Mission accomplished as Rangers exact birthday revenge

Kyle Hutton holds off Stirling's Graham Weir
Kyle Hutton holds off Stirling's Graham Weir
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MIDFIELDER Kyle Hutton said revenge was a motivating factor as table-topping Rangers claimed a 2-0 victory over Stirling Albion at Ibrox.

Bottom side Stirling inflicted their only Irn-Bru Third Division defeat so far this season at Forthbank in October on what was an acutely embarrassing day for Rangers, but goals by David Templeton and Andy Little secured the victory and allowed Ally McCoist’s men to make amends for the shock reverse.

Hutton said: “There was a slight feeling of wanting to get our own back on them after beating us at their own ground.

“We went out there and certainly got our own back.”

Stirling survived wave after wave of pressure by Rangers in the first half before Templeton opened the scoring after 59 minutes. Little then sealed the win in the final minute, but only after Albion substitute Josh Flood hit the woodwork in a tense moment for Rangers.

Hutton added: “When you don’t get that early goal and you keep pressing for a goal, you start to worry slightly and wonder if it’s going to come, but we were confident if we kept playing the way we were playing it would eventually come. We should have won by more. We had a good few chances, but we just wanted a good performance and a good win.

“Apart from not getting more goals, I thought we did that and had a good game.”

Hutton knew Rangers had to deliver the points on a day when a crowd of 49,913 packed into Ibrox as the club celebrated 140 years, with around 40 former players back in Glasgow for the occasion. He said: “The gaffer said to us beforehand that he wanted us to go out and give a good account of ourselves and get the win and do it for the fans. We did that, so we are happy.”

The midfielder was also happy to see Templeton on the scoresheet on the day he made his first start since suffering ankle ligament damage in mid-September.

He said: “He’s had a couple of tough months after being out injured and was frustrated by that.

“It’s good to have him back and for him to be on the scoresheet as well. We’re delighted for him. I’m sure he will go on to score a few more.”

Stirling manager Greig McDonald said: “We knew we were coming to a party atmosphere with 50,000 (spectators).

“I said to the guys that Rangers were going to come out of the traps and we would have to weather that storm. Rangers were going to have chances and possession, but, credit to my guys, I thought we weathered it early on and grew into the game.”