December 8, 2012
Gers complete revenge mission
#INSERT type:image caption:David Templeton celebrates his goal against Stirling END#David Templeton and Andy Little supplied the goals as Rangers avenged their only Irn-Bru Third Division defeat so far this season with a 2-0 win over Stirling Albion.
Bottom side Binos had claimed a shock win at Forthbank in October but were left empty-handed this time.
Rangers used the match at Ibrox to celebrate their 140th year, having come through one of the most turbulent spells in their history which saw them suffer administration and liquidation before being re-launched in Scottish football's bottom tier.
Around 40 former players were welcomed on to the pitch at half-time by pundit Andy Gray, including members of the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup winning side and players from the Nine in a Row era.
There was also a card display and fireworks for the season-record crowd of 49,913, although visiting fans refused to join in the festivities and displayed a banner of their own which read: 'More Like 140 Days'.
Ally McCoist had stressed beforehand the importance of marking the occasion with three points and ensuring Rangers remain top of the table.
Templeton and Kyle Hutton both started, with Little on the bench and Ian Black missing through injury.
Sixteen-year old Tom Walsh was named as a substitute for the first time, while Lee Wallace made his 50th appearance for Rangers.
Perhaps it was the celebratory mood or a desire to avenge that defeat which saw Rangers pile on the pressure from the first whistle.
After Marc McCulloch went into the referee's book for a hard challenge on Templeton with seconds on the clock, Lewis Macleod forced a decent save from Mark Peat at his near post.
Templeton then lashed inches past the post from distance, before the winger was again the victim of a poor tackle which saw Daly McSorley cautioned on this occasion.
There was little respite for Stirling early on and Macleod's blistering strike was just off target and the goalkeeper was called into action again to block an angled drive from Barrie McKay.
The best chance so far came when Kevin Kyle knocked down into the path of the onrushing Macleod in front of goal, but he connected awkwardly and the effort bounced over the crossbar.
Albion duo Ross McGeachie and Jamie Bishop then collected yellow cards in quick succession - also for fouls on Templeton, who was making his first start since suffering ankle ligament damage in mid-September.
Kyle had netted in the last two outings but was denied by the woodwork just before the break when his shot smacked off the post as Stirling survived the onslaught to head into half-time on level terms.
Rangers still looked dangerous after the restart and the breakthrough finally came after 59 minutes.
McKay burst down the left wing and supplied a lovely ball across the face of goal where Templeton was waiting to lash home.
Kal Naismith almost added his name to the scoresheet when he raced on to a McKay pass and forced a save from Peat, before fellow substitute Little rippled the side-netting with the rebound.
There was a tense moment for Rangers when Albion's Josh Flood saw his strike crash off the post.
McSorely was sent packing for a second yellow with five minutes to go, before Gers youngster Walsh was handed his debut.
Little then put the gloss on the win when he slotted home into the bottom corner in the final minute.
|1 Neil Alexander||1 Mark Peat|
|5 Lee Wallace||2 David McClune|
|2 .. Argiriou||7 Ross McGeachie|
|8 Kyle Hutton||5 Jamie Bishop|
|3 Christopher Hegarty||6 Gary Thom|
|11 David Templeton||4 Marc McCulloch|
|4 Lewis MacLeod||10 Mark Ferry|
|6 Lee McCulloch||3 Kieran McAnespie|
|9 Kevin Kyle||8 Daly McSorley|
|10 Dean Shiels||11 Stephen Day|
|7 Barry McKay||9 Graham Weir|
|16 Scott Gallacher||Sam Filler 17|
|15 Darren Cole||Brian Allison 12|
|17 Tom Walsh||Joshua Flood 16|
|12 Andrew Little||Scott Davieson 14|
|14 Kal Naismith||Jordan White 15|
|Kal Naismith for Kevin Kyle (68)||Joshua Flood for Ross McGeachie (77)|
|Andrew Little for Dean Shiels (77)||Scott Davieson for Marc McCulloch (82)|
|Tom Walsh for David Templeton (88)||Jordan White for Gary Thom (89)|
|Kevin Kyle (43)||Marc McCulloch (1)|
|David Templeton (62)||Daly McSorley (9)|
|Ross McGeachie (29)|
|Jamie Bishop (33)|
|Kieran McAnespie (35)|
|Daly McSorley (86)|
|· Squads: Rangers | Stirling Albion|