Three Stars of the Game
Background: After each National Hockey League game — the local media votes for the ‘Three Stars of the Game’ — basically the Man of the Match — but as a treble!
First Star: Richard Foster – Like it or not, the beard has spurred on a resurgence in Richard Foster’s season. After struggling so blatantly for much of the season, Foster has been one of the steadiest Rangers players of late. So much of the offense eventually ran through Foster vs. Albion, as he made run after run up the right flank. More often than not he kept the play moving or advanced the ball into a dangerous area. On the second goal the play steadily built up until Daly swung the ball over to Foster who launched the cross back to Daly to knock in for the decisive tally. It may be time to fear the beard.
Second Star: Callum Gallagher – many were pleasantly surprised by Ally McCoist’s bold insertion of 19-year old Gallagher into the lineup. The aggressive move goes against the mojo of McCoist this season & it certainly paid off. Early in the match his inventive & assertive play was a refreshing insertion to the game. He played with a confidence that led to the first goal as he hesitated for a second & then took on the defender with a bold attack that created the space for Gallagher to send the ball towards Fraser Aird for the first goal. Later in the match, McCoist moved the youngster to his natural position up front which became a turning point in the match for Jon Daly.
Third Star: Bilel Mohsni – early in the match Mohsni often operated as the point man bring the ball up the pitch – bypassing the central midfielders – either making Nicky Law & Ian Black mute or allowing them to push the second layer of offense up the field. Usually Mohsni was left looking for Foster or Lee Wallace on the flanks but either way it allowed Kyle Hutton to hang back & function as a defensive cushion. Surprisingly, the center back was the key component of so much of Rangers play throughout much of the match. However, it wasn’t always pretty as Mohsni’s passing was quite sloppy at times. Even though it was often challenging to watch Mohsni push the play – at least he was active forcing the play forward from the back rather than letting the offensive momentum go stale.
Jon Daly took a while to get involved in the match but once McCoist pushed Gallagher into a forward position, Daly came to life as he went from being isolated on an island – to an intrigued pivot man looking to link up with a striking partner. Daly has struggled ever since the initial injury to Nicky Clark & it has become evident he needs to be in a 4-4-2 system to play at his best….Nicky Law & Ian Black were quietly effective in the match, especially in the second half. They didn’t necessarily create much offense but they did sustain it by keeping the play fluid until a chance or opening was created.