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Celtic 1 Motherwell 0 match report: Gary Hooper"s 18th of the season extends Bhoys" lead

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0: Hooper's 18th of the season extends Bhoys' lead at the summit

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 2 January 2013

Gary Hooper's late strike gave Celtic victory over Motherwell in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Hoops keeper Fraser Forster made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty, awarded for Kelvin Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before the Englishman converted a Georgios Samaras cross from close range with 11 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season at home, though, the champions ended up struggling to get three points from a match that should have been over by the interval.

Well keeper Darren Randolph kept Celtic at bay with a series of saves although there were some glaring misses too before Hooper pounced to take Neil Lennon's side into the winter break nine points clear of Inverness at the top of the table.

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

Match facts

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose (Rogne 84), Wilson, Izaguirre, Commons (McGeouch 82), Kayal (Watt 72), Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper. Subs not used: Zaluska, Nouioui, McCourt, Chalmers.

Booked: Mulgrew, Kayal, Wanyama, Forster.

Goal: Hooper 79.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Kerr, Ramsden, Hammell, Humphrey, Law, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Daley 86), Ojamaa (McHugh 86), Murphy. Subs not used: Hollis, Higdon, Carswell, Hetherington, Cummins.

Booked: Ojamaa, Lasley.

Referee: Steven McLean.

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However, Motherwell manager Stuart
McCall, set to lose forward Murphy to Sheffield United this week, will
wonder how different it might have been had Hateley scored from the
spot.

Lennon made four changes and returned
to a back four after admitting three at the back did not work in the
1-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

In came Adam Matthews, Beram Kayal,
Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew with skipper Scott Brown, Mikael
Lustig, Lassad Nouioui and Thomas Rogne dropping out, the latter two on
the bench.

Motherwell showed two changes with
Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol in for Shaun Hutchinson and Michael
Higdon, the big striker consigned to the bench where he watched the home
side's whirlwind start suggest a demolition job.

Samaras had the ball in the net from Commons' cross in the second minute but was flagged offside.
Commons then flashed a shot from the edge of the box just wide after
being set up by Hooper, who then turned and drove wide after taking a
Kayal pass with his back to goal.

In the seventh minute Randolph made a
fine save from Hooper's stab from close range after more good work on
the left from Samaras, before tipping stand-in skipper Mulgrew's curling
free-kick over the bar for a corner.

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

There was no let-up in the pressure
on the Motherwell goal and moments later Randolph flew to his left to
pluck a goal-bound Commons shot out of the air.

The Hoops support groaned once more
when Victor Wanyama then missed Mulgrew's corner altogether from eight
yards, allowing Well to clear their lines.

Murphy, skipper for the day, should
have put the visitors ahead following a break in the 20th minute when he
was played in by Keith Lasley but he lashed the ball over the bar.

Defender Efe Ambrose guided Mulgrew's whipped-in free-kick past the near post from six yards out.
Motherwell slowly grew in confidence as the first half wore on.

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

In the 37th minute Murphy tested
Forster with a drive from the edge of the box and moments later curled a
shot from 14 yards past the far post after working his way past Kayal
and into a good shooting position.

Samaras had a low drive from 20 yards saved by Randolph.

With seconds remaining Ambrose missed
the chance of the half when Randolph dropped Wanyama's header from a
Mulgrew corner, the Parkhead defender hooking the ball over the bar from
barely two yards.

Celtic had an unconvincing start to
the second period but with six minutes gone Randolph tipped a deflected
shot from Wanyama over the bar.

Celtic dropped the tempo which
allowed Well to breath slightly easier but Randolph was still seeing
plenty of the ball, making another decent save from Commons'
right-footed drive from 25 yards in the 67th minute.

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Both sides were taking turns to
attack but Motherwell were handed a great chance to take the lead when
referee Steven McLean adjudged Wilson to have tripped Murphy in the box.

There was some concern as to whether
Hateley had the ball on the spot or not – and Forster was booked for
pointing this out – but when the Motherwell player blasted his shot to
his left the Celtic flew across to make a great save.

