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Rangers 3-0 Stranraer: Match Report

26 Apr 2014 14:31:00

Rangers 3-0 Stranraer: Match Report

Rangers 3-0 Stranraer: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.


Emotional win for Rangers

Rangers collected their Scottish League One trophy following their 3-0 win over Stranraer at Ibrox but celebrations were tinged with sadness following the death of club legend Sandy Jardine.


The former Gers and Scotland full-back lost his battle with cancer on Thursday night at the age of 65, and before the game there was a perfectly-observed minute's silence in tribute with the players of both sides wearing black armbands.


Goals from Fraser Aird, Arnold Peralta and Dean Shiels kept Ally McCoist's side unbeaten in the league with one game remaining - the title was wrapped up last month - and with the Championship to look forward to next season.


However, the Ibrox boss will know the club faces a much bigger battle in the weeks and months ahead.


Amid heavy emotion inside the stadium due to the loss of one of the club's favourite sons, there was simmering resentment and anger among a huge section of the Light Blues' support still coming to terms with the club's business review.


The document was presented by under-fire chief executive Graham Wallace on Friday and revealed the club had "mismanaged" around B#67million in less than two years, leaving Rangers with less than B#3.5million in the bank.


Talk of a second administration at the Govan club refuses to go away despite the protestations of Wallace, and it was against this peculiar backdrop that the Gers players went about their business.


A big crowd joined in a round of applause in the second minute - two was Jardine's number - before Stranraer keeper David Mitchell made early saves from Rangers striker Jon Daly and Shiels.


Midfielder Nicky Law then drove wide of the target from inside the penalty area but it was an insipid start by the home side.


In the 25th minute a deflected chip by Daly from inside the box clipped the top of the bar but Rangers failed to capitalise on the corner.


There was no real sense of urgency from Rangers but they got the opener with a well-worked move.


When Daly knocked the ball back to Law just outside the visitors' penalty area, the former Motherwell player quickly dispatched it out left to Aird, who turned inside on to his right foot and rifled a powerful shot from 16 yards low past Mitchell.


The game drifted thereafter but a minute from the break Stranraer defender Frank McKeown knocked the ball over the bar from a few yards out after Rangers had failed to deal with an Andrew Stirling corner, which had been flicked on by Sean Winter.


Despite that let-off, there was no discernible rise in tempo at the start of the second half from Rangers, but they got their second on the hour mark with a good finish by Peralta.


As Rangers broke, the Honduran took a pass from Aird and steadied himself before drilling his shot low past Mitchell from around 14 yards for his first goal for the club since signing last summer.


That goal infused the Ibrox men with confidence and they began streaming forward looking for more goals, the influential Aird coming close when he curled a right-footed shot just wide from outside the box.


Shiels, hitherto a peripheral figure, got his goal in the 65th minute when his diving header from a Steven Smith cross was well saved by Mitchell before he knocked the rebound in from close range.


Stranraer, tiring by the minute, had nothing with which to respond, looking only to keep the scoreline respectable.


Gers substitute Kyle Hutton, who had replaced Ian Black, struck the bar with a deflected long-distance shot in the 87th minute, but there was to be no more scoring before the final whistle and the trophy presentation to skipper Lee McCulloch.



PA

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