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Queen of the South 0-3 Rangers: Gers into semis

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni (left) celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni (left) celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS

  • by MARK WALKER AT PALMERSTON
 

Rangers moved into the semi-finals of the Ramsdens Cup by eventually overpowering the side who knocked them out of the same competition last year.

Scorers: Rangers - Peralta (7), Daly (75), McCulloch (83)

Referee: C Murray

Attendance: 6,155

Ibrox manager Ally McCoist had stressed he was taking this cup seriously and would have been alarmed as the Championship side really battered Rangers in the first half after going an early goal down through Bilel Mohsni. The visitors survived a hefty penalty and red card shout against the same player.

But the League One leaders stepped it up in the second half, especially after Chris Higgins was sent off for two bookings and further goals by Jon Daly and Lee McCulloch ended the contest.

Former Aberdeen defender Richard Foster almost had a horrific start to his second stint at Rangers when he wildly sliced a clearance over his own goal in just the fourth minute. From the resulting corner, another former Aberdeen player, Michael Paton was unmarked at the back post, but his header was saved on his line by Cammy Bell.

Queens forced an early succession of corners which had a packed Palmerston Park ground roaring approval, but they were stunned in the seventh minute when Rangers scored with their very first attack. Arnold Peralta’s corner was met at the back post by captain Lee McCulloch, who had netted successive hat-tricks. And he claimed an assist here when Mohsni bundled the ball in almost on the line to net his second goal on his second start.

Honduran international midfielder Peralta then tested Queens keeper Callum Antell with a well-controlled drive from 25 yards that was tipped past the post.

Jim McIntyre’s side should have been level in the 17th minute when Derek Lyle first miskicked a volley from the edge of the box, then got a second bite of the cherry, but could only dig out a chipped effort just over the bar.

They almost paid for that when Jon Daly flashed a shot wide after collecting a crossfield pass from Lee Wallace as Rangers continued to look dangerous when venturing forward.

Queens were furious on the half-hour mark when they were denied what they felt was a stonewall penalty and sending off, after a terrible error by Rangers goalkeeper Bell.

He miscontrolled a passback after taking too heavy a touch and was robbed by Iain Russell, who squared it to Derek Lyle in front of goal. He tried to dink it over the despairing lunge of Mohsni into an empty goal but the French defender managed to block the ball with what the home players insisted was an arm. It would have been a certain penalty and red card, but referee Calum Murray ruled the ball had hit his body, much to the fury of the home fans.

Paton was then just off target with a point-blank header as somehow Rangers maintained a fragile lead with Russell also pushing a shot wide. However, Queens were made to almost pay for all those missed chances just before the interval when Nicky Law curled a right-footed effort inched wide after driving forward.

Queen of the South began the second half in much the same way as they performed in the first, as Ian McShane almost struck a deserved equaliser with a low drive that beat Bell and his far post.

But Rangers had stemmed the tide and Andy Little’s shot was deflected wide as the Ibrox side pushed for a killer second goal, with Queens not quite making the same inroads into visiting territory. They seemed to be running out of ideas.

They had a couple of free kicks from promising positions, only to waste them both and there was a growing sense of frustration both among the home fans and players.

That frustration became justified with 15 minutes left when Queens were reduced to ten men and Rangers quickly took full advantage by killing the game. Firstly, Chris Higgins, who had been booked for complaining about the penalty that wasn’t given, was shown a second yellow card for a mistimed lunge on Stevie Smith and had no complaints about the second caution.

From the resulting free kick by Law, Daly was left unmarked to glance a free header into the net and end the contest. Captain McCulloch nodded home a late header to flatter Rangers, but that won’t bother McCoist.

Queen of the South: Antell; McGuffie, Higgins, Dowie, Holt; McKenna (Dzierzawski 59), Young, McShane (Reilly 68); Paton, Lyle, Russell. Subs not used: Carmichael, Mitchell, Atkinson.

Rangers: Bell; Foster, Mohsni, McCulloch, Wallace (Templeton 85); Crawford, Law, Peralta (Faure 68), Smith, Little (Clark 80), Daly. Subs not used: Simonsen, McKay.

 

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