The incident seemed to energise
Celtic and they were soon in the lead when Hooper played the ball to
Samaras and ran into the box to collect the return pass and slip the
ball under Randolph from six yards.

There were some nervy moments before the final whistle as Motherwell went for broke but in the end Celtic deserved their win.

Everton coach "punches" goalkeeper Danielle Hill at Christmas party – EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Christmas bash! Everton coach is accused of punching woman keeper at party

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UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 21 December 2012

An Everton academy coach has been suspended while Merseyside Police investigate complaints he punched the club's women's team goalkeeper in the face at the staff Christmas party.

The shocking incident involving Mick O'Brien, who looks after Everton's nine to 11 year olds, and second-choice keeper Danielle Hill took place around midnight last Sunday outside the Blue Bar on Liverpool's Albert Dock as the function was breaking up.

Hill, 24-year-old niece of former England striker Mark Hateley, reported the alleged attack to Merseyside police and went to hospital for a check-up on minor facial injuries.

MICK O'BRIEN

Danielle Hill

Claim: It is alleged that O'Brien (right) punched Everton stopper Danielle Hill

Police are making enquiries and Everton are holding an extensive internal investigation.

The club have suspended Hill, understudy to Team GB keeper Rachel Brown, along with former Torquay midfielder O'Brien, 33, while the two probes continue over the Christmas period.

There are understood to be conflicting reports as to who threw the first punch in a fight that is the talk of a club viewing the clash with the utmost seriousness.

Probe: Hill and O'Brien have both been suspended by Everton

Probe: Hill and O'Brien have both been suspended by Everton

But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the fracas is another unseemly chapter in the history of wild behaviour at football clubs' Christmas parties.

The Everton bash was attended by administrative staff, academy and community coaches as well as the women's team.

Neither manager David Moyes nor his first-team squad were present.

A police statement said: 'Merseyside Police can confirm an investigation is underway following the assault of a 24-year-old woman in Liverpool city centre on Sunday, December 16.

'The incident occurred near to the entrance of the Blue Bar in the Albert Dock at about midnight. The 24-year-old was punched in the face during the incident.

An investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is ongoing.'

Everton made no comment.

Rangers 2 Motherwell 0: Match report

Rangers 2 Motherwell 0: McCulloch and Shiels show Gers can still mix it with the big boys

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 26 September 2012

Rangers showed they can still compete with the top sides in the country by dumping in-form Motherwell out of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

The Light Blues faced top-flight opposition for the first time since being consigned to liquidation and voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division in the summer when the Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders came calling in the third round tie.

Motherwell were branded favourites by their hosts ahead of this game but any hopes of claiming a first win at Ibrox since 1997 were dashed by goals from Lee McCulloch and Dean Shiels as Rangers booked their place in the quarter-finals.

Flying high: Rangers' Lee McCulloch celebrates scoring against Motherwell

Flying high: Rangers' Lee McCulloch celebrates scoring against Motherwell

Match facts:

Rangers: Alexander, Faure, Perry, Emilson Cribari, Wallace, Argyriou, McCulloch, Macleod, Aird (McKay 81), Sandaza (Hutton 24), Shiels (Crawford 75).

Subs Not Used: Gallacher, Stella.

Booked: McCulloch.

Goals: McCulloch 50, Shiels 56.

Motherwell: Randolph, Kerr, Hutchinson, Cummins, Hammell (Francis-Angol 65), Humphrey (Daley 72), Hateley (Murphy 64), Lasley, Law, Ojamaa, Higdon.

Subs Not Used: Hollis, Ramsden.

Booked: Hammell, Daley.

Attendance: 29,413

Referee: Calum Murray

Ally McCoist made two changes to his side from the weekend after Ian Black failed to recover from a hamstring injury and Barrie McKay was dropped to the bench.

Francisco Sandaza was drafted into the starting line-up and Fraser Aird made his first start after an impressive debut from the bench against Montrose.

Motherwell named an unchanged side after being held to a 3-3 draw by Aberdeen in their last outing.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at Rangers this season was starting games too slowly but they were out of the traps quickly, as the stadium rocked.

