RANGERS have successfully appealed the red card defender Lee Wallace received against Annan.
Wallace was dismissed during last Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Ibrox after referee Paul Robertson ruled he had denied an opponent an obvious goalscoring opportunity. The appeal was heard by the Scottish Football Association’s fast-track tribunal yesterday morning, and the offence was reduced to a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
The decision means the left-back – who scored in the 3-0 win over Clyde on Boxing Day – will be available for tomorrow’s Irn-Bru Third Division game against Queen’s Park at Hampden.
An SFA statement confirmed: “Upon reviewing the incident, the match referee, Paul Robertson, stood by the awarding of a penalty kick, but considered that the incident did not deny an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
“The tribunal accepted this view and upheld the player reference, reducing the offence to a caution for unsporting behaviour [holding or pushing an opponent].”
Wallace, meanwhile, insists there is no chance of Rangers taking their foot off the gas despite moving 12 points clear at the top of the Division following the victory over Clyde.
The triumph extended Rangers’ winning streak to nine games, and the run of victories suggests Ally McCoist’s men have now fully adapted to life in Scottish football’s bottom tier, having initially struggled at unfamiliar venues earlier in the season.
It would now appear to be only a matter of time before they wrap up the title, but Wallace claims the squad are taking nothing for granted. He said: “We are staying fully grounded and committed and focused. There is a long way to go in the season.
“The manager has instilled that in us and we won’t be taking our foot off the gas. We will give every opponent the respect they deserve and give a good account of ourselves. We will win games and hopefully we will keep this momentum going.
“You can’t afford to make any mistakes in this league because you will get punished. We had a few instances of that earlier in the season.
“We are 12 points clear, with nine wins in a row, and a good bit of momentum behind us and we will look to carry that on.
“Even if we get to be 30 points clear, we will never take our foot off the gas. That’s just how we are. You need to stay focused and grounded and that’s the most important thing.”
Wallace and Dean Shiels were both on the scoresheet against Clyde, but the plaudits went to David Templeton, who netted a superb goal of his own and claimed the man of the match award.
The winger has impressed this month, after making his comeback from ankle ligament damage sustained in September at Annan, and Wallace believes his former Hearts team-mate has a big role to play in the remainder of the campaign.
Wallace said: “He is going to be massively important for us. You’ve seen the impact he has made since he came back from his injury. When he came off at Annan that day, we feared the worst and he was out for a fair while. Now he is back training every day, he’s sharp and back involved in the games.
“He’s having a hand in a few goals and is scoring goals himself. He’s a flair player who the fans love and we all love having him in the team. I think he will play a massive part in the second half of the season.”