Player of the match
On a night when some more seasoned professionals were unable to take the opportunity to impress Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, teenage debutant Alex Lowry seized it with both hands.
The 18-year-old raised the tempo and showed levels of authority and composure beyond his years after he replaced the injured Ianis Hagi just 15 minutes into the tie.
Lowry’s well taken goal to give Rangers the lead is a moment the Scotland under-19 international midfielder will never forget for the rest of what, on this evidence, could be a highly successful career.
As van Bronckhorst made eight changes to his starting line-up, among those coming in was forgotten winger Brandon Barker who had not featured in the first team for 12 months.
It should have been the ideal chance for Barker to prove he can still rescue his Rangers career but, aside from earning a penalty kick, he offered little and was too easily subdued by the Stirling Albion defence. It’s difficult to see Barker remaining at Ibrox beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of the season.
The aforementioned introduction to the fray of Lowry which brought Rangers’ display to life. After his opener, there was no doubt about the outcome as James Tavernier scored one penalty and had one saved before second half strikes from Cedric Itten and Fashion Sakala wrapped it up.
Stirling Albion manager Darren Young felt the first penalty awarded to Rangers, for handball against defender Jordan McGregor, was harsh and he had a case.
But there was no doubt about the second spot-kick referee John Beaton awarded as Aberdeen loanee needlessly clipped Brandon Barker when the winger was actually moving away from goal.
Beaton only reached for his yellow card once and Albion midfielder Jack Leitch could have no complaints after he wiped out Juninho Bacuna.
Gave us a giggle
Ally McCoist’s choice of headwear to keep out the chill on the Premier Sports TV gantry raised a few smiles as the AC/DC aficionado sported the kind of flat cap which has been trademarked by the rock band’s lead singer Brian Johnson.