Rangers reach Scottish Cup semi-finals

17 March 2014 10:46

Rangers claimed a place in the last four of the Scottish Cup as they defeated part-timers Albion Rovers 2-0 in their quarter-final replay at New Douglas Park on Monday.

Despite the huge gulf in resources between them, the League Two minnows - who knocked out Motherwell earlier in the competition - held Ally McCoist's side to a shock 1-1 draw at Ibrox nine days ago and were dreaming of reaching the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1921.

However, the Coatbridge side's hopes were dealt a blow in the 18th minute when teenager Fraser Aird grabbed the opener for Rangers.

David Crawford had a chance for an equaliser before Jon Daly headed home a second in the 57th minute to net his 24th of the season.

It extended the League One champions' unbeaten run to 32 games in all competitions and sets up a semi-final tie against Premiership side Dundee United, who have eliminated Rangers from the competition in three of the past four years, on April 12.

That match will be played at Rangers' Ibrox stadium after it was picked by the Scottish Football Association as the venue for both semi-final ties due to redevelopment work taking place at Hampden Park to lay track for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"I think it was important that we got the first goal and it was a well-taken goal by Fraser," Rangers manager McCoist said.

"After that we tried to get them to entice them out and open them up a bit and they didn't do it and stuck to their plan. We got the second goal which was a great header and I think the game died out a little bit after that."

Albion Rovers manager James Ward was left proud of his players.

"I think the players have done well, we just came up short in terms of offering a wee bit more threat in the final third," Ward said.

"We've had two lapses of concentration when we've let the ball come into our box with no pressure on it. I felt they've done themselves proud all the way from the first round and it's something we'll use to build."

At New Douglas Park, Rangers made five changes from the side that won against Dunfermline. Calum Gallagher came off the bench to score on his Rangers debut in Saturday's win and was rewarded with a starting place against Rovers.

And the 19-year-old impressed again as he set up the opener for his side in the 18th minute when his cross from the right was volleyed home from 12 yards out by Aird.

It wasn't all one-way traffic and Cammy Bell did well to keep Rangers in front eight minutes later when he made a point-blank save to deny Crawford's powerful rising shot from just inside the box.

Rangers got their second in the 57th minute through Daly. The Irish striker started the move as he sent the ball wide to Richard Forster and Daly rose above his marker to get on the end of his cross to send a looping header past Neil Parry.

Source: AFP

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