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Summary

  1. Scottish Championship action
  2. FT: Raith Rovers 0-4 Rangers (Clark, Black, Law, McCulloch)
  3. Rangers go top on goal difference
  4. Rovers stay third, with Hearts now second

Live Reporting

By Clive Lindsay

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for your company tonight as Rangers ended a day of off-field drama with a display at Stark's Park that will hearten their beleaguered supporters. Join us again tomorrow for a full card of Scottish Premiership fixtures, plus news from the Championship, League One and League Two.

Craig Paterson

BBC Radio Scotland pundit at Stark's Park

"A dominant display away from home against a team who had won three matches. The carrot of leading the Championship was dangling for both teams, but Rangers set about the game from the word go. Rovers started well, but once Rangers scored the goal, they took control and looked like they had an extra man on the park."

With those three points, Rangers go top of the Scottish Championship on goal difference ahead of Hearts, who face Dumbarton tomorrow. Rovers remain third but will now know there is a big gap in quality between themselves and the visitors.

There's a few boos around Stark's Park, presumably from the disappointed home fans. Rovers were certainly outclassed as well as out-muscled by visitors Rangers, who seem to be finding their feet in the Scottish Championship.

FULL-TIME - Raith Rovers 0-4 Rangers

A chance for a late consolation for Rovers, but Mark Stewart's header across goal evades the far post.

It is Nicky Law's turn to be thwarted by a blocked save by Ross Laidlaw as the midfielder gets in behind the Rovers defence.

Rangers substitute Dean Shiels forces another save from Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw with a low drive to the near post.

Raith Rovers defender Ross Perry looks despondent at Stark's Park.
SNS
It was not a happy night for former Rangers defender Ross Perry at the heart of the Rovers rearguard.

Yet another miss-cue in front of goal by Kris Boyd. The Scottish Premier League's all-time top scorer is having a bit of a nightmare, but it matters little as the three points are secure and the striker is replaced with Jon Daly.

GOAL - Raith Rovers 0-4 Rangers (Lee McCulloch, penalty)

Rangers get the fourth goal they have been threatening but have to rely on a penalty to do so. Lee Wallace is tripped by Rovers substitute Grant Anderson and Lee McCulloch thumps the spot kick low into the corner for his fourth goal of the season.

Kris Boyd is clean through again, but this time the striker is thwarted by Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, who blocks the prodded effort with his knees.

Rangers defender Darren McGregor powers a drive wide of the far post from 14 yards as Rovers make a mess of their attempt to clear from the corner.

At last, a Rovers attempt on goal. Jason Thomson's 22-yard drive is deflected wide, but Rangers swat away the threat from the resulting corner.

DISALLOWED GOAL

Lewis Macleod thinks he is playing rugby for Edinburgh against Connacht as he goes up to challenge Rovers' Ross Laidlaw a couple of yards from goal. The goalkeeper ends up behind the line along with the ball, but referee Brian Colvin rightly gives the home side a free-kick.

Kris Boyd crumbles to the deck inside the penalty box under a challenge from former Rangers defender Ross Perry. Referee Brian Colvin is not impressed by the half-hearted claim for a spot kick.

Rangers are laying siege on the Rovers goal and goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw does well to parry then gather at the second attempt from Nicky Clark's powerful downward header.

GREAT SAVE!

Lee Wallace gives Kris Boyd a great chance to open his account for the evening with a fine curling cross. However, the striker's volley from 12 yards is tipped wide superbly by Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.

Nicky Clark (left) celebrates after opening the scoring for Rangers
SNS
Nicky Clark (left) opened the scoring for Rangers in Kirkcaldy.

Rangers full-back Lee Wallace thunders a drive over the Rovers crossbar before Kris Boyd, once the most deadly striker in the Scottish game, is clean through but bundles his drive wide of the far post with only the goalkeeper to beat.

