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Match Reports

Pre-Season Friendly: Rangers 6 - 0 Bury

7 July 2018

What a fixture to kick-off The Shakers’ 2018/19 pre-season friendlies schedule!

As expected, it was a packed out Ibrox Stadium for Steven Gerrard's first home game in charge of the Gers, with 40,000 plus Rangers fans turning out to show their support for the new boss.

Ryan Lowe's side included the new faces; Chris Dagnall, Byron Moore, Mathew Hudson, Will Aimson, Tom Miller, who featured alongside some of last season's regulars.

The familiar face of Nicky Adams, also featured as a second-half substitute as he is back for his third spell at The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.

At this stage of pre-season, for Manager Ryan Lowe, it will be all about getting minutes into legs, getting the players used to playing in a competitive game again and getting them used to their new teammates.

For Gerrard, the game was further preparation before his side's return to European football for the first time since the 2011/12 season as they take on FK Shkupi next week.

The first chance of the game fell to Steven Gerrard's Rangers as Josh Windass got in behind on the right-hand side, his cross found Alfredo Morelos, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Callum Styles was the first to have an attempt on goal for Bury, his effort from 25-yards was deflected, with goalkeeper Allan McGregor there to collect the ball calmly.

After some early pressure, it was the hosts who found themselves in front after 7 minutes. Mathew Hudson did well to palm Morelos' original effort out, but Jamie Murphy was on hand to slot the ball into the back of the net.

In the 14th minute, Jamie Murphy was looking to double his tally. Alfredo Morelos managed to get the ball past Adam Thompson to find a lurking Murphy, but Bury debutant Mathew Hudson easily held his low effort, Hudson recently joined The Shakers on loan from Preston North End.

Minutes later there was almost a chance for Bury, as Neil Danns and Callum Styles linked up well inside the box, but Rangers were quick to react and managed to clear the ball to prevent any real danger.

Rangers had their foot on the gas as Jon Flanagan played an intricate ball over the top into the path of Windass, but Rangers' number 11 was unable to control the ball on the edge of the Bury box.

In the 26th minute, Rangers had the opportunity to make it 2-0 when Bury conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position down the right-hand side of the Bury box. The ball was pulled back to Murphy, but his 20-yard effort was deflected for a corner.

On the half-hour mark, Nikola Katic fancied his chances from distance and unleashed a low drive that was hit beyond 'keeper Hudson to give the Gers a 2-0 lead.

Rangers were proving to be the dominant force, as the ball was played into Jamie Murphy who tried his luck, but his effort was kept out by Hudson down to his left, seeing the rebound fall to Scott Arfield who was able to smash the ball home to make it 3-0 to the hosts.

Ryan Lowe freshened things up at half-time with four substitutions with a mix of squad players and trialist with Will Aimson, Eoghan O'Connell, Callum McFazdean and Gold Omotayo coming on for Tom Miller, Adam Thompson, Byron Moore and Joe Skarz.

The first chance of the second-half fell to danger man Arfield, who had a glorious chance from 10-yards out, but his sliced effort fell behind for a goal kick.

The Shakers came close to pulling one back as Danny Mayor cut inside on the edge of the area and managed to beat a few of the Rangers defenders to get a shot away. His shot was deflected into the path of trialist Gold Omotayo, but the ball didn't fall kindly, preventing an opportunity on goal.

5 minutes after the hour mark, Rangers extended their lead to four as substitute Glenn Middleton pulled a dangerous ball across the box that found Scott Arfield, allowing the Canadian international to score his second goal of the evening.

Alfredo Morelos, who had been a threat, finally got his goal as he headed home after a short corner was played to Windass, he then managed to pick out the Colombian at the back post.

Rangers were really showing their prowess when they bagged their sixth goal of the evening. It was an instant impact from substitute Zak Rudden who found himself on the end of a decent cross from Glenn Middleton, as he put the ball away from close range.

The fixture was always going to be a test for The Shakers with the calibre of their opponents, and them having had some extra weeks of training over Lowe's team, in preparation for their return to European football.

Though it will be a scoreline that Ryan Lowe's Shakers will probably want to forget, it certainly wasn't an occasion that they, or the fans, will forget any time soon.

Full-Time: Rangers 6 – Bury 0

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