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Rangers vs. Queen Of The South SPFL Championship 30/08/2014


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Match Preview: McCoist Names an Unchanged XI

 

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RANGERS remain unchanged from the side which beat Queen's Park in midweek as Ally McCoist names the same starting XI to face Queen of the South.

As expected Kenny Miller is back in the group but he takes his place on the subs bench, leaving Kris Boyd and Nicky Clark to lead the line once more.

There is a second start of the season for Arnold Peralta on the right side of midfield with Lewis Macleod continuing on the left.

Skipper Lee McCulloch joins Englishman Nicky Law in the engine room meaning Bilel Mohsni and Marius Zaliukas continue at the heart of defence.

Darren McGregor and Lee Wallace occupy the full back slot, with Steve Simonsen in goal and Lee Robinson providing backup again on the bench.

Rangers: Simonsen; McGregor, Zaliukas, Mohsni, Wallace; Peralta, McCulloch, Law, Macleod; Boyd, Clark.
Subs: Robinson, Smith, Faure, Black, Shiels, Templeton, Miller.

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Rangers 4-2 Queen Of The South

 

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RANGERS had to battle from being a goal down at half-time to claim three valuable points against Queen of the South.

Jim McIntyre’s men got their noses in front when Gavin Reilly produced a tidy finish to beat Steve Simonsen after 21 minutes but the Light Blues got back on level terms quickly when Marius Zaliukas’ looping header floated over keeper Zander Clark before dropping in.

The visitors then edged ahead once again with Iain Russell blasting a low shot beyond Simonsen to make the score 2-1 to the Doonhamers at the break.

At this stage of the game Rangers needed a lift and substitute David Templeton provided it when he scored a sensational equaliser having been on the pitch for less than 60 seconds.

His sizzling left-foot shot had supporters out of their seats and after the hour mark Bilel Mohsni made it 3-2 with a header before Kenny Miller leapt off the bench to net his first competitive goal for the club following his return.

Ally McCoist named the same starting XI that beat Queen’s Park in the League Cup for this afternoon’s league clash although Miller made a welcome return to the 18-man squad on the bench.

With the sun shining down on Ibrox’s immaculate playing surface for kick off, Rangers started the match brightly although it was evident in the early stages that Queens were determined to extend their impressive start to the campaign.

With a back four of former Ger Andy Dowie, Mark Durnan, captain Chris Higgins and Kevin Holt, the visitors looked solid in defence and they were also lively and sharp in attack.

On 21 minutes they opened the scoring with a quick breakaway. With the Gers defence trying to get back Daniel Carmichael found space on the right and when he played it across to the unmarked Reilly he took one touch before dinking the ball over Simonsen and into the back of the net.

Rangers responded positively after going behind and after man-of-the-match Nicky Clark had fizzed a shot past Clark’s far post from 20 yards the League One champions were back on level terms.

Lewis Macleod’s deep free-kick was played out to Zaliukas who looped a clever header over the Queens’ keeper and underneath his cross bar.

It was a scrappy goal but Rangers weren’t complaining as they ran back to the halfway line with their spirits lifted. But having got back on level terms McIntyre’s men then got their second goal just 10 minutes later.

Hesitant defending in front of the Gers dugout allowed Reilly to dart free down the right wing and when he nudged the ball inside to Russell the Doonhamers’ top scorer found the bottom corner of the net with a confident finish in front of stunned supporters in the Copland Stand.

On the first-half display you could see why Queen of the South had taken seven points from their three Championship matches going into today’s contest.

In Russell and Carmichael on the wings they have two quick, hard-working playmakers while the experienced Derek Lyle and Reilly link up well in attack.

For the restart McCoist made two changes to his team with Zaliukas and Arnold Peralta taken off and Ian Black and Templeton taking their places. As a result Lee McCulloch moved back to centre half alongside Bilel Mohsni while Templeton took up the right wing and Black joined Nicky Law in the engine room.

The changes immediately paid dividends with Templeton scoring with less than 60 second of the second period played. It was Kris Boyd who passed it out wide to the Gers number 11 who cut inside before unleashing a stunning left-foot drive across Clark and into the net.

It was a finish of the highest quality from a player who is undoubtedly capable of producing moments of magic that can change a game.

The goal certainly gave Rangers a massive lift and you felt if they could avoid any further lapses in concentration at the back they could go on to claim all three points.

Before the hour mark a cross from Mohsni was met by Law but his header dipped over Clark and inches wide. Lewis Macleod then made a good burst forward but after finding a yard of space he couldn’t get enough purchase on his shot to trouble Queens’ number one.

The visitors were now under pressure and when a poor goal kick from Clark went straight to Templeton he teed up Boyd who attempted an audacious shot from distance which went wide with the keep scrambling back to get in his goal.

On 63 minutes Rangers got their deserved third goal and it was Mohsni who got it. The big defender stooped to meet Macleod’s low corner and the ball squirmed past two defender and keeper Clark before hitting the net.

With his side now behind, McIntyre made his first change to his side with John Baird, the scorer of Raith Rovers’ winning goal in last season’s Ramsdens Cup final against Rangers, replacing Reilly.

A nasty head injury to Derek Lyle meant the Queens’ manager then had to react quickly again with Dean Smith getting the nod to go on.

Rangers continued to push forward in the latter stages of the match with Templeton, in particular, always looking to create a chance or try his luck with a shot.

The only disappointment from the 90 minutes was that the winger had to go off with an injury although this gave Miller the chance to get a late run-out.

He made the most of the opportunity as he produced a composed finish with four minutes remaining to send the home fans away happy.

The 4-2 victory means Rangers now move above Queens into second place in the Championship table with leaders Hearts beating Falkirk at Tynecastle.

RANGERS (4-4-2): Simonsen; McGregor, Zaliukas (Black 46), Mohsni, Wallace; Peralta (Templeton 46 (Miller 84)), McCulloch, Law, Macleod; Boyd, Clark

SUBS NOT USED: Robinson, Smith, Faure, Shiels

GOALS: Zaliukas 26, Templeton 46, Mohsni 63, Miller 86

BOOKINGS: None

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH (4-4-1-1): Clark; Dowie, Durnan, Higgins, Holt; Carmichael, Kidd, Dzierzawski, Russell (D. Smith 68); Lyle; Reilly (Baird 65)

SUBS NOT USED: Atkinson, Slattery, Hooper, A, Smith

GOALS: Reilly 21, Russell 36

BOOKINGS: Holt

ATT: 31,851

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