacks. Confident when he was needed defensively and looks to have a good understanding with Breen and Mayo just ahead.
Rhys Breen – 6
Like Finlayson, it was a quiet night defensively for Breen but looked comfortable on the ball as the Gers saw plenty of possession. Much easier night than against Solihull.
Nathan Young-Coombes – 8
Scored the second goal and was a real threat going forward. Such a lovely, technical player and always looks to get going forward. Replaced by Lyall.
Murray Miller – 7
Worked hard in central midfield and made some fantastic passes to put the Slovan defence on the back foot. Played within himself a little bit at times but helped control the tempo of the game as Rangers dominated. Replaced by Ben Williamson.
Dapo Mebude – 8
Scored the opener and caused a lot of problems but really should have scored more. Mebude is a really intelligent player despite his age and must be an absolute nightmare to play against.
Ciaran Dickson – 7
Drifted in and out of the game at times but showed some really nice touches to get forward.
Kai Kennedy – 9
Substitutes: Aaron Lyall (3) Came on but didn’t really affect the game enough. Ben Williamson (4) Kept things simple after replacing Miller in midfield