November 3, 2012
Cup cruise for seven-up Rangers
Rangers bounced back from their midweek Scottish Communities League Cup exit to Inverness in style with an emphatic 7-0 thrashing of Alloa in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Dean Shiels, Lee McCulloch and Barrie McKay netted a double each and Robbie Crawford was also on the scoresheet against Paul Hartley's high-flying Irn-Bru Second Division side.
Anestis Argyriou and Fraser Aird were drafted into the Rangers side for the third-round tie, with Lee Wallace ruled out with a dead leg and Kyle Hutton dropped to the bench.
Shiels, Andy Little and Lewis Macleod were all passed fit to start despite nursing knocks from the clash with Inverness.
Alloa were boosted by the return of skipper Darren Young following a sickness bug but on-loan Aberdeen forward Mitch Megginson was unavailable for the trip to Ibrox.
Rangers knew they needed a positive reaction following the midweek defeat and they enjoyed the best possible start to the game.
An Aird corner broke for Shiels, whose deflected shot found its way through a sea of bodies and into the bottom corner after just two minutes.
Chris Hegarty then surged forward from the left-back position before rifling just over the crossbar from distance.
It was Shiels who doubled the advantage when he grabbed his second of the day after 21 minutes.
McCulloch was the provider with a lovely pass for the Northern Irishman and the offside flag stayed down as Shiels slotted past goalkeeper Scott Bain.
Skipper McCulloch then helped himself to a goal when he unleashed a powerful strike from just inside the box after 33 minutes.
The Gers utility man could have netted again just before the break with a ferocious effort that fizzed just over.
Alloa had failed to trouble the Gers defence in the first half but carved out a couple of decent efforts in quick succession after the break.
A well-struck free-kick from just outside the area from Nicky Low was comfortably gathered by Neil Alexander.
Kevin Cawley then saw his hooked effort curl just past the far post after evading the goalkeeper as the Wasps desperately tried to salvage the tie.
There was concern for Rangers 10 minutes into the second half when Argyriou was stretchered off after crumpling to the turf with what appeared to be an ankle problem.
The Greek defender was replaced by youngster Crawford before Aird made way for the introduction of McKay.
McKay was immediately involved in the action when he teed up the shot for Shiels, who was denied his hat-trick by the post.
The teenager then pounced on the rebound and was denied the sight of the net bulging by the quick reaction of Michael Doyle who cleared off the line.
However, any respite for Alloa was brief as Rangers found the back of the net twice in quick succession.
Shiels squared into the path of McCulloch and all that was required was a simple tap in from the captain after 72 minutes before Crawford supplied a low finish from a Shiels cut-back a minute later.
There was worse to come for Alloa when Doyle was shown a red card for a challenge on Hegarty after 79 minutes.
McKay then added his name to the scoresheet three minutes later with a superb shot from outside the box before completing the rout with a well struck drive with a minute to go.
|1 Neil Alexander||1 Scott Bain|
|4 Sanchez Emilson Cribari||11 Nicky Lowrie|
|5 Ross Perry||2 Jamie Doyle|
|2 .. Argiriou||4 Ben Gordon|
|3 Christopher Hegarty||3 Daryll Meggatt|
|8 Ian Black||5 Jason Marr|
|10 Lewis MacLeod||6 Darren Young|
|11 Fraser Aird||7 Stephen Simmons|
|6 Lee McCulloch||10 Greame Holmes|
|9 Dean Shiels||8 Ryan McCord|
|7 Andrew Little||9 Kevin Cawley|
|16 Scott Gallacher||Craig McDowall 20|
|12 Kyle Hutton||Mark Docherty 14|
|15 Robert Crawford||Ross McCord 12|
|17 Kal Naismith||Robert Thomson 15|
|14 Barry McKay||Martin Grehan 16|
|Robert Crawford for .. Argiriou (54)||Martin Grehan for Stephen Simmons (55)|
|Barry McKay for Fraser Aird (61)||Mark Docherty for Nicky Lowrie (74)|
|Kal Naismith for Sanchez Emilson Cribari (72)||Robert Thomson for Kevin Cawley (79)|
|Ben Gordon (53)|
|Jamie Doyle (78)|
|· Squads: Rangers | Alloa Athletic|