October 28, 2012
Rangers break away duck to go top
Rangers finally claimed their long-awaited first away win in the Irn-Bru Third Division thanks to a 2-0 victory against Clyde.
Previous league results on the road had been less than inspiring this season with draws at Peterhead, Berwick and Annan, as well as an embarrassing defeat to Stirling Albion.
But goals from Dean Shiels and Lee McCulloch delivered the elusive win and ensured the unwanted record came to an end against 10-man Clyde.
Andy Little, who made his comeback from a foot injury as a substitute against Queen's Park last week, was handed his first Rangers start since the beginning of September.
Chris Hegarty also started at Broadwood, with Fraser Aird dropped to the bench and Sebastien Faure absent from the squad.
Clyde were without the suspended Ian Gray but boosted by the news that David Marsh had recovered from injury to start the match.
The home side threatened first when Stuart McColm left Hegarty trailing in his wake before delivering a teasing ball into the box for Stefan McCluskey, but goalkeeper Neil Alexander punched to safety before the forward could connect.
John Neill then sent a glancing header just past the post as Clyde passed up another chance to open the scoring.
At the other end, Rangers fired out a warning when McCulloch met a Little cross with a ferocious shot that produced an impressive save from goalkeeper Jamie Barclay via the crossbar.
Barclay was called into action again to block well at the near post from Little, who then lashed the rebound across the face of goal and past the upright.
Rangers' pressure paid off as they took the lead after 17 minutes when Shiels unleashed an unstoppable right-foot shot into the top corner.
The Bully Wee should have been back on level terms when Bryan Gilfillan's cutback found McCluskey but he somehow managed to fire off target.
Only the heroics of Barclay prevented Rangers from adding to their lead before the interval.
He saved well from a long-range effort from Lee Wallace before reacting quickly to tip a McCulloch header on to the crossbar from the resulting corner.
If Barclay had come to the rescue of Clyde in the first half, Alexander impressed shortly after the restart with an excellent save to deny a point-blank header from McCluskey.
Rangers also came close when Kyle Hutton surged into the box before teeing up the shot for Shiels, but his tame effort was comfortably smothered by the keeper, denying him his second of the day.
Clyde's hopes of a comeback were dealt a blow when they were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes, Neill needlessly picking up a second yellow card for clashing with Shiels.
A second Rangers goal would surely end the match as a contest and Lewis Macleod provided a lovely cutback for McCulloch, who blasted over.
There was no way back for the home side when Rangers found the back of the net again with 10 minutes to go.
Hegarty's cross found Ian Black at the back post and he set up the shot for McCulloch, who was on target on this occasion with a simple finish from close range.
|1 Jamie Barclay||1 Neil Alexander|
|4 Michael Oliver||3 Sanchez Emilson Cribari|
|5 David Marshall||5 Lee Wallace|
|2 Gavin Brown||4 Ross Perry|
|3 Lee Sharp||10 Kyle Hutton|
|7 John Neill||2 Christopher Hegarty|
|9 Stefan McCluskey||8 Ian Black|
|6 Paul Hay||11 Lewis MacLeod|
|10 Bryan James Gilfillan||6 Lee McCulloch|
|11 Stewart McColm||9 Dean Shiels|
|8 John Sweeney||7 Andrew Little|
|20 Nic Rajovic||Scott Gallacher 20|
|16 John Kane||.. Argiriou 12|
|15 Patrick Scullion||Fraser Aird 15|
|14 Sean Fitzharris||Kevin Kyle 14|
|12 Kevin Watt||Barry McKay 16|
|John Kane for Bryan James Gilfillan (75)||Barry McKay for Dean Shiels (73)|
|Kevin Watt for Stefan McCluskey (82)||.. Argiriou for Sanchez Emilson Cribari (82)|
|Sean Fitzharris for Paul Hay (87)||Fraser Aird for Andrew Little (84)|
|Bryan James Gilfillan (12)||Kyle Hutton (31)|
|John Neill (58)||Dean Shiels (68)|
|Gavin Brown (69)|
|John Neill (68)|
|· Squads: Clyde | Rangers|