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Stranraer 0-3 Rangers: Match Report

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17 Aug 2013 17:31:30

Stranraer 0-3 Rangers: Match Report

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


Threesy does it for Rangers

Rangers showed no signs of suffering a repeat of last year's problems on the road as they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win against Stranraer at Stair Park in Scottish League One.

The Light Blues endured three draws and a defeat last season before picking up their first away win in the league in October as they initially struggled to adapt to life in the bottom tier.

But Ally McCoist's men were unwilling to wait so long this time, as Andy Little deflected home an Ian Black strike for the opener, with Lewis Macleod and skipper Lee McCulloch also on the scoresheet in the first away league fixture of the season.

In fact, with emphatic wins over Albion Rovers and Brechin City also under their belts, a more ruthless-looking Rangers side will be hoping their shock Scottish League Cup exit at Forfar proves to be nothing more than a blip in what should be a more convincing campaign.

Rangers were boosted by the return of McCulloch from suspension for the trip to Stranraer, while Kyle McAusland also started as the pair shored up a defence that was missing injury casualties Emilson Cribari and Chris Hegarty.

Dean Shiels was also added to the side as he made his first start since suffering a serious knee injury in a shock defeat to Annan Athletic at Ibrox in March.

Jon Daly and Nicky Law were again named as the two trialists as Rangers wait for a transfer embargo to end on September 1.

Daly was denied the opener in the early stages when he collected a Lee Wallace free-kick and unleashed an effort that came off the post as Rangers immediately piled on the pressure.

The first goal arrived after just five minutes when Black tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area that took a deflection off Little and fell beyond the grasp of David Mitchell in the Stranraer goal.

A period of possession from the home side followed but they failed to convert their possession into any real threat and it was Rangers who found the back of the net again as they doubled their advantage after 22 minutes.

Little supplied the cross from the right, which was missed by Daly in front of goal, and fell for Macleod to fire home at the back post.

The travelling fans were celebrating again on the half hour mark as a simple set-piece provided Rangers with their third of the day.

Law whipped a corner into the box where McCulloch was waiting unmarked to direct a bullet header past Mitchell from eight yards.

Stranraer could have pulled a goal back through Chris Aitken's free-kick but Scott Gallacher came to the rescue with a decent save to tip over and prevent the ball from finding the top corner.

Rangers were out of the traps quickly after the break and could have increased their lead within seconds of the restart when Daly pounced on a Shiels flick-on only to see his drive palmed to safety.

At the other end, Frank McKeown connected well with a free-kick but his header was straight at Gallacher and was comfortably claimed by the Rangers goalkeeper.

Stranraer's misery was compounded when they were reduced to 10 men after 72 minutes when Aitken picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Macleod, having already been cautioned for dissent.

By then, it was already clear the three points would be heading back to Glasgow.



PA

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