Falkirk score first league win over Gers in 35 years

December 3, 2006

GLASGOW, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Falkirk produced their first league win over Rangers in 35 years with a shock 1-0 victory on Sunday thanks to a first half goal from Marc Twaddle.

The last time they beat Rangers in 1971, the current Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was playing up front and former Scotland boss Andy Roxburgh scored one of the goals in the 3-1 win.

Rangers remain second overall but trail leaders Celtic by 16 points after 17 games and were booed off the pitch by furious fans.

Manager Paul Le Guen criticised his side for failing to score from set pieces.

'I think we were too nervous and we lost a bit of our composure after the goal (was) conceded,' he told BBC radio. 'With the number of set pieces, crosses and corners we got then we should be able to take at least one point.'

Rangers had started strongly in atrocious conditions, with high winds and driving rain lashing the Falkirk Stadium.

After just two minutes, Spanish striker Nacho Novo met a corner from skipper Barry Ferguson six metres out to volley an angled shot which Falkirk keeper Jeroem Lambers brilliantly pushed across goal.

Rangers defender Brahim Hemdani nearly scored an own-goal on 14 minutes by stabbing a pass back wide of keeper Allan McGregor from 12 metres out.

McGregor raced back with Falkirk striker Alan Gow in pursuit and managed to hook the ball off the line.

Rangers stormed straight back and a minute later Charlie Adam crashed a 25 metre shot which Dutch keeper Lambers dived full length to turn away superbly.

Falkirk grabbed the opener with an untidy goal on 26 minutes following a corner on the left by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Russell Latapy.

Twaddle headed down from eight metres and the ball slipped through the fingers of the diving McGregor, spun off Jeremy Clement on the line and went in.

Rangers' frustration boiled over in the 73rd minute when Twaddle barged McGregor to spark a goalmouth melee. Falkirk's Darren Barr charged in and shoved Croatian striker Dado Prso, earning a booking.

Falkirk scorned two second half chances when John Stewart ran clear to flick a shot past the advancing keeper and the left post before Latapy blazed over from 15 metres with only McGregor to beat in 85 minutes.

Manager John Hughes said: 'I am so proud of them. I am thankful of the result because with the overhead conditions I was a bit worried...but we carried our luck round about the box.'