Co-operative Insurance Cup v Rangers

RANGERS 7 DUNFERMLINE 2 - Date 21/09/10

Fixture: Co-operative Insurance Cup

Attendance: 23120, Kick Off: 7:45pm

Referee; Euan Norris


Steven McDougall and the injured Gary Mason dropped out the Pars team, Nick Phinn and Alex Burke came in for the Co-operative Insurance Cup tie at Ibrox. The home side fielded only four of the team that started in the SPL against Dundee United in their last match.¬ Just Bougherra, Weiss, Jelavic and Davis survived but their new team mates included internationalists Neil Alexander, Steven Naismith, Kirk Broadfoot, Andy Webster and Kyle Lafferty.

It was Dunfermline`s first visit to Ibrox since November 2006 and the travelling support numbered just under 600. Rangers kicked off but after an impressive break by Phinn on five minutes it was the Fifers who forced Davis to concede the first corner of the evening.¬ Unfortunately Willie Gibson`s cross from the right was just too high for Chris Higgins challenge.

It was the eighth minute before the Rangers support had some expectations raised as Broadfoot played Jelavic in on the¬ left side of the Pars penalty box but the defence got the cross away without keeper Chris Smith getting involved.¬ The five men in the centre of the park for Dunfermline were making it tough for Walter Smith`s team but in 14th minute Weiss picked out Steven Davis again on the left of the Pars box, and he played a one two with Lafferty to his left before executing a low shot that Smith held well at his near post.

Rangers¬ took¬ control of the game and the Pars fans chanted `Get into Them` . The Gers build up was slow and deliberate with right back Andy Little trying a run on the¬ overlap with an injection of pace but the defence read that.¬ Gibson curled a shot over the crossbar from 25 yards in 20 minutes but when Rangers went back up the park the defence froze as Broadfoot`s ball to the near post was turned past Smith by Nikica JELAVIC. 1-0.

Two minutes later Kyle LAFFERTY waltzed through the Pars defence beating off challenges within the penalty box from Dowie, Higgins and Woods before sticking the ball past Smith. 2-0.

Joe Cardle managed to put a useful cross in but Webster was the equal of it. Davis ran at the Pars defence again in 28 minutes but the defence booted clear rather desperately causing Jim McIntyre to gesture to his side something that was to communicate calm it down.¬ Bell and Cardle both won corners on 30 minutes, Higgins shot at the first was blocked and Lafferty got the second away to release Naismith on the break but fortunately the defence that was left back, McCann and Cardle, prevented any further damage.

In 38 minutes Bougherra headed clear a good cross in from Gibson and within the minute was on hand to flick a Vladimir Weiss cross past Smith from eight yards. 3-0. It seemed a shame that Dunfermline had failed to limit Rangers to a two goal lead at the break and there was some justice when in 41 minutes the visitors forced yet another corner and this time Gibson`s ball over from the left was firmly headed diagonally back across goal by WOODS to find the net at the left post. 3-1.

The Pars fans celebrated their side`s¬ first goal at Ibrox since October 2005 and were on song as Cardle tried a shot from 25 yards. The half finished with Bell attacking another corner, the ball went behind off a blue man but the referee blew for half time.¬ The First Division leaders went in two down but there was belief that having found the net once there was scope to do it again.¬

Half Time: Rangers 3 Dunfermline 1

It looked like the perfect start for Dunfermline when Joe CARDLE headed in a great Gibson cross after just 49 seconds of the second half after Gibson had done really well to skin Broadfoot down in front of the Pars fans in the Govan corner.¬ Unfortunately Rangers restored their two goal advantage just 49 seconds later!

Jelavic pass for LAFFERTY was deflected into the Irishman`s feet and he made no doubt in beating Smith from 16 yards. 4-2.

Dunfermline forced another corner but the unmarked Burke launched his effort well over the bar to the jeers of the Ibrox faithful.¬ Next however Bell made Alexander pull off a diving save to his right.¬ Phinn required treatment after going down in a 54th minute tackle before Lafferty powered a shot into the Copeland Road Stand.

Bell picked out Gibson on the right, his cross was too high for Kirk in front of goal and Cardle blasted the ball over the bar from an angle when a cut back might have got a better outcome.¬ Sadly Andy Little went on a run, picking out JELAVIC on the top of the Pars box and his execution was clinical beating Smith to make it 5-2.

Naismith made Smith save in 63 minutes and next Lafferty shot into the sidenetting. Steven McDougall came on for Phinn but Rangers looked the side with much more in reserve.¬ LAFFERTY completed his hat-trick in 71 minutes accepted the feed from Naismith and find the net at the bottom right. Paul Willis and Pat Clarke then came on for Cardle and Kirk.

The fresh legs were welcome as the task became keeping it at a tennis score rather than a cricket one. Sadly the 77th minute brought Rangers seventh and it was the diminutive NAISMITH with a header!¬ Pat Clarke sent a shot wide left and Dunfermline had a spell up in front of their own fans and finished the game inside the Rangers half.

After two added minutes the final whistle was a bit of a relief all round really. The Co-operative Insurance Cup holders progressed but surely there is something for Dunfermline to take from this game.¬ They were positive throughout, it was just disappointing that they leaked goals with regularity.¬ ¬ This had been the first time since December 1987 that the Pars had scored more than one goal against Rangers at Ibrox, let`s hope that its not so long the next time.

RANGERS: Neil Alexander; Andy Little,¬ Andy Webster (Lee McCulloch 83),¬ Majid Bougherra, Kirk Broadfoot;¬ Steven Davis, Vladimir Weiss, Kyle Hutton, Steven Naismith; Kyle Lafferty, Nikica Jelavic (Gregg Wylde 67)
SUBS: Allan McGregor, Sasa Papac, Kenny Miller.
SCORERS: Jelavic (21, 59), Lafferty (23, 47, 71), Bougherra (38), Naismith (77)

DUNFERMLINE: Chris Smith; Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Chris Higgins, Austin McCann (c); Willie Gibson, Steven Bell, Alex Burke,¬ Nick Phinn (Steven McDougall 69)¬ Joe Cardle (Paul Willis 72); Andy Kirk (Pat Clarke 72)
SUBS: Alex Keddie, Kyle Allison (GK)
SCORER: Woods (41), Cardle (46)
YELLOW CARD: Gibson (88)


NEXT MATCH: (away) SFL First Division v Partick Thistle
Saturday 25th September 2010, Kick off 3.00pm

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