Hawick Royal Albert 0
Rangers XI 8
JOHN SLORANCE reports from Albert Park
The Rangers came to Hawick on Sunday and it turned out to be a big glittering occasion.
A sun-kissed Albert Park had its biggest crowd for many a year, the atmosphere was good and there was plenty of goals.
The game, however, was a stroll in the sunshine for a slick, well-organised Rangers under-20 side.
Facing a Hawick outfit that was playing its third game in five days, the Ibrox men ran the homesters ragged through some quicksilver passing football.
The Albert battled hard throughout, though, and also showed they could play a bit themselves at times.
Rangers got off to a flying start by opening the scoring with just a minute gone. New signing Liam Robertson in the Hawick goal dropped a Kai Naismith corner kick and the lurking Luca Gasparotto stabbed in a shot from close range.
Pushing forward at every opportunity, Rangers were then robbed of a second when Naismith thundered a Callum Gallagher cross against the post.
Naismith then pierced the Albert defence with a thrusting run down the right before finding Andy Murdoch with a low cross. Murdoch rattled in a shot that appeared net-bound until it was tipped round the post by the diving Robertson.
In the 31st minute, however, Rangers did get a second, Robbie Crawford emerging their marksman, polishing off a great move involving Ryan Sinnamon and Naismith with a deadly finish.
With 37 minutes gone, the Albert fell into further arrears when Callum Gallagher beat Robinson all the way with a powerful header on meeting a Sinnamon cross.
Rangers kept up the pressure and three minutes from the interval Callum Gallagher got amongst the goals again, finding the net with a header from a Matthew Clark cross ball.
Four minutes into the second half, Gallagher completed his hat-trick with a perfectly taken penalty.
The visitors continued to run the show and 15-year-old Hawick youngster Kerr Brown, who had replaced Robertson at the beginning of the second half, put up the shutters with fine stops from Naismith and Murdoch.
After 64 minutes Naismith added to Rangers’ tally by blasting in a superb cross from Jamie Burrows.
Dean Oakley in turn notched a seventh, tapping in a Sinnamon cross.
Following an excellent Brown save from Jay Wilson, Rangers completed the scoring minutes from time. Burrows swung over a cross that was prodded home by Wilson.
Royal Albert: L Robertson, K McCulloch, J Wood, L Dunn, S Laughlin, G CLee, S Watson, D Hogg, K O’Neil, B Nwanze, D May. Subs. S Drummond, J Paterek, I Zenati, R Fleming, K Brown.
Rangers XI: S Gallagher, R Sinnamon, M Clark, D Cole, L Gasparotto, K Wiktorski, K Naismith, A Murdoch, C Gallagher, G Fotheringham, R Crawford. Subs. B Currie, J Wilson, G Ntumba, D Oakley, G Piscazzio, J Burrows.