Written by – Jamie Currie
It was a hard slog for Rangers on their second visit of the season to Cappielow – but they managed to emerge with maximum points. On what was a frustrating evening, Rangers managed to show that they have another string to their bow showing grit, determination and a tremendous togetherness. Kenny Miller missed a gilt-edged headed chance early on, but he atoned for that miss and gave his side the lead. Miller showed that despite his age, his instincts in the box are still as sharp as ever when he was first to react to Andy Halliday’s blocked shot and finished calmly past Gaston. The second half was poor from both sides and a bit scrappy. McKay went close to finding second but only saw his effort smash back off the crossbar. But moments later, Barrie McKay wasn’t to be denied by the woodwork as he made the points safe after a lovely one-two with Kenny Miller and a lovely finish to match. Miller, Forrester and Waghorn had late chances to make the scoreline bigger but they failed to do so.
Andy Halliday was the victim of a nonsensical refereeing decision – as he was sent off after celebrating McKay’s goal.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The big defender had a great evening. He was dominant in the air, his passing was pretty sharp and he was always willing to bring the ball out from the back. He also made a superb block in the first half to deny Denny Johnstone a clear shot at goal.
“I am pleased and we are better as a team after that tonight. There is no doubt we were below our best, and we spoke at half time about them being well-organised, hard-working and having good quality.
“We were well aware of that – this is a tough place to come and play football, but we wanted to come out and be better in the second half, and we created lots of chances, and we should have been out of sight.
“We didn’t do that and we kept them in the game.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
Kenny Miller grabbed his 12th goal of the season and he’s showing that he hasn’t lost his goalscoring touch.
I would have to go with the double substitution. It allowed McKay to come infield and have more of an affect on the game, and Shiels added the experience and energy when it was most needed.
- The passing was very poor in the opening 25 minutes, and it caused Rangers to have more problems in terms of controlling the game than there needed to be.
- Morton kept the same game plan that got them the point at Ibrox: double-up on the wings and look to hit quickly on the break. It worked pretty well for them because Waghorn and McKay were mostly left 2 vs 1 against and both were on the fringes of the game until Warburton shifted McKay centrally. However, their attacking quality let them down, and they rarely troubled Foderingham all night.
- James Tavernier had one of his toughest night’s in a Rangers shirt. Bobby Barr had him on toast for most of the game, but the quality of Barr’s crossing didn’t cause many defensive issues.
- The central defensive pairing played very well, and they kept everything simple, won their aerial duels, and are now looking like something approaching a solid partnership.
- Jason Holt’s energy and cleverness of his 5-yard runs were missed. Funnily enough, this coincided with Nicky Law having his poorest game for a while.
- The hallmark of a good manager is knowing how to affect a game and when to do so. All credit must go to the manager for the double sub and moving McKay inside.
TWEETS OF THE MATCH
Third-placed Falkirk visit Ibrox on Saturday – a Rangers win will take them eight clear of Hibs and 10 ahead of the Bairns.