Falkirk Juniors 1 Kilsyth Rangers 5
RANGERS began their preparations for the new season with a challenge match against newly-formed Junior club, Falkirk Juniors, at Grangemouth Stadium, last Saturday.
In the event it was little more than a stroll in the park on a sunny Saturday afternoon as they ran out easy winners against weak opposition.
With several of last season’s regulars missing due to holidays, and a number of new signings and trialists on view, it was a fairly unfamiliar line-up but nevertheless they were still far too strong for the Falkirk outfit and although only being one ahead at the interval, a four goal scoring spree from Joe Barclay early in the second half put the result beyond all doubt.
Rangers starting line-up included two former favourites returning to Duncansfield after a year with Stirling University Amateurs - Darren Dalrymple and Callum Scott have both been re-signed for the new season.
A trialist keeper was also on show with Micheal Dukes still not fully recovered from a troublesome hip injury. It was all Rangers almost from the kick-off but it took them some time to turn their superiority into a goal.
When it did come it was a well worked effort wth Kyle Dempsey finishing off a good move down the right side.
A one goal lead at half-time was hardly a fair reflection of their dominance of the first half.
A big turnaround of personnel at the interval, to give everyone in the squad at least forty-five minutes on the field, saw Joe Barclay take over the striker’s role.
Within five minutes he was on target when he picked up the ball well inside the opposition half and sent it past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box.
Three minutes later and he was again on target, this time it was with a lob into the net from a wide right position.
Barely a further minute had passed before he completed his hat-trick and it was only another couple of minutes gone when he made it four.
Probably the fastest ever four goal scoring burst ever seen from a Kilsyth player, but to be fair the defensive work from the opposition was woefully weak.
After this, Rangers eased up and although maintaining overall superiority did not add to their total.
Near the end Falkirk did get one back with a goal from a blatantly offside position but it did not really matter. A good workout, but certainly much stiffer opposition awaits.
A word of appreciation to the Falkirk officials for their post match hospitality, which was much appreciated.
A further pre-season match takes place at Duncansfield this Saturday with Livingstone visiting, kick-off at 2pm.
The season officially opens on Wednesday, July 27, with Rangers visiting Dunipace in the opening game of the Sectional League Cup.