Clearly, both players and fans were relishing the return of top-flight opposition to Govan and it was Rangers who almost drew first blood.

Aird looked dangerous down the left flank and delivered a teasing ball into the box for Sandaza but he failed to connect properly and produce a clean shot.

The first effort on target fell to Motherwell when Tom Hateley had a go from the edge of the area but goalkeeper Neil Alexander was able to claim comfortably.

Hateley then turned provider for Henrik Ojamaa but he was forced too wide before unleashing and Alexander was again up to the task and gathered with ease.

Showing they can still do it: Rangers Anestis Argyriou and Motherwell's Zan Francis-Angol battle for the ball

Showing they can still do it: Rangers Anestis Argyriou and Motherwell's Zan Francis-Angol battle for the ball

There was concern for both sides when Sandaza and Shaun Hutchison both required treatment following a sickening clash of heads.

Hutchison left the pitch with blood pouring from a head wound and returned several minutes later after receiving stitches but the match was over for a groggy-looking Sandaza who was taken down the tunnel on a stretcher.

Kyle Hutton was thrown into the action for the striker with 24 minutes gone, making his first appearance since the League Cup win over East Fife in early August.

Showing what it means: Rangers team captain and goalscorer Lee McCulloch celebrates as the final whistle

Showing what it means: Rangers team captain and goalscorer Lee McCulloch celebrates as the final whistle

Pain game: Motherwell's Nicky Law cuts a dejected figure at full-time

Pain game: Motherwell's Nicky Law cuts a dejected figure at full-time

Both sides looked capable of finding the back of the net and Rangers came close when Shiels' cut-back found McCulloch and he drove just over the crossbar from 10 yards.

At the other end, Nicky Law found himself one on one with Alexander but the Rangers goalkeeper raced off his line to clear the danger before the midfielder could unleash the shot.

The second half was just four minutes old when Rangers opened the scoring.

Aird's short corner was punted into the box by Shiels where McCulloch was waiting to take advantage of poor marking by Motherwell and nod home from six yards.

Rangers doubled their lead after 56 minutes when Anestis Argyriou squared into the path of Shiels in plenty of space to volley past the helpless Darren Randolph.

Bundle: Rangers' players celebrate as they jump on team mate Dean Shiels after he scored

Bundle: Rangers' players celebrate as they jump on team mate Dean Shiels after he scored

The Steelmen could have pulled a goal back with a free-kick just outside the box but a swerving effort from Hateley was tipped wide by a full-stretch Alexander.

The tie could have been all but over for Motherwell when Aird forced his way past two defenders into the box only for his low shot to be blocked by the legs of Randolph.

The visitors tried to haul themselves back into the match and Ojamaa went to ground under pressure from Ross Perry but there was no penalty from referee Calum Murray.

Goalscorer Shiels appeared to take a knock and was replaced by youngster Robbie Crawford, before fellow substitute McKay was denied late on by Randolph, as Rangers held on for the morale-boosting victory.

AC Milan keen on Andy Carroll loan move

Italian job: AC Milan line up move for Liverpool striker Carroll… but only on loan

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 8 July 2012

Italian giants AC Milan are weighing up a loan move for Liverpool’s Andy Carroll.

The strikers’ name came up when the two clubs were talking about midfielder Alberto Aquilani return to Merseyside following a year in Milan.

The son of Milan president and former Italian Prime Mininster Silvio Berlusconi – Pier Silvio – is understood to be a fan of the ex-Newcastle man following his performances at Euro 2012.

Loan move: Andy Carroll came on a substitute in England's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat to Italy in Kiev

Loan move: Andy Carroll came on a substitute in England's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat to Italy in Kiev

He is reported as saying in The Sun: 'This is a new era for Milan.

'We will continue to get younger while maintaining the culture.

'Milan still has its superstars but I’d like to have Carroll at Milan. I was impressed with his strength and his headed goal against Sweden.'

According to reports in Italy, Berlusconi is ‘seriously considering’ taking his son’s advice, especially as Carroll might not feature highly in new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ plans for this season.

