Elgin 0-1 Rangers: Match Report
Elgin 0-1 Rangers: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
McCulloch spot on for Rangers
Captain Lee McCulloch saved Rangers' blushes with a 72nd-minute penalty which scraped a 1-0 win over battling Elgin.
The win means Rangers could wrap up the Irn-Bru Third Division title next Saturday at home to Stirling, if nearest challengers Queen's Park slip up away to Annan.
A ticketing fiasco which caused the first Borough Briggs fixture between the teams to be postponed failed to stop fans from snapping up tickets for their final meeting of the season.
Elgin oversold for the league match scheduled for November 25 and the police ordered the game to be cancelled on safety grounds.
The Moray club was fined #25,000 by the Scottish League and ordered to pay Rangers' expenses as a result of the blunder.
Manager Ally McCoist responded to the previous week's shock defeat to Annan by bringing four new faces - Sebastien Faure, Francisco Sandaza, Robbie Crawford and Fraser Aird - into his starting line-up.
It was the visitors who imposed themselves on the contest right from the off.
Sandaza nearly opened the scoring on four minutes with a flashing header from Lee Wallace's cross which forced home goalkeeper Joe Malin into a brilliant one-handed save high to his right.
The Ibrox men came even closer to scoring in the 10th minute when Crawford's fierce effort from an Aird cross clipped the outside of the post.
Two minutes later Sandaza produced good skills on the left side of the box and cut back for Andy Little, whose 10-yard daisy-cutter beat Malin but hit the side net.
Elgin's first chance was a Mark Nicolson free-kick which flew high over, and Craig Gunn was inches away from connecting with Daniel Moore's deflected cross in the 18th minute.
Little fired wide on the turn midway through the half, but a frustrated Rangers fell out of the contest over the remainder of the opening 45 minutes.
The home side almost grabbed a shock lead eight minutes before the break when they won a free-kick 25 yards out and Moore's dipping, curling strike dropped inches wide of the target.
In the second half, Malin saved from Crawford's firm strike and dealt with an Ian Black 25-yard effort to his near post just before the hour.
Sandaza just failed to turn in a diving header from Little's cross, but a Rangers breakthrough eventually arrived from the penalty spot on 72 minutes.
Elgin defender Sean Crighton was penalised for a trip on Lee Wallace and McCulloch sent Malin the wrong way from the resultant penalty - the visitors' 100th goal of the season.
Rangers were largely pinned back in the closing 15 minutes, latterly with 10 men when Ian Black fouled sub Gavin Morrison and was sent off for his second booking with four minutes left.
However, the Ibrox men held on to take all three points from a scrappy contest.
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