Scottish FA Youth Cup Final
Rangers v Aberdeen
Wednesday, 1 May - kick off 7:05pm
Hampden Park

Rangers and Aberdeen meet in the Scottish FA Youth Cup Final on Wednesday, with the match to be shown live on BBC Scotland. 

Rangers are looking for their third win in four editions of the prestigious tournament, while Aberdeen are seeking a first victory since 2001.

Road to the Final 

Rangers had lost an eleven-goal thriller in last year’s Scottish FA Youth Cup Final at Hampden Park and they started this year’s campaign with 13 goals of their own as they looked to build towards a return to  the National Stadium. St Andrews United were the unlucky opponents as Lewis Stewart grabbed a hat-trick, Christopher Eadie and Joshua Gentles bagged braces, while Callum Burnside, Blaine McClure, Lyle Wark, Alexander Smith, Kieron Willox and Cameron Scott were also on target.  

Next up was a trip up north to face Fraserburgh and the Young Gers would be frustrated for the first hour before Burnside again got the opener, stabbing home following a corner. Gentles’ driven free-kick soon made it 2-0 and Lyle Wark came off the bench to fire into the top corner to make it three. Gentles’ angled finish completed the scoring as the youngster registered his fourth goal in two matches in the competition. 

After two convincing wins, the Quarter-Final against Hearts would prove a much tighter affair. In a repeat of the 2022 Final, the scores remained level until the 76th minute when substitute Eadie rounded the Hearts’ goalkeeper before scoring the only goal of the game.  

Eadie was on target again in the Semi-Final against Dundee United, as his penalty cancelled out a Brandon Forbes strike to make it 1-1. There would be no further goals and the match would be decided by penalty kicks. Mason Munn had made some crucial saves against Hearts and he would be the hero once again, saving two penalties as the Gers sealed their place in their fourth consecutive Scottish FA Youth Cup Final. 

Aberdeen had not reached the Final of this competition since 2018, when they lost narrowly to Hibs, but they began their campaign in confident fashion, with six unanswered goals in wins over Caledonian Braves and Kilmarnock respectively. Joseph Teasdale and Findlay Marshall got the goals in their opening match and it was Scotland Under-17 international Marshall who got the first goal in the Kilmarnock game, putting the young Dons into a 1-0 lead with a driving run and low finish, just seconds after the second half had kicked off.

Aberdeen had been reduced to 10-men in the early stages but they did not let the numerical advantage phase them and Cammy Wilson made it 2-0 three minutes later. Alfie Bavidge then blasted high into the net to put 10-man Aberdeen 3-0 up just before the hour mark. Those two would combine again in the dying minutes, as Wilson’s ball from the right found Bavidge who was clinical again in wrapping up a surprisingly comfortable win.

After seeing off Killie, Aberdeen were faced with the challenge of St Johnstone – another side who are flying high in the Club Academy Scotland Under-18s league. Remarkably, they were forced to play almost the full game with 10 men as Lewis Carrol was this time given his marching orders after just two minutes.

It looked as if this tie may prove a step too far when Brodie Dair put St Johnstone ahead but Bavidge grabbed the equaliser on 19 minutes with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box after a neat one-two.

Fraser Mackie and Dair traded goals after the interval before the Dons – who had been pegged back for must of the game – stole the win in the last minute as a looped effort from Alfie Stewart evaded the Saints goalkeeper and found the back of the net.

After two dramatic 10-man wins, the Semi-Final was a much more straightforward affair as Aberdeen produced a brilliant performance to see off Ayr United 7-2 at Cormack Park. Marshall, Bavidge and Stewart were all on target again, while a Cammy Wilson double, a Fletcher Boyd strike and an Adam McNally own goal saw Aberdeen’s youngsters return to Hampden Park for the first time in six years.

Pre-Match Thoughts

Rangers' Leyton Grant: "We’ve got a good game plan and hopefully we can carry it out and get the result.

"Going into the game this year, I feel much more confident because I’ve had much more exposure in terms of different levels of football.

"It just feels like another game now and a chance to go and prove yourself.

"Looking back, it was a good experience but in these big occasions you want to come out on the right side of the result.

"It’s something that we will definitely use it as motivation to make sure that we put it right as a team this year."

Aberdeen's Alfie Bavidge: "I’m buzzing to play at Hampden, it’s a first for me to play there – never mind it being a final.

"We’re all up for it and we’re hoping to put on a good performance and take home the trophy.  

"I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past few weeks and we all just can’t wait to get out there and play.

"I think Aberdeen last won this in 2001 so it would be amazing to win but I think we need to just play the game and not the occasion when it comes because it is a great game and we’re all young lads so we just need to enjoy it and not be too daunted."

How to Watch

The match will be live on BBC Scotland. 

Match Programmes 

Programmes will be available free of charge within the stadium.