Written by – Jamie Currie
Nicky Clark, courtesy of Sky Sports
THE GAME IN 140 WORDS OR FEWER
The whole performance was a bit flat, but it didn’t help that most of the Livingston players thought that they were representing their side in a rugby match rather than one of the round ball variety. It was the most unwatchable game of the season so far, and it won’t be remembered fondly by anyone who clapped eyes on it. However, winning is the most important thing and that’s what the team did. Fortunately for Rangers, the goal came from a Nicky Clark volley in the 75th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The young winger won the sponsor’s man of the match, and he is improving with every game he plays. He managed to get the better of the full-back a good few times in the first half and continued to work hard in the second.
Barrie McKay and Mark Warburton both spoke to Rangers TV after the match. McKay said: “Another late goal tonight after the late goal on Saturday shows that the boys don’t give up and we keep going right to the end.”
Warburton was unhappy with the treatment Nathan Oduwa received from the Livingston players. He said: “I am pleased that the players maintained patience and tried to do the right thing but there is a huge sense of frustration at some things; the tempo of the play and I thought some of the challenges were inappropriate.”
“It is frustrating evening – there were some poor challenges tonight and Nathan came off at half-time because of one of those.
“We will assess him in the morning, it was nothing too serious but it was a bad challenge that injured him – the first one was 30 seconds into the game and four or five swiftly followed.
“He will learn, he is a very talented player, he is a good player and he will learn and find solutions.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
Nicky Clark scored his third goal of the season – two of them have come in the Petrofac Training Cup – the other was against Airdrie in the League Cup.
Clark’s superb game-winning volley from just outside the box.
The game was pretty much attack against defence.
Livingston sat deep and were compact. They had their 10 men behind the ball for most of the game. But Rangers dug deep again, enforcing the never-say-die attitude they have within the side.
Rangers struggled at times with the final pass, the final cross, and the movement in the attacking areas was not as good as it could have been.
Dominic Ball and Rob Kiernan can be happy with their night’s work; they did their defending with minimal fuss and look like they could be a promising partnership.
Nicky Law, to his credit, tried to grab the game by the scruff of the neck from midfield – it was one of his better games.
FULL MATCH STATS
Score: Rangers 1-0 Livingston
Shots: Rangers 14-5 Livingston
On Target: Rangers 5-1 Livingston
Corners: Rangers 6-1 Livingston
Fouls: Rangers 8-14 Livingston
RANGERS’ PETROFAC TRAINING CUP RECORD
Round One: Hibs 2-6 Rangers
Round Two: Ayr 0-2 Rangers
Quarter-Final: Rangers 1-0 Livingston
Played: 3 Won: 3 Goals For: 9 Goals Against: 2
Next Match: Semi-final vs St Mirren.
A Sunday afternoon away fixture against St Mirren is up next. Rangers will have to be close to their best to get the three points and maintain the 100% start to the league campaign.