However one story carried on the website of a TV channel owned by media tycoon Berlusconi Jnr hinted that Carroll’s 35million price-tag would make a permanent move unlikely at this stage.

Target man: AC Milan are interested in signing Liverpool striker Andy Carroll

Target man: AC Milan are interested in signing Liverpool striker Andy Carroll

Swapping kits Carroll could play in the famous red and black next season

Swapping kits Carroll could play in the famous red and black next season

Due to the economic crisis it is thought that any deal would be a loan to begin with and then possibly a permanent one once the San Siro club can sell on Brazilian star Robinho.

The Rossoneri have lost a host of big names this summer with Filippo Inzaghi, 38, Clarence Seedorf, 36, Mark van Bommel, 35, and 34-year-old Gennaro Gattuso all leaving on free transfers.

Former England striker Mark Hateley, who played for Milan for 3 years in the mid-80s believes that a move to Italy would be perfect for Carroll.

‘It would be breath of fresh air for Andy Carroll,' he told talkSPORT recently.

‘It would be great to go away and test himself in a new environment, a new culture and a different way of living.

‘That was key for my development when I was so young.

'They teach you the game inside and out, that’s what they do in these countries, especially Italy. Big strikers have always been a handful. It would be great for Andy and…it’ll be great for England.

High jump: Carroll impressed for England against Sweden at Euro 2012

High jump: Carroll impressed for England against Sweden at Euro 2012

‘At his age you’re still very young and very raw. He’s got great strengths in his game already but he still has a lot of weaknesses.

‘They (Milan) can deconstruct his game and build it back up again to the way a European centre-forward should be.’

Rangers in crisis: Players will leave – Mark Hateley

McCoist could walk out if Rangers lose stars, warns Ibrox hero Hateley

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 21 May 2012

Former Rangers hero Mark Hateley fears Ally McCoist could quit Ibrox — if a summer exodus of stars renders the club unable to compete for honours.

The manager has held Rangers together since they were plunged into administration in February, acting as everything from head of the football department to spokesman for the entire Ibrox family.

Although McCoist has insisted he has no intention of walking away, former strike partner Hateley is concerned that losing his best players — and being unable to replace them because of an SFA transfer embargo — will present him with a tricky dilemma.

Old and new: Young defender Chris Hegarty (left) and club legend Mark Hateley

Old and new: Young defender Chris Hegarty (left) and club legend Mark Hateley

‘He needs the team to be competitive, that’s the key,’ said Hateley. ‘All top players have that edge, as do top managers. Ally needs Rangers to have a chance of winning something.

‘When that comes along, a decision will have to be taken. If Ally thinks he can make the club competitive, retain some of the better players, then who knows’

Asked outright if McCoist’s future hinged on keeping a core of experienced pros on board, Hateley (left) said: ‘Yes. You have a club that is in crisis and a governing body trying to get its house in order.

‘You have to get the wage bill down. To do that, you have to sell your best players. If they go and you can’t bring in any other players, the club is finished.

‘The top players might leave and contracts could be ripped up should the club come back as a newco. You could end up with 20 players leaving and not being able to sign any.

‘You have to look at Ally in all of this. The fans will be disappointed if the takeover deal doesn’t go through, but where will Ally be if nothing positive comes out of this

Work to be done: Ally McCoist faces a fight to keep hold of his stars

Work to be done: Ally McCoist faces a fight to keep hold of his stars

‘Half the players might not be here next year.

In my opinion, you might as well go to the Third Division in those circumstances because then you could rebuild over a period of time.

‘You’ve effectively got your legs tied together and you are trying to play a game of football. That is what I can’t understand in all this.

‘I would say being a Rangers fan has played a part in Ally staying around. But he is an intelligent man and he doesn’t give up — that’s why he had a successful playing career.

‘If it wasn’t Rangers, it might have been different for him. If you don’t have a love of the club, your mindset will be different.

‘You always learn more in the bad times — it’s easy when you are winning. He had a lot of great times as a player and as assistant under Walter Smith.

