If such lowly status could be forgiven given what is about to come into sharp focus, it nevertheless was treated with some respect by the Ibrox support with a healthy crowd turning out to see a debut goal from teenager Robbie Ure along with a brace from veteran midfielder Scott Arfield. They were was sufficient to see off a valiant Queen of the South side who had Lee Connelly’s first-half leveller as their contribution in a 3-1 defeat.
This was not the feast of goals that Rangers flirted with given their pressure in the early stages of this encounter. Indeed, it said much of Rangers’ fairly lacklustre performance that the biggest cheer of the night came with the third goal, four minutes from time, that firmly settled any flirtation with an unwelcome surprise.
These games have the propensity to gain notoriety if they go wrong and there was one first-half moment for Fashion Sakala in which he felt the fear of falling into an infamous void. That there were grumbles of frustration from the Ibrox support before normal service resumed underlined the fact that these games are regarded as fairly routine until all of a sudden they are not.
Still, Sakala and Rangers recovered their poise after his faux-pas that allowed Connelly a notable career moment when he – briefly – restored parity and made life interesting at Ibrox. It was Sakala’s loose pass-back to Allan McGregor that allowed Connelly to nip in and arching a glorious right-footed effort that dipped wickedly under the crossbar and into the top corner.It had come after Robbie Ure had netted his first senior goal for the club when the game was still in its infancy. Having dragged an earlier effort wide of the target the 18-year-old got his moment when Sakala and Glen Kamara combined to tee him up. There seemed to be a slight deflection as his effort ended up in the back of the net, easing away from Queen of the South goalkeeper Max Currie.
It possibly relaxed Rangers too much as Sakala’s slackness showed. Still, the leveller seemed to bring a fresh resolve about the Ibrox side as they re-established their dominancy in the game. Keen to atone, Sakala had a hand in Rangers’ second of the evening as he slipped the ball into the feet of Ridvan Yilmaz with the full-back’s skilful flick enabling him to drive into the box before cutting the ball into the box for Arfield to drill into the net in archetypical fashion.
Sakala could have made it three as he screwed and effort wide of the target but there was some consternation around Ibrox when Stephen Hendrie was able to get his body in front Adam Devine before squandering the half chance while Euan East ought to have done better when he blasted Ruari Paton's ball across the box wildly wide.
Getting the game out of the way and emerging unscathed would have been the only priority but there would have been some frustration at Rangers’ profligacy and slackness; Adam Devine almost sliced the ball into his own net at one moment in the second period.
Arfield settled the game when he collected from Charlie McCann to net the third and settle any grumbles.