Scottish Youth Cup Final
Celtic 2-3 Rangers
Thursday, 25 April
Hampden Park

Rangers were crowned 2019 Scottish Youth Cup winners in an action-packed encounter at Hampden Park. Two goals scored within two minutes of each other at the start of both halves made for an exciting final.

Rangers opened the scoring after only four minutes on the clock – a corner saw the ball cleared by Celtic; only as far as Ciaran Dickson, who fired a low shot into the back of the net.

The young Gers side were quick to capitalise on their goal advantage – Dapo Mebude made it two after six minutes played. James Maxwell swung in a lofted free kick, which was headed back to Mebude inside the box. His fierce shot nestled in the back of the net – there was little chance for Liam Hughes in the Celtic goal to react.

Despite being two goals down, Celtic worked hard to get back in the game; there were chances for the young Hoops, but for some smart goalkeeping by Budinauckas they could have found themselves pulling one back.

With 31 minutes on the clock, Budinauckas was once again called in to action, this time producing a fingertip save from Pauk Kennedy after some nice solo build up play by Cameron Harper.

The Rangers ‘keeper was tested again shortly before the half, this time by Barry Coffey – his shot from outside the box was gathered well.

Rangers could have made it three with minutes to play in the half, but Josh McPake’s angled shot from outside the box just edged wide of Liam Hughes’ far post.

It remained Celtic 0-2 Rangers at the break.

Celtic were quick of the mark in the second half – Cameron Harper finished well past Budinauckas after some good build up play by Karamoko Dembele.

The start of the second half mirrored the start of the first – after scoring one, Celtic took only two minutes to equal the scores. Paul Kennedy’s free-kick from outside the box took a big deflection off the Rangers wall, trundling across the line.

Josh McPake had the chance to re-take the lead for Rangers after 58 minutes played; he found himself in space in the centre of the box, but Liam Hughes did well to push his effort away for a corner.

Rangers did eventually re-take the lead through Nathan Young-Coombes, who did well to get a glancing header on a whipped Kai Kennedy free-kick just in front of the corner flag.

An action-packed second half continued to entertain – minutes after Rangers had re-taken the lead, they were awarded a penalty after Brody Paterson fouled Dapo Mebude in the box. Kai Kennedy stepped up, but it was excellently saved by Liam Hughes who dived to his right to palm it away.

Celtic were fighting hard for an equaliser – Cameron Harper forced Daniel Finlayson into a good block at the near post after a rampaging run into the box. The subsequent corner was cleared off the line.

Celtic thought they had an equaliser late on – Ciaran Dickson sent in a cross, which Young-Coombes nodded home, but the linesman had his flag up – the ball had gone out before the cross.

The referees whistle sounded for full time and it was the Rangers players celebrating, as they lifted the Scottish Youth Cup.

Man of the Match: Josh McPake – Rangers

Celtic: Liam Hughes (GK), Dylan Forrest (Michael Sparkes, 76’), Brody Paterson, Liam Morrison, Chris McQueen, Paul Kennedy (Ben Wylie, 69’), Karamoko Dembele, Barry Coffey, Cameron Harper, Scott Robertson (Dave McKay, 45’), Amstrong Oko-Flex

Unused substitutes: Ryan Mullen, Owen Moffat, Sam Denham, Connor McBride

Rangers: Lewis Budinauckas (GK), Nathan Patterson, James Maxwell (Declan Butterworth, 66’), Ben Williamson, Daniel Finlayson, Kyle McClelland, Dapo Mebude, Ciaran Dickson, Nathan Young-Coombes (Kieran McKechnie, 76’) , Kai Kennedy (Joao Balde 90’), Josh McPake

Unused substitutes: Brian Kinnear, Harris O’Connor, Leon King, Matt Yates.