Rangers watched their lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Championship evaporate after losing 2-1 at Falkirk. Craig Cairns and Craig Fowler give their verdict on each and every player
GK - Danny Rogers – 9
Falkirk’s match-winner. Rogers had very little to do in the first 70 minutes, but when Rangers turned up the pressure he made three terrific stops to secure the points. Later called his penalty save and the resulting victory “the happiest he’s ever been in football”.
DR – Aaron Muirhead – 5
Struggled to contain McKay for the most part, including being too easily beaten by the winger in a number of one-on-one situations. Dealt well with crosses and was composed on the ball.
DC – David McCracken – 7
Marshalled a defence that stood firm, for the most part, against the Rangers attack and individually put in a solid performance across the 90 minutes. His leadership skills were necessary as Rangers amped up the pressure late in the game.
DC – Peter Grant – 8
Like McCracken he never put a foot wrong and even produced a goal saving challenge from Waghorn that would otherwise have saw his side going in at half-time 2-1 down.
DL – Luke Leahy – 6
Struggled a little against Oduwa in the first-half wand was booked for a foul on the Rangers wide man after he blew past him just outside the penalty area. Settled down after and had a solid second half.
MR – Blair Alston – 6
Did a lot of running to support through the centre to the attack while also helped to protect the back four from Lee Wallace’s run from deep. Couldn’t quite do enough to impact the final third.
MC – Will Vaulks – 9
The roving midfielder had a tremendous game in the centre of the park and played a huge role in securing Falkirk the win. His driving run won the penalty before an excellent finish put the hosts ahead for good. Terrific somersaulting celebration, too.
MC – Mark Kerr – 8
He and Vaulks got the better of the three-man Rangers midfield for large spells in the game, pulling off a number of impressive challenges and generally putting the opponents under considerable pressure.
ML – Craig Sibbald – 7
Showed his usual guile and subtlety and always seemed to pick the right option on the counter-attack. His effectiveness is diminished, however, by an unnatural shift on the left-wing.
FC – Kevin O’Hara – 8
Highly impressive performance from the 17-year-old making his full home debut. His running off the ball caused considerable problems for Rangers and he was denied a goal on three separate occasions - two from Foderingham saves and one from his own team-mate.
FC – John Baird – 7
The opening goalscorer would have earned a higher mark had it not been for an unfortunate error that cost his younger team-mate a goal. Otherwise he was excellent, constantly finding the gaps in the Rangers defence and being at the heart of all promising Falkirk attacks.
Lee Miller – 6
Didn’t seem the right kind of striker to play for a side looking to break on the counter, but he used his experience to hold up the ball, keep possession and reduce the pressure on the back-line.
Only given the last nine minutes. Put himself about but didn’t make an impact.
By Craig Fowler
GK - Wes Foderingham - 7
The erratic goalkeeper should have done better with the penalty he faced and gave the ball away cheaply when taking a quick free-kick. He did make two great saves at 2-1 which could have proved crucial.
DR - James Tavernier - 5
The marauding full-back was continually caught out of position, leaving his centre-backs severely exposed. His first foray upfield in the match ended in his side conceding an early penalty and was less of an attacking threat than usual.
DC - Rob Kiernan - 5
The centre-half was run ragged by the 17-year-old O’Hara and gave the ball away cheaply on a few occasions. It didn’t help that he was continually dragged to the right to cover for his full-back Tavernier.
DC - Danny Wilson - 6
The former Hearts defender gave away an early penalty and struggled to match the runs of the nippy John Baird. He certainly doesn’t look comfortable continually racing back from the aggressively high defensive line his side play.
DL - Lee Wallace - 7
The Rangers captain won his individual battle and was one of his side’s better performers on the day. He didn’t influence the game as much as he usually does though was let down by his teammates’ passing at times.
DM - Andy Halliday - 6
The first 45 minutes saw the converted winger settle into his usual deep-lying playmaker role once his side recovered from the early penalty. His influence faded severely in the second half as Falkirk defended their way to victory.
MR - Nathan Oduwa - 5
A few things didn’t come off for the Spurs loanee at first but it started to happen for him as the first half progressed. His cross led to the equaliser and he drew a bookable foul out of Leahy, but he failed to subsequently build upon this.
MC - Jason Holt - 8
The diminutive midfielder was tidy in possession and consistently turned the Falkirk midfield before driving at their defence. He wasn’t given enough help by his other midfielders and failed to link with Waghorn effectively.
MC - Dean Shiels - 5
Drafted into the side after injury to Gedion Zelalem, the Northern Irish midfielder failed to do anything significant in the final third. A quiet first half was followed by him losing Vaulks for Falkirk’s second goal. He was replaced shortly after.
ML - Barrie McKay - 7
The winger struggled to impose himself on the match before his well-taken equaliser. He repeatedly had the beating of Muirhead after that, even if his final ball was found wanting or else he ended up stranded in a sea of Falkirk defenders.
FC - Martyn Waghorn - 4
The Englishman’s first touch was as poor as it has been all season and he failed to convert his one chance – which came from the spot. Found himself crowded out by a resolute Falkirk defence and was unable to make a mark on the match when moved out wide.
Nicky Law - 7
On his return from injury, the industrious midfielder gave his side some much needed thrust from the centre of the park. He came very close to equalising but was denied by the crossbar.
Kenny Miller - 5
The former Scotland international was denied by Rodgers in the Falkirk goal but failed to make a mark on the match otherwise.
The striker replaced Danny Wilson late on and had no time to influence the match.
By Craig Cairns