U18s Match Report | Kilmarnock 4-3 Rangers
Kian Leslie marked earning his first professional Killie contract with a goal as our U18s claimed a fantastic 4-3 win against Rangers at Rugby Park.
It was a match which had a little bit of everything including plenty of goals, two penalty incidents as well as a red card as Killie showed great skill and determination to see off their opponents from Glasgow.
Craig Clark’s side recovered from conceding an early goal through Jack Harkness, who finished high into the net after Rangers’ initial effort had struck the woodwork.
But Killie responded in the right manner as Kian Leslie took advantage of hesitency in the Rangers defence to prod home the equaliser four minutes later.
And the home side were soon ahead as David Watson’s clever pass opened up the field and Max Conway’s cross fell to Aiden McAuley, who fired his shot in off the bar to beat Jack McConnell in the Rangers goal.
It was very nearly three as Max Conway rattled the far post following good work by Jamie Kirkpatrick while McConnell saved well to deny Leslie as the home side cut Rangers open on the counter attack.
The Ibrox side worked their way back into the contest and after Harkness was fouled in the box, Rory Wilson scored from the penalty spot.
Another spot kick was awarded to the visitors in their very next attack but this time O’Connor read Wilson’s plan and he stood in place to foil the attempted Panenka dink.
Just as it appeared the teams would go in level at the break, Rangers regained the lead. Some last-ditch defending couldn’t halt Robbie Ure from latching onto a loose ball and finding the top corner of the net.
The home team just wouldn’t give in and when Aiden McAuley found space on the right, his cross was finished superbly by Jamie Kirkpatrick.
Lyall Holding was shown a straight red card after denying a goalscoring opportunity but incredibly Killie then took the lead.
Aaron Brown produced some vintage centre forward play, holding off two defenders and turning them inside out before flicking the ball past the goalkeeper.
And the ten-man hosts stayed compact to see the match out despite some late Rangers pressure with captain David Watson making a couple of crucial blocks.
Killie XI: O’Connor, McKnight, Holding, Clark, Miller, Watson, Conway (Mulvanny), McAuley (Wales), Gilmour (Spencer), Leslie (McLean), Kirkpatrick (Brown)