Three Stars of the Game
Inspiration: 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! So in that spirt – here are Rangers Three Stars of the Game.
First Star: Darren McGregor – his confidence is reaching new highs as he has had a series of starts at center back. Again, his ability to read the play is critical as he effectively can stop a play before it becomes a threat. He is also beginning to assert himself as an aerial presence – on both sides of the pitch. He is becoming more prominent in the offensive end & won the ball that eventually spring Kris Boyd on a break that led to Kyle Miller’s own goal. To think that a suspension to Bilel Mohsni was the opportunity McGregor needed to prove himself & is now among the stand-by’s for Scotland.
Second Star: Lee McCulloch – defended well all night behind a midfield that struggled to control the match. The captain seems exceedingly more comfortable playing alongside a competent & composed center-half. It’s almost as if McCulloch is allowed to read the play with more ease since he doesn’t have to worry so much about his defensive partner.
Third Star: Kris Boyd – Boyd & Miller were quiet for stretches of the match – largely due to an ineffective outing from Rangers midfield. But Boyd was front & center for two of Rangers three goals. He teamed up with Nicky Law for the opener & then sent in the ball that ended up in the back of the net off Cowdenbeath’s own goal. Was at his best when the ball was played into his feet & was allowed to continue his run. Rangers need to learn that Boyd is not Jon Daly & is better served with passes on the deck.
None of note.
Lewis Macleod was deployed in the right side of the midfield as a replacement for the injured Fraser Aird & put in one of his most ineffective matches of the season. Coming off the Scotland call-up, eyes naturally gravitated towards Macleod – but he struggled throughout. Uncharacteristic turnovers were plentiful as Macleod never looked comfortable. He was pesky at times, breaking up the play but it simply wasn’t meant to be on Tuesday night for the 20-year old…Steven Smith got the start in Macleod’s customary position this year & failed to have a positive impact on the match. Smith & Lee Wallace tend to have problems syncing up which nullifies Rangers attack up the left flank. Smith is a reliable veteran but David Templeton’s goal exposed the vast difference between what the two players can bring to a match. It is curious to see Smith get the call when Templeton & even Dean Shiels are lucky to get off the bench this season.