KICK-OFF

As Raith Rovers kick off the second half, it has been announced that 6,255 fans are inside Stark's Park. A good crowd will surely be Rovers' only compensation come the final whistle.

BBC Radio Scotland commentator Rob MacLean reckons this has been Rangers' best performance of the season so far. Do you agree? Raith Rovers fans - have your side just had an off day?

Give us your thoughts, texting on 80295 or tweeting @CliveLindsayBBC or @BBCSportScot.

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland at Stark's Park

"They have been in command from the start and the score does not flatter Rangers at all. It has clicked into gear for Rangers tonight."

HALF-TIME - Raith Rovers 0-3 Rangers

Rovers look a dispirited bunch as they troop off to the dressing-room at half-time. Rangers have been impressive in some respects with their finishing but have not had to break into top gear to subdue a lacklustre home side who appear overwhelmed by the occasion.

It looks like there's no way back now for Rovers and it is a matter of how many rampant Rangers will score as Kris Boyd has a shot deflected wide then Fraser Aird powers a thunderbolt just past the far post from 25 yards.

GOAL - Raith Rovers 0-3 Rangers (Nicky Law)

It is two goals within a minute for Rangers as Nicky Law gathers the ball just outside the penalty box and curls a sublime side-footed effort into the corner of the net.

GOAL - Raith Rovers 0-2 Rangers (Ian Black)

Rangers midfielder Ian Black's low drive from 22 yards takes a wicked deflection off defender Paul Watson and over the head of goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.

Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw breaths a sigh of relief as he lets a curling drive from Lewis Macleod slip through his outstretched fingers, but the ball slips wide of the far post for a Rangers corner.

That goal had been coming as Rovers hadn't heeded the warning signs. Fraser Aird has been given far too much room and Nicky Clark has also made a fine start to the game.

The striker was a goal machine two seasons ago with Queen of the South but somehow failed to make his mark in a lower division despite Rangers romping to last season's League One title.

He seems to reborn on his return to Scotland's second tier and that is his third goal of the season.

A low bobbling cross from Lee Wallace evades a defender and Kris Boyd will be disappointed with his control in front of goal as it strikes the Rangers striker on the shin and into the arms of Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.

GOAL - Raith Rovers 0-1 Rangers (Nicky Clark)

Fraser Aird provides the ammunition and Nicky Clark supplies the bulleted header as Rangers take a deserved lead. The striker creates enough room between himself and his marker to rise and glance the ball into the far corner past the despairing Ross Laidlaw from 12 yards from Aird's driven cross.

It is Rangers, with Canada Under-20 winger Fraser Aird pulling the strings, who are dominating proceedings in Kirkcaldy. The home side are adopting a dangerous offside trap that Kris Boyd has twice in a matter of minutes threatened to escape.

Rovers goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw does well to parry clear after a Fraser Aird drive from 22 yards takes a deflection off a defender's outstretched rear end and flies in the direction of the top corner.

Rangers striker Kris Boyd is a couple of feet short of getting on the end of a ball curled to the back post by Fraser Aird as the Rovers defence hesitate.

It is Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni's turn to cause problems at the other end, heading just wide via a deflection from a free-kick.

A Ryan Conroy free kick causes havoc in the Rangers penalty box, where Bilel Mohsni makes a hash of a clearance and goalkeeper Steve Simonsen has to beat away a close-range volley by ex-Rangers man Ross Perry. It would have been to no avail in any case as the referee blows for a foul.

Rangers are first to threaten and Rovers desperately clear their lines following a corner.

It is the first league meeting between these clubs since Rangers hammered their Kirkcaldy hosts 6-0 in April 1997.

KICK-OFF

The whistle goes at Stark's Park, where a crowd of around 7,000 is creating a rowdy atmosphere.

Rovers - facing the Ibrox men for the first time since beating them in the Ramsdens Cup final last season - name former Rangers defender Ross Perry in their side.

But manager Grant Murray was barred from selecting on-loan Rangers winger Barrie McKay against his parent club.