In the build up to this Scottish Youth Cup 3rd round tie, the last few weeks had seen the talented Spartans side gather some excellent momentum in the East of Scotland under 20's League. In their last three matches, Spartans recorded two wins, scoring 13 goals in the process. As for Rangers, the past three weeks had provided mixed fortunes for the Glasgow side, who had won only once in three matches, collecting a draw away to Inverness, an impressive 3-0 victory over Motherwell and a disappointing 4-1 loss against Hibernian in Leith.
It was clear from the off, that Spartans were looking to build the attacks bravely from the back. However, Rangers high pressure forced the Spartans defence into making mistakes. In the seventh minute, Rangers nearly profited from this. Junior Ogen nicked the ball in an advanced position, before spreading the ball into the path of Tom Walsh on the edge of the box, whose tame shot was easily collected by Spartans keeper Brian Carswell.
Despite sustained pressure from Rangers, it wasn't until the ninth minute that the deadlock was broken. Ross McRorie slipped a perfectly weighted pass into the feet of Ryan Hardie on the right flank. Hardie impressively evaded a few tackles before floating an inviting cross to the attacking minded full back Ryan Sinnamon, who cleverly side footed past Carswell and into the corner of the net.
Five minutes after the goal, the Rangers players continued to flood forward at every opportunity. Daniel Stoney impressed throughout the match and at 13 minutes, after jinking past three Spartans defenders, only an impressive save denied him from scoring his first goal of the evening.
Just before the 20 minute mark, Rangers doubled their lead through an individual piece of genius from Hardie. A looping Rangers corner was headed into the feet of Hardie, who with just one touch swiftly turned away from three Spartans defenders, before dispatching the ball into the net.
Only three minutes later, Rangers looked dangerous going forward again. Walsh played a precise through ball inside the box to Sinnamon who was cynically pulled back by a Spartans defender for a Rangers penalty. Up stepped Daniel Stoney, whose composed finish added a third for Rangers.
Spartans first real chance came with six minutes left of the first half, George Hunter impressively outpaced Luca Gasparatto, however, Hunter's shot was struck into the palms of Liam Kelly.
A minute after Spartans first opportunity, Rangers countered brilliantly and almost scored a fourth. The pacey and direct Ogen brilliantly drove into the Spartans box, before firing a low cutting shot narrowly past the goal.