Rangers 3 - 0 Falkirk: Lee McCulloch at the double to help Rangers progress
RANGERS manager Ally McCoist quickly recovered from a three-match suspended ban from the SFA as his side eased past Falkirk into the second round of the Scottish Communities League Cup last night.
Scorers: Rangers - McCulloch (18, 52), Little (32)
Bookings: Rangers - Wallace
Lee McCulloch claimed a double and Andy Little was also on the scoresheet, with his eighth goal of the season, in front of a crowd of 26,450 at Ibrox.
Before the game kicked off, McCoist was handed a suspended three-match touchline ban for comments made about the Scottish Football Association judicial panel.
McCoist was found guilty of two out of three charges by an SFA fast-track tribunal yesterday, but his punishment is suspended for 12 months.
Chief executive Charles Green escaped with a censure for comments he made in the media claiming “bigotry” was one of the reasons his newco club were denied entry to the SPL.
McCoist was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and not acting in the best interests of football for questioning the independence of the panel that handed Rangers a 12-month transfer embargo in April, before they were consigned to liquidation. A third charge relating to his demands that the three-man panel’s identities were made public was dismissed.
Rangers were censured for Green’s comments, made before his newco club made their first appearance on the pitch, in a Ramsdens Cup clash in Brechin last month, since being denied entry to the SPL and voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division.
In response to the transfer ban, which applies after the transfer window closes tonight, McCoist had asked at the time: “Who are these people? I want to know who these people are. I’m a Rangers supporter and the Rangers supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are, people who are working for the SFA. Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision. They have appointed the panel, so therefore they are working for the SFA, but who are they? I think we have a right to know who is handing out this punishment to us, I really do.”
The three panel members were later given security advice by police following alleged threats. McCoist condemned such behaviour, but stood by his calls for transparency.
Green’s offending comments came as he discussed decisions made over his club’s league status. “Some of it has been driven by bigotry, some of it has been driven by jealousy, and some of it’s been driven by all the wrong motives,” Green said.
Green said last night: “The decision of the judicial panel was disappointing as they accepted there was no intention on my part to bring the game into disrepute and this is reflected in the sanction imposed. I explained to the SFA previously and have said publicly what I meant by my remarks and it is time to move on.”
McCoist added: “I can assure everyone that at no time did I intend to bring the game into disrepute when I made my feelings known about the decision by a judicial panel, set up under the auspices of the SFA, to impose a transfer embargo on Rangers.
“I felt the decision was wrong and my concern was that everyone must have full confidence in a system that has the capacity to impose such severe sanctions.
“I wanted full transparency on a decision which had far-reaching implications for our club. At no time did I wish any individual subjected to intimidation as a result of my comments and I am pleased that this aspect of the complaint was dismissed by the judicial panel today.”
Last night’s victory proved to be more comfortable than last week’s Ramsdens Cup clash between the two sides, which saw Rangers scrape through thanks to another Little goal at the Falkirk Stadium.
Sebastien Faure was handed his Rangers debut as McCoist made three changes from the 1-1 draw at Berwick at the weekend ahead of the visit of the Bairns. Dean Shiels and Lee Wallace were drafted into the starting line-up also.
The home side should have gone ahead when Shiels fed McCulloch with a lovely through ball, only for the veteran utility man to rifle inches wide from just inside the box.
McCulloch made amends for the miss when he opened the scoring after 18 minutes, rising above everyone else in the packed goalmouth to send a bullet header into the back of the net from an Ian Black corner.
Only a great save from goalkeeper Michael McGovern prevented Gers from doubling their lead when Faure unleashed a ferocious shot from distance that appeared net-bound.
Little had the net bulging with 32 minutes gone when he latched on to a wonderful pass from Shiels and burst through on goal before lashing past McGovern.
There appeared to be no way back for the Irn-Bru First Division side when McCulloch claimed Rangers’ third – and his second – of the night after 52 minutes.
The reinvented forward pounced after a defensive mix-up between Chris Smith and McGovern and produced a composed finish to claim his sixth goal of the campaign.
Rangers: Alexander, Argiriou, Bocanegra, Cribari, Wallace, McCulloch, Faure (Kyle 77), Black, Shiels (McKay 63), MacLeod (Crawford 77), Little.
Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Smith, Flynn, Kingsley, Weatherston (Fulton 86), Jay Fulton, Murdoch, Alston, Sibbald (Haworth 70), Taylor.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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