‘If he can survive this and get the club moving forward, well, he’s been remarkable.’

Rangers 0 Motherwell 0: McCoist wraps up sorry season Ibrox with Steelmen draw

Rangers 0 Motherwell 0: Sorry Gers wrap up final home game with Steelmen draw

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UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 5 May 2012

Rangers' final game at Ibrox this season ended in stalemate as they were held to a goalless draw by Motherwell in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The club had dedicated the match to the fans – with the number 12 jersey to be retired from next season in honour of the support – but the Light Blues faithful left without the win they craved.

As well as taking a point from this clash, third-placed Motherwell also claim the Champions League spot which has been denied administration-hit Rangers next term.

Stalemate: Neither side could find a way through to seal the three points

Stalemate: Neither side could find a way through to seal the three points

MATCH FACTS

Rangers: McGregor, Bartley, Goian (Perry 30), Bocanegra, Whittaker, Edu, McCabe (Bedoya 66), Ness (Little 66), Wallace, Aluko, McCulloch.

Subs not used: Alexander, Broadfoot, Healy, Mitchell.

Booked: Ness

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Hutchinson, Clancy, Hammell, Humphrey, Jennings, Lasley, Law, Ojamaa (McHugh 84), Murphy.

Subs not used: Hollis, Saunders, Craigan, Daley, Forbes, Carswell.

Booked: Hutchinson

Referee: William Collum (Scotland)

Rangers made one change from the side who thrashed Dundee United 5-0 midweek for the visit of Well.

Salim Kerkar missed out with an ankle
problem and was replaced by Lee McCulloch, who recovered from the knock
that restricted him to a late substitute appearance against United.

Motherwell also made a single change after beating Hearts, with Henrik Ojamaa replacing the injured Michael Higdon.

Rangers had the best of the chances
early on and Sone Aluko set up McCulloch for the shot inside the box in
the opening minutes but his effort was blocked by Tom Hateley.

Kyle Bartley then had a go from the
edge of the area but goalkeeper Darren Randolph was untroubled as the
shot dipped just over the crossbar.

The home side continued to push
forward in search of the opener and McCulloch's cutback was collected by
Aluko but his tame shot was gathered by Randolph.

Rangers were forced to make a change
after just half an hour when Dorin Goian limped off, with what looked
like a knee problem, and was replaced by Ross Perry.

Motherwell then carved out a couple of
half-chances and Ojamaa did well to round goalkeeper Allan McGregor but
opted to play the pass rather than have a shot at goal himself.

Heads up: rangers season is ending with a whimper on the field

Heads up: rangers season is ending with a whimper on the field

Heads up: rangers season is ending with a whimper on the field

With five goals to enjoy on Wednesday
night, Rangers fans grew restless as the home side failed to convert
their superior possession into a goal before the break.

Both teams looked livelier after the
restart and Steven Whittaker tested Randolph, before McGregor was called
into action to block a low shot from Keith Lasley.

Whittaker then attempted to turn provider with a cross for McCulloch but the big utility man nodded wide of target.

Motherwell had a decent chance when
Chris Humphrey burst into the box and tried to set up the shot for Jamie
Murphy in front of goal but Perry managed to clear the danger.

Credit due: McCoist salutes the Rangers fans as McCall encourages his players at Ibrox

Credit due: McCoist salutes the Rangers fans as McCall encourages his players at Ibrox

Credit due: McCoist salutes the Rangers fans as McCall encourages his players at Ibrox

At the other end, Randolph stood tall to block one on one from Lee Wallace.

Rangers made a double change when Andy
Little and Alejandro Bedoya were thrown into the action in place of
Jamie Ness and Rhys McCabe.

The Glasgow giants should have opened
the scoring when Aluko's corner was met by Carlos Bocanegra but Little
inadvertently blocked the header from finding the back of the net.

Maurice Edu pounced on the rebound but Randolph was up to the task again with another fine save.

Rangers claimed for a penalty when
Little went to ground in the box but the pleas were ignored by referee
Willie Collum as the match ended goalless.

