Ally McCoist hopes Kevin Kyle can go on to score many more goals for Rangers after breaking his duck against East Stirlingshire.
Scorers: East Stirlingshire - Turner (41), Quinn (58 pen); Rangers - McCulloch (12 pen, 82 pen), Little (39), Wallace (49), Kyle (63), Naismith (71)
Kyle netted the fourth goal as the Ibrox club romped to a 6-2 victory at Ochilview in their Irn-Bru Third Division encounter.
Lee McCulloch opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 12 minutes before East Stirling were reduced to ten men when Phillipp Zufle was sent off just after the half-hour for a poorly-timed challenge on Kyle.
Andrew Little doubled Rangers’ lead soon after, although the hosts reduced the deficit almost immediately when Kevin Turner headed home Nathan Shepherd’s corner.
Lee Wallace re-established Rangers’ two-goal advantage four minutes after the break but their lead was cut for the second time when Paul Quinn slotted home from the penalty spot.
Rangers were rewarded for their dominance throughout much of the second half when Kyle and Kal Naismith both netted to put the game well out of the reach of their opponents before McCulloch added a sixth goal late on.
“It was good to see Kyle scoring his first goal,” said McCoist. “I think you could see the sense of relief from him when it went in. It’ll be a weight off his mind, he’s had a lot of trouble with injuries, but he earned his goal because he worked hard. The big guy is maybe not easy on the eye, but he positions himself well, and he got his goal where he’ll get the majority of his goals – at the back post.
“I was conscious about playing him on an artificial surface and he won’t be in great nick the morning after the game, but he’s getting there.
“He’s got a wee neck problem at moment, but he did very well, and his level of fitness is getting better all the time.”
McCoist was thrilled with the win but also felt there were things his side could have improved on. “I was delighted to score six goals and equally delighted to take all three points,” he added. “That being said, I was disappointed to have lost two goals, I can’t remember Neil [Alexander] having a save to make but we conceded two goals.
“After the sending off I would have liked for us to have killed the game off a little quicker and we did have chances to do that. We have started to demonstrate a good tempo at the beginning of matches and I felt overall today the attitude of the players was first-class.”
East Stirling manager John Coughlin believes Zufle will bounce back following his sending-off against Rangers. The German midfielder’s first-half dismissal left Shire facing a huge task.
“He has only had two starts and was very subdued in the dressing room after the game,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know if the red card had much of an effect, I had a good view of it and there was no doubt that it was a sending-off. I am sure Phillipp will bounce back, he’s a well-educated guy and still learning.”
Rangers’ win was overshadowed, though, when the club announced after full-time that former player Sandy Jardine is having treatment for cancer.
Jardine, 63, made over 500 appearances for the club as a player between 1965 and 1982, before making more than 200 for Hearts, who he would later manage.
In a statement, Rangers said: “The club will support Sandy and his family in any way it can throughout his treatment and we ask that the media respect his privacy and indeed the privacy of his family.
“Sandy is a true Rangers legend in every sense of the word and has the admiration and respect of every one of his colleagues at Ibrox and Murray Park.”
Jardine, who won the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup with Rangers and also played 38 times for Scotland, said: “I would like to thank everyone for their best wishes and kind support.”