Rangers won a thrilling UEFA Youth League second-round first-leg clash against Septemvri Sofia 4-2, with the prolific Tony Weston bagging a hat-trick.

The Gers U20s side earned a spot in the second round with a 5-1 aggregate victory over Swedish youth champions Hammarby IF and they continued their strong start to the competition in Bulgaria on Wednesday afternoon.

David McCallum named a very strong starting XI which included Leon King and Alex Lowry, while there was a place on the bench for on-fire 15-year-old forward Rory Wilson.

After a number of early chances, the Gers took the lead in the 21st minute through Weston, who finished at the second attempt following a cross from skipper Adam Devine.

The hosts responded quickly, though, and goals from Simeon Alexandrov and Martin Stoychev looked likely to ensure that they had the lead at the break.

 

However, on the stroke of the interval, midfielder Cole McKinnon got forward and fired home a shot from inside the box to level the scores at 2-2.

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Just six minutes into the second half, Weston grabbed his second of the game and in the 71st minute, he gave the visitors some breathing space by completing his hat-trick.

Former Blackpool starlet Weston bagged a hat-trick as Rangers produced another strong UEFA Youth League performance. (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The 18-year-old is currently the joint top scorer in the Lowland League with 15 goals and his excellent finishing would prove to be decisive in this game.

A number of substitutions were made in the final 20 minutes, with young Wilson one of those to come on, and McCallum’s side successfully closed out the game.

The result gives Rangers an excellent chance of making it through to the next stage and the second leg is due to take place at Dumbarton on 7 December.

Meanwhile, two exciting youngsters who are ineligible for the Youth League took part in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first training session with the first team on Tuesday.

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