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Summary

  1. Lee Erwin gives Motherwell lead
  2. Stephen McManus heads in a second
  3. Lionel Ainsworth scores third just after half-time
  4. Darren McGregor heads one back for Rangers
  5. Rangers aiming for third successive promotion
  6. Motherwell have been in top flight since 1985

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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Motherwell celebrate going 3-0 up
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I'll sign off now. Remember you can see highlights online from midnight and on Sportscene, which starts at 23:50 on BBC Two Scotland.

Congratulations to Motherwell on a fine victory at Ibrox. Sunday's second leg should be a belter!

Just to recap, Lee Erwin and Stephen McManus scored to give Motherwell a 2-0 interval lead following a strong start from Rangers. Lionel Ainsworth added a third early in the second half, which really knocked the stuffing out of the hosts. However, Rangers rallied late on and a Darren McGregor goal gives them something to fight for in Sunday's second leg.

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough

"It was becoming a long night. Rangers were throwing everything at us but it was a fantastic performance. We came here with a game plan and we executed it. Everyone showed what they can do, I knew we had a performance coming.

"We needed to be patient and pick the right passes at the right time. It's probably the best performance in my time and we'll need another one on Sunday. Nobody is getting ahead of themselves."

Motherwell deserve a huge slap on the back for that performance. They soaked up a lot of pressure, George Long made a string of impressive saves and they knocked in three goals away from home. Not bad for a team supposedly low on confidence...

Sorry to remind Hibs fans of last year's play-off, but the Edinburgh side had a two-goal lead going into their home leg of the final and managed to blow it; going down after a penalty shoot-out with Hamilton Accies.

BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

"It was a strange game and it shows you how quickly things can turn. I thought it was done and dusted at 3-0 but maybe that goal from Darren McGregor has just kept it alive."

Motherwell defender Stephen McManus

"We've given ourselves a half-decent chance but we know it's going to be tough, we know how good Rangers are. It was a real team performance from us. Some of us have been around a long time and know this tie is still open."

FULL-TIME

Rangers 1-3 Motherwell

A huge step in the direction of Premiership survival for Motherwell as they take a two-goal cushion into Sunday's second leg at Fir Park.

Rangers fire a free-kick into the mixer as the four minutes of added time are up. Motherwell scramble it clear...

CLOSE!

Defender Stephen McManus, scorer of Motherwell's second goal, is a relieved man as a Haris Vuckic effort spins off him in a congested penalty area and flies inches wide.

CLOSE!

Haris Vuckic drives at the retreating Motherwell defence as we enter stoppage time and slams a low, angled shot narrowly wide.

DISALLOWED GOAL

Kris Boyd brings down a cross from Andy Murdoch on his chest and rifles the ball home from seven yards but the striker had edged offside and the assistant's flag was up nice and early.

SUBSTITUTION

Lee Erwin, scorer of the evening's opening goal, is off and Craig Moore is on to help see this one out for Motherwell.

Rangers have their tails up now as Motherwell are forced deeper and deeper. The visitors have six men strung across the 18-yard line and another four just in front of them.

SUBSTITUTION

Just before that goal, Motherwell made a change, replacing midfielder Stephen Pearson with defender Simon Ramsden.

GOAL

Rangers 1-3 Motherwell (McGregor)

A few home fans have missed this one as they head home early. Nicky Law floats in a corner and Darren McGregor is up early to bullet a header in. Will that lift Rangers for a grandstand finish?

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Dean Glass on Twitter: "I think a lot of us owe motherwell an apology for underestimating them! #bbcscotfootball"

Anthony Duncan on Twitter: "@BBCSportsound dont you think we are over hyping Hearts for next season seeing how bad Rangers are ?? #bbcscotfootball"

No, Stuart McCall hasn't forgotten he's no longer Motherwell manager as he ploughs into the opposition technical area. He's simply determined to retrieve the ball and get play started again as quickly as possible. Ian Baraclough isn't perturbed in the slightest, giving his opposite number a friendly pat on the back.