Tribute: the Ibrox faithful say thanks to manager Ally McCoist

Tribute: the Ibrox faithful say thanks to manager Ally McCoist

Motherwell 1 Rangers 2

Motherwell 1 Rangers 2: McCulloch strikes late to keep Celtic's champagne on ice

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 31 March 2012

Lee McCulloch grabbed a late winner for Rangers against Motherwell and ensured Celtic will have to wait at least until next week to clinch the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title.

Henrik Ojamaa's early opener for the home side was cancelled out by Steven Whittaker, before McCulloch pounced with a couple of minutes to go.

The result means Motherwell's 10-year wait for a win over Rangers continues, while allowing the Scottish champions to move six points ahead of their hosts in the fight for second spot.

Late show: Rangers Lee McCulloch wheels away after scoring Rangers' winner against Motherwell

Late show: Rangers Lee McCulloch wheels away after scoring Rangers' winner against Motherwell

MATCH FACTS

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Clancy, Hutchinson, Hammell, Humphrey, Jennings, Lasley, Law (Daley, 90), Higdon, Ojamaa.

Subs not used: Hollis, Murphy, McHugh, Forbes, Page, Carswell.

Goals: Ojamaa 6

Booked: Clancy, Lasley

Rangers: McGregor, Bartley, Perry, Goian, Papac (Lafferty, 63), Whittaker, Davis, Edu (Little, 85), Wallace, Aluko, McCulloch.

Subs not used: Alexander, Healy, Bedoya, Kerkar, MacLeod.

Goals: Whittaker 9, McCulloch 89

Booked: Goian, Whittaker, Aluko

Referee: Iain Brines (Scotland)

Att: 9,063

Rangers made two changes from last week's Old Firm derby win over Celtic for the clash at Fir Park.
Kyle Bartley started along with Ross Perry, while Carlos Bocanegra missed out through suspension and Rhys McCabe was injured.

Motherwell welcomed back Keith Lasley from suspension and he replaced Stuart Carswell in the side as the Steelmen made one change from last week's defeat to Kilmarnock.

The home side surged into the lead with just six minutes on the clock when Sasa Papac inadvertently played the ball forward for Chris Humphrey and his low cross found Ojamaa, who rifled home from close range.

Rangers were back on level terms just three minutes later when a Lasley clearance was played into the path of Whittaker by Papac and he sent a swerving left-foot shot past goalkeeper Darren Randolph from 30 yards.

Whittaker was then cautioned for a challenge on Tim Clancy and the Motherwell player was fortunate to also escape with a yellow card from referee Iain Brines following his reaction to the foul.

Motherwell still looked dangerous and Nicky Law found himself through on goal only to be denied by an impressive stop from Allan McGregor, before Humphrey saw his effort fizz wide.

False dawn: Motherwell's Henrik Ojama celebrates his goal with Chris Humphrey

False dawn: Motherwell's Henrik Ojama celebrates his goal with Chris Humphrey

At the other end, there was a moment of controversy when Sone Aluko went to ground after being clipped by Randolph and thought he had won a penalty.

But, rather than point to the spot, referee Brines booked the player for diving instead.

Television pictures showed there was contact by the Well goalkeeper and Aluko was still remonstrating with the match officials as he left the pitch at half-time.

Bullet: Whittaker fires Rangers level against Motherwell at Fir Park

Bullet: Whittaker fires Rangers level against Motherwell at Fir Park

Motherwell could have restored their lead shortly after the restart when Clancy teed up a shot for Lasley, but he was denied the sight of his thunderous effort hitting the back of the net by an excellent save from McGregor.

Whittaker then had a chance to add to his tally for the day when he met a long cross from Papac from the left only to direct his header over the crossbar.

Rangers made their first change after 62 minutes when Papac was withdrawn to allow for the introduction of Kyle Lafferty.

Come on ref! Sone Aluko is booked for diving but he believed he should be awarded a penalty

Come on ref! Sone Aluko is booked for diving but he believed he should be awarded a penalty

Rangers had the chance to pile on the pressure when Aluko won a free-kick on the edge of the box but skipper Steven Davis sent his curling effort well over the crossbar.

