Scottish Championship
Raith Rovers0Rangers4

Raith Rovers 0-4 Rangers

A confident and self-assured display, in stark contrast to the club's financial state, brought victory for Rangers over Raith Rovers.

Nicky Clark's header opened the scoring and the game was won before half-time after Ian Black and Nicky Law scored.

Lee McCulloch added a penalty after the break to reflect Rangers' dominance at Stark's Park.

For 24 hours at least, the convincing victory propelled the Ibrox side to the top of the Scottish Championship table.

Rangers found respite on the field, since funding concerns in the wake of a share issue that was not fully subscribed could be momentarily forgotten in the face of competitive obligations.

A meeting with Raith Rovers might have brought uncomfortable memories back for Ally McCoist's side, as they lost the Ramsdens Cup final to them last season.

There was no psychological flaw, though, and Rangers set about imposing themselves.

An untidy moment when Ryan Conroy floated a free-kick into the penalty area was overcome so that the visitors were quickly able to establish their authority.

Ian Black scores for Rangers
Ian Black makes it 2-0 to Rangers thanks to a deflected first-half drive from distance

Themes of Rangers' play have become familiar. Lewis Macleod, starting on the left of midfield but moving infield to scheme and influence on the ball, and Lee Wallace overlapping is a constant feature. So, too, is the irrepressible enthusiasm and dynamic movement of Clark.

Opponents must become weary just by being in Clark's proximity. The Rovers centre-backs, Ross Perry and Paul Watson, were certainly leaden-footed when Fraser Aird whipped the ball into the penalty area and Clark was sprightly enough to dart into space and cleverly flash a header into the bottom corner.

Raith were subdued and the early willingness of Conroy and Lewis Vaughan had been extinguished. Defensive insecurity was evident, too, with Rangers able to attack at will.

Macleod's curling effort from distance slipped through the fingers of Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, but the ball went out for a corner. The moment ought to have been a warning for the home side, but they could offer little resistance.

When the ball broke to Black 20 yards from goal, his stinging shot clipped Watson and the ball was sent spinning over Laidlaw.

Within 60 seconds, Law had added a third, curling an effort from 20 yards into the top corner.

There was an eagerness to Rangers and Aird then attempted a more ambitious shot from long range and a difficult angle, but his effort flew across the face of the goal.

Raith could not contain their opponents, although at least one dual finished in their favour.

Kris Boyd has yet to score in the league for Rangers - although he has struck five times in cup competitions - and three times he saw the Raith goalkeeper thwart him.

Twice Boyd was sent clean through on goal only for Laidlaw to race out and block his efforts. Even when the striker did connect with a Wallace cross, the Raith goalkeeper pushed the ball away.

Nicky Law nets for Rangers
Nicky Law curls home a cracker to give Rangers a 3-0 lead over Raith Rovers at Stark's Park

Boyd's attempt to create a goal also ended forlornly when his cross was met by Clark's header, only for Laidlaw to again keep the ball out.

The visitors were determined to ensure the scoreline further reflected their superiority, not least because goal difference might be critical in a close-fought title race.

Laidlaw had been outstanding, but McCulloch was able to drill the ball past the goalkeeper from the penalty spot after Grant Anderson tripped Wallace when the defender was in full flight, charging into the area.

The scoreline would have been more emphatic if Darren McGregor's volley from close range had not fizzed just past the upright. Laidlaw also blocked from Law when the midfielder had again burst beyond the forwards and into the penalty area.

The visitors can take heart from the growing assurance and aplomb of Macleod, Aird's ability to be busy and effective on the right flank, the burgeoning partnership between Clark and Boyd, and the high tempo and intent that the team was capable of in Kirkcaldy.

Line-ups

Raith Rovers

  • 17Laidlaw
  • 3Perry
  • 2Thomson
  • 23McKeown
  • 4Watson
  • 11Scott
  • 16VaughanSubstituted forElliotat 78'minutes
  • 6FoxSubstituted forAndersonat 60'minutes
  • 14Conroy
  • 8Moon
  • 9Stewart

Substitutes

  • 7Anderson
  • 10Elliot
  • 12Callachan
  • 20McGurn
  • 24Ellis
  • 30Robertson
  • 32Bates

Rangers

  • 31Simonsen
  • 5Wallace
  • 3Mohsni
  • 6McCulloch
  • 24McGregor
  • 10MacLeodSubstituted forDalyat 78'minutes
  • 4Aird
  • 8Black
  • 7Law
  • 15BoydSubstituted forShielsat 78'minutes
  • 14ClarkSubstituted forTempletonat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Smith
  • 9Daly
  • 11Templeton
  • 17Peralta
  • 22Shiels
  • 25Robinson
  • 26Zaliukas
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
6,250

Match Stats

Home TeamRaith RoversAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home4
Away20
Shots on Target
Home1
Away9
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home6
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Raith Rovers 0, Rangers 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Raith Rovers 0, Rangers 4.

Attempt saved. Fraser Aird (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Martin Scott (Raith Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Kevin Moon (Raith Rovers).

David Templeton (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Lee Wallace (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

Attempt missed. Dean Shiels (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Mark Stewart (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Darren McGregor (Rangers).

Attempt saved. Dean Shiels (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Paul Watson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Templeton (Rangers).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ryan Conroy.

Attempt missed. David Templeton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jon Daly replaces Lewis MacLeod.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Dean Shiels replaces Kris Boyd.

Substitution

Substitution, Raith Rovers. Calum Elliot replaces Lewis Vaughan.

Lewis Vaughan (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Lewis MacLeod (Rangers).

Goal!

Goal! Raith Rovers 0, Rangers 4. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty conceded by Grant Anderson (Raith Rovers) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Rangers. Lee Wallace draws a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. David Templeton replaces Nicky Clark because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Lee McCulloch (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Paul Watson.

Corner, Raith Rovers. Conceded by Lee McCulloch.

Attempt blocked. Jason Thomson (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Foul by Grant Anderson (Raith Rovers).

Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

(Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis MacLeod (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Raith Rovers. Grant Anderson replaces Liam Fox.

Attempt saved. Nicky Clark (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

Corner, Raith Rovers. Conceded by Lee Wallace.

Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Lee Wallace (Rangers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers54011551012
2Hearts4400123912
3Raith Rovers5302710-39
4Queen of Sth42119547
5Alloa42025416
6Livingston411245-14
7Falkirk411248-44
8Hibernian410346-23
9Dumbarton4103311-83
10Cowdenbeath4013410-61
View full Scottish Championship table

Top Stories