Scottish Championship
Cowdenbeath0Rangers3

Cowdenbeath 0-3 Rangers

Nicky Law opened the scoring for Rangers
Nicky Law shot Rangers into an early lead at Central Park

Rangers closed the gap on Championship leaders Hearts with a dogged victory over Cowdenbeath.

The performance was plain but the prize was precious since only four points separate the title contenders.

An early Nicky Law strike, an own goal by Kyle Miller and a late David Templeton finish secured the win.

Cowdenbeath were often the more impressive side in the opening half but were eventually undone by a side winning their seventh consecutive game.

Rangers immediately exposed a frailty in their bottom-of-the-table opponents.

A moment's hesitation was enough for Law and Kris Boyd to take advantage, with the midfielder bustling past two challenges, swapping passes with his team-mate and drilling a shot beyond the reach of Robbie Thomson.

The game was only two minutes old, and the expectation was of an emphatic display from the visitors.

It turned out, though, that it was an isolated moment of attacking poise from Rangers, with Cowdenbeath capable of holding onto possession and in Kudus Oyenuga the hosts had a player of pace, intent and trickery.

One run from Oyenuga - who was full of devilish style - saw the ball being hooked off the line.

It was a measure of the frustration of Rangers manager that Ally McCoist ended one lambast at his players by immediately sending the substitutes out to warm-up. Only 17 minutes had been played.

Cowdenbeath's Kyle Miller diverted the ball into his own net
Cowdenbeath's Kyle Miller diverted the ball into his own net

Rangers have struggled in previous away games through a lack of tempo and conviction, but their best moments in the opening half tended to come from simple ploys. A kick-out by Steve Simonsen saw Kenny Miller burst in behind the Cowdenbeath defence, with his shot deflected over.

Cowdenbeath's Lewis Milne was given a fortunate sight of goal when an Ian Black tackle sent the ball through to the midfielder, who unchallenged, pulled his shot wide.

The interval allowed Rangers to regroup and there was a noticeable increase in the pace and the purpose of the visitor's play. Resourcefulness was also evident, since Lee McCulloch took advantage of the ball breaking to him to lash in a shot that Thomson had to block with a diving save.

There was reward soon enough for the renewed application. Boyd was mostly peripheral to the play and often looked forlorn but one foray down the right flank was productive.

His cross was aimed at Miller, but landed instead on the forehead of the Cowdenbeath defender Miller. He might have lost his bearings, or been rash in his decision-making, and instead of clearing, he headed at his own goal and it bounced in off the underside of the crossbar.

Cowdenbeath remained ambitious, but their game began to toil. Rangers were able to take advantage and, when Black won the ball high up the field, he slipped it into Templeton's path and the substitute stabbed a shot underneath Thomson.

Line-ups

Cowdenbeath

  • 17Thomson
  • 14BrettSubstituted forSutherlandat 67'minutes
  • 27Fraser
  • 6Wedderburn
  • 20Miller
  • 26MarshallSubstituted forJohnstonat 84'minutes
  • 28HughesSubstituted forKaneat 39'minutes
  • 7Robertson
  • 8Milne
  • 19Oyenuga
  • 10Higgins

Substitutes

  • 2Campbell
  • 4O'Brien
  • 9Sutherland
  • 12Kane
  • 18Brownlie
  • 21Johnston
  • 25Sneddon

Rangers

  • 31Simonsen
  • 23Foster
  • 24McGregor
  • 6McCulloch
  • 5Wallace
  • 10MacleodBooked at 24mins
  • 7Law
  • 8Black
  • 2SmithSubstituted forDalyat 70'minutes
  • 18Miller
  • 15BoydSubstituted forTempletonat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mohsni
  • 9Daly
  • 11Templeton
  • 14Clark
  • 16Faure
  • 22Shiels
  • 25Robinson
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,919

Match Stats

Home TeamCowdenbeathAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home8
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Cowdenbeath 0, Rangers 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cowdenbeath 0, Rangers 3.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jon Robertson (Cowdenbeath) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Kenny Miller (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Goal!

Goal! Cowdenbeath 0, Rangers 3. David Templeton (Rangers) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ian Black.

Foul by Sean Higgins (Cowdenbeath).

Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Craig Johnston replaces Colin Marshall.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jon Robertson.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Nathaniel Wedderburn.

Attempt missed. Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee McCulloch (Rangers).

Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee McCulloch (Rangers).

Attempt missed. David Templeton (Rangers) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Marcus Fraser.

Attempt saved. Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jon Daly replaces Steven Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. David Templeton replaces Kris Boyd.

Attempt missed. Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Craig Sutherland replaces Dean Brett.

Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Dean Brett.

Foul by Chris Kane (Cowdenbeath).

Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath).

Nicky Law (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Richard Foster.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Steve Simonsen.

Attempt saved. Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Own Goal by Kyle Miller, Cowdenbeath. Cowdenbeath 0, Rangers 2.

Foul by Jon Robertson (Cowdenbeath).

Steven Smith (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dean Brett (Cowdenbeath).

Lewis Macleod (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts119203262629
2Rangers1181230102025
3Queen of Sth115332116518
4Hibernian114341612415
5Raith Rovers114341422-815
6Falkirk113531414014
7Dumbarton11245821-1310
8Livingston112361018-89
9Alloa112271119-88
10Cowdenbeath112271230-188
View full Scottish Championship table

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