GREAT SAVE!

George Long stops a header from Kris Boyd
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George Long is having some night! Richard Foster swings in a cross for Kris Boyd to meet with a thumping header at the back post but the Motherwell keeper is somehow able to keep it out with his outstretched arms.

SUBSTITUTION

Now Motherwell make a change as we enter the final 20 minutes, with Stevie Hammell replaced at left-back by Anthony Straker.

SUBSTITUTION

Shane Ferguson is on for his Rangers debut, having arrived injured from Newcastle in January. He's only played two games all season as far as I can see, both internationals for Northern Ireland. Defender Marius Zaliukas is the man to make way.

Motherwell are in the hunt for goal number four as Lionel Ainsworth blazes a shot high over the crossbar, with the Rangers defence all at sea trying to defend a low delivery from Marvin Johnson.

YELLOW CARD

Motherwell defender Louis Laing goes in the book for a clumsy hack at Kenny Miller.

Tom Walsh looks to inspire his more experienced team-mates as he goes it alone but the Rangers substitute's strike from distance is a long way off target.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Kaptain.OFF ‏on Twitter: "#bbcscotfootball Motherwell got their tactics spot on. Great counter-attacking football."

Robbie Devenney on Twitter: "At what time will league reconstruction be brought up tomorrow? I am going for 9.07am #bbcscotfootball"

There are just 950 Motherwell fans packed into a small corner of the stadium but they are making quite a racket as Lionel Ainsworth sets up a corner kick in front of them. The home supporters have gone very quiet as the visitors continue to look sharp on the break.

SUBSTITUTION

And that was to be Nicky Clark's last contribution, with Kris Boyd taking his place up front.

Tom Walsh gets a nice early touch as the 18-year-old pings in a cross from the right for Nicky Clark to head high and wide.

SUBSTITUTION

Rangers make a change, with teenager Tom Walsh on for Dean Shiels.

PENALTY APPEAL

The home fans are screaming for a penalty as the ball pops up off Marvin Johnson's knee and strikes his hand. Nothing doing from referee Bobby Madden... It was very similar to the Dean Shiels incident at Easter Road on Saturday and Rangers got the benefit of the doubt on that occasion.

GREAT SAVE!

Rangers respond as Haris Vuckic races on to a throw-in and it needs a good save from George Long at his near post to deny the Slovenian playmaker.

GOAL

Rangers 0-3 Motherwell (Ainsworth)

Lionel Ainsworth
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Is that game over? Stephen Pearson bounds forward through the middle of the park and slips a pass to Lee Erwin. The Motherwell striker then cuts inside and lays off a pass to Lionel Ainsworth, who smashes home a low shot from the edge of the penalty box. It went right through keeper Cammy Bell but the ball was really moving...

KICK-OFF

Motherwell get us back up and running...

Here come Motherwell, with a spring in their step, for the second half. The home side follow 30 seconds or so later and get a rousing reception from the packed stands.

You'll need to stay up late if you want to see highlights of this match. Sportscene is on BBC Two Scotland at 23:50 and there will be online highlights available from midnight.

And what next for Motherwell? Do the visitors sit in and protect their lead? A third goal would surely kill the tie ahead of Sunday's second leg at Fir Park. "Same again, lads," will be the message from manager Ian Baraclough.

How do Rangers respond to this setback? The subs are out warming up but there's not much there in terms of attacking options. Will forgotten man Kris Boyd get the chance to be a hero?

HALF-TIME

Rangers 0-2 Motherwell

Motherwell lead 2-0 at the interval
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Loud boos ring out at Ibrox as the teams trot up the tunnel. Motherwell were under the cosh for 25 minutes but goals from Lee Erwin and Stephen McManus have put the visitors in control of this tie.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

David B on Twitter: "Pleasantly surprised so far, Motherwell seem to be back on form #bbcscotfootball"

Stephen McManus takes a big risk with a header back to his goalkeeper and Kenny Miller is haring after it. Out comes George Long with a brave, diving punch and he clatters into the advancing striker.