Written by – Jamie Currie
Rangers ‘Hibsed’ this one, no question about it. Kenny Miller and Barrie McKay had given Rangers a two-goal lead within nine minutes – both were in the right place at the right time to tap home with ease following two excellent team moves. Rangers were toying with Falkirk in the first half and it should have been 4-0 at least going into the break. The second half, however, was one that Rangers started well, with Andy Halliday going close. But it would be a combination of Rangers trying to coast the game and Falkirk’s attitude and spirit that meant they would take the three points. Wes Foderingham had to pull off two decent stops before Blair Alston‘s shot had the keeper standing watching the ball nestle in the top corner – he had no chance with it. Myles Hippolyte would level it up after some poor Rangers defending and to crown off a terrible second half, Bob McHugh finished a cross from a few yards out.
MAN OF THE MATCH
The little man had a fine hour. He was outstanding, he took his goal well and was at the heartbeat of everything that was positive about Rangers’ play on the night. If we are being hyper-critical, he should have got his name on the scoresheet more than once.
Mark Warburton and Kenny Miller spoke to Rangers TV in the aftermath of the defeat.
Warburton defended his subs, he said:
“Barrie [McKay] and Kenny [Miller] have worked so hard of late, and we weren’t putting on 16 and 17 year-old boys – we were putting on experienced players. “The bench was a high quality bench, and we wanted to add that energy and maintain a tempo to it, so I have no problem with the substitutions.”
The manager keeps saying that the players will get the rewards that our play deserves and I don’t think that we got that tonight.
“We definitely should have scored more goals and been further ahead and the game should have been put to bed.
“As much as we never played the way that we play and do the right things that we normally do and have worked on all season, we still had a couple of chances I think that could have put the game to bed, but we never.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
It was Rangers’ first defeat in 15 games – the last of which also came against Falkirk at the Falkirk Stadium.
Blair Alston’s goal at 2-0 – that gave Falkirk a way back into the game.
- The first half was magnificent. That little tactic of Jason Holt starting at left-back allowing Lee Wallace to get further forward worked yet again, especially for the second goal.
- Miller was excellent again. He’s really enjoying the false 9 position. Like McKay, he was involved in everything positive. He defies belief, to be honest. Top display.
- The lack of clinical edge has been missing all season but it cost the team all the points – it has to be addressed over the summer.
- I have been full of praise for both centre-backs recently, but they were at fault for the goals – lazy clearances and lack of concentration cost the team big time.
- It’s not often I say this but Warburton got his subs wrong: the game was crying out for Dean Shiels to help solidify things in the middle of the park when it wasn’t going to plan.
- Houston, however, got his subs spot on; two of them scored and O’Hara’s pace was a constant worry for Wilson and Kiernan.
- Rangers cannot coast. Well, this team can’t. They have to be at it for 90mins and their own complacency cost them – Hopefully they learn from it.
Queen of the South at Ibrox on Saturday.