McGregor came to the rescue of Rangers again as the match entered the final 10 minutes when he produced a superb save to bat a ferocious shot from Michael Higdon to safety.

Tricky winger: Ranger's Sone Aluko and Motherwell's Michael Higdon (left) do battle

Tricky winger: Ranger's Sone Aluko and Motherwell's Michael Higdon (left) do battle

Both sides were determined to find the winner in the final stages and Randolph was called into action to block from Lafferty.

Rangers had the net bulging again with two minutes to go when a long throw in from Lee Wallace found McCulloch to fire home from six yards and secure the points.

England debutants: Seven best uncut gems

Magnificent Seven! Bobby Charlton and England's other best uncut gems

Sportsmail remembers when England uncovered new talent in unlikely circumstances.

Brave: Two months after the Munich air disaster, Bobby Charlton made his England bow

Brave: Two months after the Munich air disaster, Bobby Charlton made his England bow

Bobby Charlton

Debut: April 1958, v Scotland

Little more than a month after the Munich air disaster, 20-year-old Charlton scored on his England debut in the first of the year’s Home International games, a 4-0 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.

It would be the first of a record 49 international goals in an England career spanning 12 years and 106 caps. Without doubt, one of the all-time greats.

Geoff Hurst

February 1966, v West Germany

The
stuff of legend. Hurst made his debut in a friendly against West
Germany as Alf Ramsey experimented up front ahead of the 1966 World Cup.
Five months later, he won his eighth cap in the final, scoring a
hat-trick against the same opponents.

He finished his England career with 49 caps and 24 goals. His final game, in April 1972, was also against West Germany.

Kevin Keegan

November 1972, v Wales

Joe Mercer recalled Keegan for the first game of the post-Sir Alf Ramsey era, with England in need of a lift having failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

The 23-year-old Liverpool striker had made his debut against Wales two years earlier but failed to establish himself and Mercer awarded him his third cap, once again against Wales. Keegan scored in a 2-0 win at Ninian Park and ended up with 21 goals in 63 games.

Top stopper: Joe Hart made his debut in 2008 in a friendly

Top stopper: Joe Hart made his debut in 2008 in a friendly

Peter Beardsley

January 1986, v Egypt

Gary Lineker and Mark Hateley had played in 1986 World Cup qualifying but after no goals and one point from England’s first two games in Mexico, Bobby Robson gave 25-year-old Newcastle striker Beardsley his seventh appearance for the third game against Poland.

He clicked with Lineker, who scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 win. Beardsley finished with 59 caps, nine goals and many assists.

Gary Neville

June 1995, v Japan

Graham Taylor tried all sorts at right back — Paul Parker, Lee Dixon, Rob Jones, Earl Barrett, David Bardsley, Keith Curle and Andy Sinton — but Neville emerged in the nick of time for Terry Venables.

He was handed a debut at the age of 20 in the Umbro Trophy against Japan, 12 months ahead of Euro 96, and stayed in the team, going on to win 85 caps over the next 12 years.

Not left back in the changing room: Ashley Cole is closing in on 100 caps

Not left back in the changing room: Ashley Cole is closing in on 100 caps

Ashley Cole

March 2001, v Albania

Left back had become a problem position by the turn of the century. Kevin Keegan finished with Gareth Barry and Graeme Le Saux disputing the position after Phil Neville was jettisoned following Euro 2000.

Sven Goran Eriksson picked Chris Powell twice before turning to the 20-year-old Arsenal left back. Cole is still first choice, 93 caps and 11 years later.

Joe Hart

June 2008, v Trinidad and Tobago

England's goalkeeping department was in turmoil after the 2010 World Cup. Rob Green had lost the confidence of Fabio Capello after his error against the USA and David James was nearly 40.

Hart seemed the only hope and he had to respond to the challenge. He had made his debut in a friendly two years earlier, but his first start came against Hungary in August 2010, the first game after the World Cup. He has grown in stature since and the 24-year-old will go to Euro 2012 as undisputed No 1.