Rangers returnee Glenn Middleton captained and scored for Scotland U21s in a youth international defeat to Northern Ireland in Dumbarton on Wednesday.

Middleton spent the second half of the 2020/21 season on loan at St Johnstone, who he helped to a top-six Premiership finish and the Scottish Cup.

St Mirren v St Johnstone - William Hill Scottish Cup

Middleton scored a brilliant free-kick in a Scottish Cup semi-final win over St Mirren.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Saints boss Callum Davidson said in April that he’d like to hold onto the pacy attacker for next season [Scottish Sun], but his return to Ibrox was confirmed earlier this week [Perthstjohnstonefc.co.uk].

Middleton was rewarded for his strong late-season form with the captaincy for the first of two friendlies against Northern Ireland U21s on Wednesday afternoon and he also got on the scoresheet.

The 21-year-old cooly converted from the spot in the 38th minute after Ewan Urain was fouled in the area.

 

The result didn’t go according to plan for Scotland, though, as NI emerged 2-1 winners with Dale Taylor and Barry Baggley netting first-half goals either side of Middleton’s penalty.

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Rangers Scotland U21 Training Session - youth international

Rangers attacker Middleton scored but Scotland U21s still lost his first youth international as captain. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group via Getty Images)

There were several other Rangers youngsters involved for Scotland.

Stephen Kelly started the match in midfield, while Brian Kinnear, Lewis Mayo, Josh McPake and Ben Williamson were all named on the bench.

Highly-rated centre-back Kyle McClelland was amongst the substitutes for Northern Ireland, while former Gers talents Daniel Finlayson and Cammy Palmer started at centre-back and in centre midfield respectively for the visitors.

Meanwhile, a senior Rangers star made a perfectly timed comeback on Tuesday, playing 90 minutes of an international clash as a major opportunity beckons.

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