Scottish Championship
Falkirk1Rangers1

Falkirk 1-1 Rangers

Rangers missed the chance to move above Hibernian and into second in the Championship table after being pegged back by Falkirk.

Darren McGregor gave Rangers the lead on 20 minutes, but the Bairns responded just two minutes later through the impressive Rory Loy.

Neither side could fashion a winner in a scrappy second-half.

The Ibrox side remain one point adrift of Hibs, with Falkirk now in the play-off places.

The home side were stylish and accomplished for much of the game, while Rangers were limited at least until they employed some grit and intensity after the break.

Falkirk began as if spirit alone might distinguish them. The sprightliness of their play, the eagerness to win the ball and distribute it with a menacing intent, seemed to cause Rangers to recoil from any sense of their own ambition.

McGregor celebrates putting Rangers 1-0 up
McGregor celebrates putting Rangers 1-0 up

The Bairns spent much of the opening half sending regular forays towards the Rangers penalty area. With the squat, lively John Baird burrowing into space in the channels, and the rangy Loy looking to stretch the Rangers centre-backs, Falkirk were able to make headway.

Too often, though, these attacks failed to deliver an end product.

Several crosses were blocked inside the penalty area, and Luke Leahy strode upfield from left-back to lash two efforts over, but Falkirk had to be stung into decisiveness.

They fell behind when Kris Boyd won a free-kick in the air, with the ball then bobbling around inside the Falkirk area. It eventually ran to McGregor, and the big centre-back gruffly shrugged off any pretence of graceful aplomb and blasted his foot through the ball to send it spinning past goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald.

The goal excused Rangers their tactical and style limitations. It could not rescue them from that lack of assurance, though, since Falkirk took only two minutes to equalise.

Baird was prominent again, scurrying down the left before hurling a cross into the centre and Loy stole in between the two centre-backs to deftly steer a header past Lee Robinson and into the far side of the net.

Having traded goals, the two sides also shared chances before half-time. Boyd saw a header palmed away from the top corner by MacDonald, while Will Vaulks drilled a shot from distance just past Robinson's upright.

Loy pulled Falkirk level two minutes after they fell behind
Loy pulled Falkirk level two minutes after they fell behind

Rangers had been woefully detached from their composure and authority, but they at least recovered some intensity after the break. They caused Falkirk's play to become untidy by harrying their opponents. It made for a more dynamic encounter, as play moved more readily from end to end, but it also reduced the decisiveness of the two sides, meaning that there were fewer scoring chances.

Even then, the better opportunities were still claimed by Falkirk. Leahy rifled another shot over from distance, while Loy looked certain to score when the ball was worked to him inside the area, but with a clear sight of goal his effort was blocked by a desperate intervention near the goal-line by Stevie Smith.

A familiar free-kick routine saw Boyd steer a shot wide, but Rangers generally lacked a spark of creativity.

Line-ups

Falkirk

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2Duffie
  • 5McCracken
  • 14Grant
  • 19Leahy
  • 7TaiwoSubstituted forAlstonat 74'minutes
  • 6VaulksBooked at 90mins
  • 11KerrBooked at 83mins
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forSmithat 85'minutes
  • 33Loy
  • 35BairdSubstituted forMorganat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Alston
  • 9Smith
  • 12Bowman
  • 15Dick
  • 17Maybury
  • 20Cooper
  • 36Morgan

Rangers

  • 25Robinson
  • 16Faure
  • 3Mohsni
  • 24McGregor
  • 2Smith
  • 7Law
  • 20Hutton
  • 34MurdochSubstituted forTempletonat 77'minutes
  • 10VuckicSubstituted forMillerat 76'minutes
  • 14Clark
  • 15Boyd

Substitutes

  • 9Daly
  • 11Templeton
  • 18Miller
  • 22Shiels
  • 31Simonsen
  • 38Halkett
  • 48Walsh
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
7,492

Match Stats

Home TeamFalkirkAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home10
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Falkirk 1, Rangers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Falkirk 1, Rangers 1.

Booking

Will Vaulks (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Will Vaulks (Falkirk).

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

Luke Leahy (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Nicky Clark (Rangers).

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. David Smith replaces Craig Sibbald.

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

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

Booking

Mark Kerr (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Mark Kerr (Falkirk).

David Templeton (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. Taylor Morgan replaces John Baird.

Foul by Kieran Duffie (Falkirk).

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

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Bilel Mohsni.

Attempt missed. David McCracken (Falkirk) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. David Templeton replaces Andy Murdoch.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Kenny Miller replaces Haris Vuckic.

Substitution

Substitution, Falkirk. Blair Alston replaces Tom Taiwo.

Kieran Duffie (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Nicky Clark (Rangers).

Attempt blocked. Rory Loy (Falkirk) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

John Baird (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Bilel Mohsni (Rangers).

Attempt saved. John Baird (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Kris Boyd.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Sebastien Faure.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Bilel Mohsni.

Kieran Duffie (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nicky Law (Rangers).

Foul by David McCracken (Falkirk).

Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Rory Loy (Falkirk).

Kyle Hutton (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Will Vaulks (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nicky Law (Rangers).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Mark Kerr.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 27th February 2015

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts25213164174766
2Hibernian25137550232746
3Rangers23143645242145
4Falkirk26101063935440
5Queen of Sth24116742291339
6Raith Rovers2486102742-1530
7Dumbarton2565142759-3223
8Alloa2546151936-1718
9Cowdenbeath2453162156-3518
10Livingston2545162538-1312
View full Scottish Championship table

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