There have been occasions this season when Old Firm encounters have been an embarrassment to Dunfermline supporters but this was not one of them. Dunfermline gave as good as they got; they strung passes together and made the Champions look fairly mediocre.

Ivo Den Bieman was given the Andy Tod no.4 jersey as the big defender sat it out following his red card at Kilmarnock last Saturday. Richard Huxford returned in place of Dave Bingham, Marc Millar played wide on the right instead of Stewart Petrie who was reported to have a groin strain and Gerry Britton started his first match following his knee operation. All this made one hell of a difference. Last week’s shambles at Killie was transformed into a team where passes were interchanged and good opportunities created.

Rangers playing towards the town end brought the game to life in the 27th minute when Ally McCoist netted a rebound from a Brian Laudrup shot. Really this was tough on the home side who had been seriously pressing Rangers. But just when the Pars looked as though they were about to fall out of the game ANDY SMITH latched on to an Alex Clelland back header and Goram made a monumental mess of an attempt to look like a goalkeeper.

McCoist got another rebound from a Negri shot to put Rangers 2-1 up only three minutes after the interval. Then 15 minutes later Gerry Britton sent over a great cross from the right for SMITH to head past Goram.

Unfortunately only five minutes had lapsed before Thern smashed a 25 yard effort crashing off Westie’s left hand post into the bottom right of the net.

Several chances came and went for Dunfermline. The best fell to Faulconbridge who had come on for Britton but he stabbed his shot left of the post.

Great to see Britton and Millar back with such effect. The 19 year old Faulconbridge on loan from Coventry until the end of the season looks good too. Den Bieman and Robertson had good solid games just a pity Hibs managed a last minute penalty equaliser against Aberdeen.

DUNFERMLINE: Ian Westwater: Greg Shields, Scott McCulloch, Ivo Den Bieman, Craig Ireland, Richard Huxford, Marc Millar (Sergio Duarte), Craig Robertson, Andy Smith, Hamish French, Gerry Britton (Craig Faulconbridge).

Yellow Cards: Den Bieman
Scorer: Smith (35, 63)
Referee: Sandy Roy (Westhills)

Attendance: 11440

League Position 9th

Next match v Dundee United (away) Saturday 4th April