Junior Globe Semi Final: Co. Down 1-0 Rangers
Rangers edged out by County Down
Rangers took on County Down in the semi-final of the Supercup NI Globe at Anderson Park. It was County Down who had the first chance of the match as Billy Gilmour pushed down his opponent, up stepped Ben Cushnie to take but he fired wide of the target. Rangers, who have played some sublime football over the past few days, created their first chance as Owen McGinty played in Gilmour but he fired wide when well placed to score.
McGinty was really impressing the big crowd at Anderson Park and he set up a perfect opportunity for Rangers to take the lead as he played in Zac Butterfield but he found his shot well blocked by the recovering County Down defender. Rangers however did get the perfect break to go ahead as they were awarded a penalty Adebayo Awokoya-Mebude dusted himself down to take but he was denied by a superb save from Scott Pengally.
Rangers were nearly made to pay for that miss immediately as Callum Ferris got down the right wing to cut inside before he screamed his shot wide of the target. Rangers were playing some very attractive football keeping the ball at will and it was Gilmour who was played through but before he could get a shot away he was superbly tackled by Jack Conlon.
Rangers were cutting through County Down but just couldn't put the ball in the net and this was the case again as Butterworth was played through this time but before he could shoot he was stopped in his tracks by Conor Curren . County Down started the second half much brighter and had the first clear cut chance as Ferris was played through on goal before his shot struck the woodwork.
Whatever was said in the County Down dressing room at the break must have really inspired the players as they took the lead midway through the second half when Jack Conlon scored a real beauty of a free-kick from the edge of the area the ball beating Gers keeper Nicky Hogarth all ends up.
Rangers then started to press and press for the equaliser and so nearly had it as Kieran McKenchie hit a low free-kick just wide of Pengally’s goal, It was all one way traffic at this point with Rangers putting pressure on the local sides defence and Ruari O'Hare came to County Downs rescue as he made a superb block from Owen McGinty’s low strike from inside the penalty area. It just wasn't Rangers day as they were denied by the woodwork again as Gimour turned the County Down defence inside out before unleashing a powerful strike the ball beating Pengally all ends up only for it to hit the inside of the post.
County Down immediately broke down field and could have wrapped the game up as Sam Dinu got through on goal but his shot was well blocked by Jamie Walker, Rangers were then reduced to ten men as Jake McPake was shown a straight red card for abusive language towards the referee. County Down had the very last chance of the game from yet another Conlon free-kick but he fired it over the bar as his side progressed to tomorrow’s final.