Rangers 2 - 0 Queen’s Park: Rangers grab nervy win after Spiders scare
RANGERS captain Lee McCulloch has likened next Sunday’s trip to Clyde to a cup final after his double against Queen’s Park put his club back on top of the Irn-Bru Third Division.
Rangers - McCulloch (57, 90)
Rangers recovered from their defeat at bottom club Stirling with a 2-0 derby victory but they were far from convincing with McCulloch’s second goal coming in injury-time after Queen’s had pushed their hosts back for much of the final quarter.
In front of a 49,463 crowd – the second biggest attendance at a British match this weekend, beaten only by a full house at Old Trafford – Rangers were somewhat flattered by the final scoreline.
Chances were created and missed by both sides in the first-half with the amateurs giving as good as they got. Dean Shiels had a shot well saved by Neil Parry in the Queen’s goal after just four minutes, while Paul Gallacher robbed Ranger’s Lee Wallace and cut the ball back for Jamie Longworth who fired high over the crossbar when a bit of composure would have brought greater reward.
McCulloch finally opened the scoring with a tap-in in the 57th minute following a great run by Shiels but the floodgates failed to open as expected. Indeed the Spiders had a great chance to equalise just five minutes after Ranger’s opener following the best move of the game. Andrew Robertson, who started the attack, was through on goal with only Alexander to beat but his shot came off the keeper’s legs.
The victory, however unconvincing, was welcomed by Ranger’s manager Ally McCoist, especially in light of the previous defeat in Stirling, and goalscorer McCulloch is now targetting a first away victory of the league season when Rangers travel to Broadwood.
The striker, who took his goal tally for the season to 13 goals, said: “With going top of the league, I think we should be looking at next week like a cup final.
“Everyone knows our away form has been nowhere near good enough. If we treat next week like a cup final and get a positive result, then we can certainly try and kick on from there as well.”
Rangers needed to take Saturday’s opponents seriously, too, and McCulloch revealed there had been some heated discussion at half-time.
Rangers had good spells at either end of the first half but the Spiders matched them in possession for the majority of the first 45 minutes and created several half-chances.
McCulloch, whose second goal was another tap-in after substitute Barrie McKay hit the bar with a dipping long-range strike, said: “The players were obviously disappointed and, at half-time today, there were four or five different arguments going on, and we were all getting uptight.
“It just shows that there are a lot of winners in the dressing room, that 0-0 at half-time is annoying the players and they expect more from each other. I think that showed in the second half with the way we played.
“I actually think it’s a healthy thing if the boys are arguing, It shows a will to win. And it’s good to see the young boys getting involved as well, they are not scared to speak up to the experienced players.”
Queen’s Park manager Gardner Speirs, whose team were league leaders when they arrived at Ibrox, praised his players for showing the belief to mount a serious challenge to Rangers.
“At Queen’s Park we are used to losing four or five of our better players each season because they attract others, and we have to build a new team,” he said.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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