Albert put to sword by slick Gers

THERE was a bumper crowd, goals galore and loads of sunshine.

Indeed there was a glut of everything at Albert Park on Sunday afternoon when a Rangers XI came to town.

What’s more, the Glasgow giants went to town in sending Royal Albert spinning with an eight-some reel in a game played out in a carnival atmosphere.

Fielding an Under-20 side, the Gers had Royalists chasing shadows through some slick, fast-flowing football.

With local youngster Declan Hogg captaining the Albert Park outfit for the day, the homesters got off to a disastrous start by falling behind with just a minute gone.

Albert keeper Liam Robertson fumbled a Kal Naismith corner and the ball fell to the feet of Luca Gasparotto, who tucked home a shot from close range.

Minutes later Kamil Wiktorski almost grabbed a second when driving a Gregor Fotheringham pass inches wide.

Rangers kept up the pressure and after Naismith had driven a Callum Gallagher cutback against the post, they increased their lead in the 31st minute.

After collecting a Naismith pass, Ryan Sinnamon fed Robbie Crawford and with the Albert all at sea, he slotted a shot out of the reach of Robertson.

Gallagher added a third soon after and just before the break he struck again by finishing a well-flighted Matthew Clarke cross.

With four minutes of the second half gone he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot when he was chopped down inside the box by Kyle McCulloch.

Young Albert keeper, Kerr Brown, who had come on at the interval, thwarted Naismith and Andy Murdoch with excellent saves.

But in the 64th minute the visitors went further ahead as Naismith produced the finishing touch with a top class strike after an inch-perfect cross field pass from Jamie Burrows.

And in the 75th minute Dean Oakley got his name on the scoresheet in flicking home a cross from Sinnamon.

The Albert, who had introduced locals Steven Drummond and Thomas Clark, were being overran, but were nevertheless battling hard.

After Brown had done well to keep his goal intact with a superb stop from Jordan Wilson, Rangers completed the scoring with three minutes to go as Wilson this time got the better of the Royalists keeper in touching a Burrows cross into the back of the net.

Post-match interviews and more photographs in the paper.