Rangers 2 Stirling 0: Templeton and Little on target in another Ibrox stroll
17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012
17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012
David Templeton and Andy Little supplied the goals as Rangers avenged their only Irn-Bru Third Division defeat so far this season with a win over Stirling Albion.
Bottom side Binos had claimed a shock win at Forthbank in October but were left empty-handed this time.
Rangers used the match at Ibrox to celebrate their 140th year, having come through one of the most turbulent spells in their history which saw them suffer administration and liquidation before being re-launched in Scottish football's bottom tier.
Competitive: Rangers' Lee Wallace and Stirling's Ross McGeachie tussle
Rangers: Alexander, Argyriou, Hegarty, McCulloch, Wallace, Templeton (Walsh 88), Hutton, Macleod, McKay, Shiels (Little 77), Kyle (Naismith 68). Subs not used: Scott Gallagher, Cole.
Booked: Kyle, Templeton.
Goals: Templeton 59, Little 90.
Stirling: Peat, McClune, Thom (White 89), Bishop, McAnespie, McCulloch (Davidson 82), McSorley, McGeachie (Flood 77), Ferry, Day, Graham Weir. Subs not used: Filler, Allison.
Sent Off: McSorley (86).
Booked: McCulloch, McSorley, McGeachie, Bishop, McAnespie.
Ref: Mike Tumilty.
Around 40 former players were
welcomed on to the pitch at half-time by pundit Andy Gray, including
members of the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup winning side and players
from the Nine in a Row era.
There was also a card display and
fireworks for the season-record crowd of 49,913, although visiting fans
refused to join in the festivities and displayed a banner of their own
which read: 'More Like 140 Days'.
Ally McCoist had stressed beforehand
the importance of marking the occasion with three points and ensuring
Rangers remain top of the table.
Templeton and Kyle Hutton both started, with Little on the bench and Ian Black missing through injury.
Sixteen-year old Tom Walsh was named as a substitute for the first time, while Lee Wallace made his 50th appearance for Rangers.
Perhaps it was the celebratory mood
or a desire to avenge that defeat which saw Rangers pile on the pressure
from the first whistle.
After Marc McCulloch went into the
referee's book for a hard challenge on Templeton with seconds on the
clock, Lewis Macleod forced a decent save from Mark Peat at his near
Templeton then lashed inches past the
post from distance, before the winger was again the victim of a poor
tackle which saw Daly McSorley cautioned on this occasion.
Show of support: Rangers fans air their views
There was little respite for Stirling
early on and Macleod's blistering strike was just off target and the
goalkeeper was called into action again to block an angled drive from
The best chance so far came when
Kevin Kyle knocked down into the path of the onrushing Macleod in front
of goal, but he connected awkwardly and the effort bounced over the
Albion duo Ross McGeachie and Jamie
Bishop then collected yellow cards in quick succession – also for fouls
on Templeton, who was making his first start since suffering ankle
ligament damage in mid-September.
Kyle had netted in the last two
outings but was denied by the woodwork just before the break when his
shot smacked off the post as Stirling survived the onslaught to head
into half-time on level terms.
Rangers still looked dangerous after the restart and the breakthrough finally came after 59 minutes.
McKay burst down the left wing and supplied a lovely ball across the face of goal where Templeton was waiting to lash home.
Kal Naismith almost added his name to
the scoresheet when he raced on to a McKay pass and forced a save from
Peat, before fellow substitute Little rippled the side-netting with the
There was a tense moment for Rangers when Albion's Josh Flood saw his strike crash off the post.
McSorely was sent packing for a second yellow with five minutes to go, before Gers youngster Walsh was handed his debut.
Little then put the gloss on the win when he slotted home into the bottom corner in the final minute.