Friday November 1, 2013
William Hill Scottish Cup round 3
Daly 49, 52
Airdrieonians were defeated but not disgraced at Ibrox on Friday night in new manager Gary Bollan's first game in charge.
Striker Jon Daly's double early in the second half, and a goal from substitute David Templeton, earned Rangers a place in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
But Airdrie produced a hard-working performance based on staying well organised and defending stoutly with Ally McCoist's men restricted to only a handful of clearcut chances.
Indeed, Bollan will have been encouraged to see his side go in at the break level at 0-0 before Rangers came up with the quality in the final third of the pitch to win the tie.
The new Diamonds boss fielded 41-year-old Tony Bullock, who he worked with while gaffer at Livingston, in goal as on-loan Rangers custodian Scott Gallacher was ineligible.
Bullock arrived at New Broomfield in an emergency loan deal, from Arbroath, which was ratified by the SFA on the morning of the game.
It was a big night for 18-year-old central defender Grant Drummond who was drafted into the back four after Grant Evans sustained ankle ligament damage in the 1-0 defeat at home to Ayr United.
Jamie Bain and Lewis Coult were also brought into the starting line-up by Bollan with Willie McLaren and Liam Coogans dropping to the bench.
There was almost an embarrassing moment for Light Blues skipper Lee McCulloch after just nine minutes. He sliced a clearance from a cross by Bain towards his own goal but keeper Cammy Bell was alert and made a solid block.
Rangers enjoyed the lion's share of possession with Airdrie forced to dig in and defend for long spells of what was always likely to be a one-sided contest.
In the 24th minute, Lewis MacLeod lobbed an effort wide before Nicky Clark nodded Nicky Law's cross just past Bullock's right-hand post.
McCulloch came close to opening the scoring in the 38th minute but headed a free-kick from Arnold Peralta into the side-netting.
Rangers eventually broke the deadlock, much to the relief of their supporters, four minutes after the interval. Law dispossessed Coult and fed Peralta.
The Honduras midfielder's cross was flicked on beyond the back post for Daly who took aim and fired a shot into the far corner of the net.
It was soon 2-0. In the 52nd minute, Law took a quick free-kick and played the ball to Ricky Foster whose inswinging cross was powered home by Daly.
Airdrie appeared to have justifiable claims for appealing for an offside flag but main stand linesman John McCrossan wasn't having any of it.
Daly and Templeton both had chances to extend the hosts' lead before the latter did just that in the 80th minute when he converted a low cross from the excellent Law.
Rangers cruised to the final whistle and a second cup victory inside four days. The Diamonds players were then applauded off the field by an enthusiastic travelling support that appreciated the effort they put into the game.
Colin Paterson at Ibrox Stadium.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.