RANGERS ended the most turbulent of weeks with the most turbulent of games after an astonishing match at Glebe Park.
SCORERS: Brechin - Hay 5, Brown 10, Trouten 35; Rangers - Daly 25, Mohsni 53, Law 66, Clark 85
They kept their 100 per cent record and made it nine wins in a row, but they were given the biggest of frights by Brechin City.
Rangers had no representatives in the tiny directors box in the Main Stand. After the departure of chief executive Craig Mather, none of their remaining two-man board made their way up to Angus.
But they should be regretting that now because they witnessed a brilliant match which included seven goals, 12 yellow cards, two of which resulted in a red for Brechin’s Alan Trouten.
The last thing Rangers manager Ally McCoist needed was more stress after yet another eventful week, but he got it in spades yesterday. He wouldn’t talk about the latest boardroom shenanigans, but was happy to relive an incredible game of football where Rangers twice recovered from being two goals down and still went onto win.
He said: “The way we defended in the first half was totally unrecognisable to the side that has been doing so well. Brechin were absolutely
terrific for the entire 90 minutes.
“As disappointed as we were in our lads in the first half, the complete opposite would have to be said of the second half.
“I thought the players showed incredible spirit to come back and the winning goal in particular was a class act. The positives were three points and that we scored another four goals and the second-half performance.
“As you can imagine, there are negatives. We defended really poorly in the first half, but the positives
outweighed the negatives.
“We just get on with it. Our job is to put a team on the park that will hopefully continue to do the fans and the club proud. We did that today. It’s been a busy week and a hectic week, but our job is to concentrate on putting a team on the park and we did that and got three points.”
The home side spent £40,000 on a drainage system in the summer and it proved to be money well spent as the surface held up well despite torrential rain earlier in the day. The suspicion might well have been that Rangers wouldn’t have fancied it and they did nothing to dispel such thoughts after they went two goals down in ten minutes.
Brechin took a fifth-minute lead from the simplest of circumstances. Trouten’s corner from the left was nodded into the net by the unmarked Graham Hay to give the hosts a wonderful start. Rangers were in disarray and City stunningly doubled their advantage in the tenth minute after Bilel Mohsni had bundled over Andy Jackson on the edge of the box. Johnny Brown stepped up and smacked a right-footed powerful drive into the corner of the net and, although it was a super strike, you had to ask questions of Cammy Bell’s positioning of his wall.
Jon Daly put Rangers back in it in the 25th minute when he collected a Lewis Macleod pass, skipped past Paul McLean and delivered a cool finish past Graeme Smith into the corner of the net.
But more horrendous defending by Rangers allowed Brechin to score their third goal a minute later to make it 3-1.
Both Nicky Law and Mohsni had chances to clear, but failed and the ball fell to Trouten at the edge of the box, who simply placed his shot out of the reach of Bell. Trouten was later sent off at the death for a second yellow card.
Eight minutes after the break, Moshni claimed the final touch from an Ian Black free-kick into the box to hand Rangers another lifeline. They drew level in bizarre circumstances in the 65th minute when Law swung in a cross from the left looking for Daly in the middle, but although he overhit it, Smith misjudged it and it curled high into the top corner of the net.
Sub Nicky Clark glanced home a superb late header from fellow sub David Templeton’s cross with six minutes left to snatch a win that looked seriously unlikely.
Clark said: “To score the winning goal was amazing.
“The first half wasn’t the best, but I was just looking for a chance to do well and I managed it. I knew when I came to Rangers, they are a massive, massive club, so when you get your chance you have to take it and I think I managed that today.”
Brechin: Smith; McLean (S Jackson 86), McLaughlan, Moyes, Brown; Trouten, Anderson (Molloy 76), Ryan (Barr 68); Petrie, A Jackson.
Rangers: Bell; Foster, Moshni, McCulloch, Smith; Macleod (Templeton 79, ), Law, Black, Crawford (Clark 46); Little
(Hutton 86), Daly.
Referee: C Charleston. Attendance: 3,273.