Rangers 2-0 Peterhead

By Rob MacleanBBC Scotland at Ibrox
Highlights - Rangers 2-0 Peterhead

Rangers held on to top spot in the Third Division with a home win against Peterhead which ended more comfortably than it began.

The Blue Toon team missed an early chance to take the lead and there was much Rangers relief when Lee McCulloch made the breakthrough just before half-time with his 17th goal of the season.

Lee Wallace sealed the points with a second-half strike in front of a crowd of more than 48,000.

Jim McInally's Peterhead, who were denied victory over Rangers at their Balmoor Stadium on the first day of the SFL season by a late leveller, opened up impressively at Ibrox in sharp contrast to the home team.

Rory McAllister seized on a poor pass back but his shot clipped the crossbar when he should have been scoring. Rangers were lucky their sloppy start went unpunished.

The league leaders struggled to create chances against their organised opponents and their first serious effort from Dean Shiels went well wide.

Peterhead struck the frame of the goal for a second time when Ryan Strachan's free-kick from next to the corner flag flew over Rangers keeper Neil Alexander and glanced off the bar.

Then it was Rangers' turn to blow the chance of cashing in on a bad passback. Andy Little was gifted the opportunity by Peterhead's David Cox but hooked his shot off target.

It seemed as if a set piece was the only way Ally McCoist's team were going to get their heads in front and that's the way it turned out. Barry McKay's corner was headed home by McCulloch.

Rangers upped their tempo after the interval -- they'd been sluggish to that point -- and began to demonstrate some superiority. There was no way back for Peterhead when Rangers scored again midway through the second half.

In a well-practised free kick move, Ian Black cut the ball back from close to the byline and former Hearts team-mate Wallace peeled away from the packed six yard box to stroke home the goal which settled the outcome.

Rangers: Alexander, Argyriou, Hegarty, Macleod, Wallace, McKay, Crawford (Aird 80), Black (Hutton 72), McCulloch, Little (Naismith 68), Shiels. Subs Not Used: Scott Gallagher, Wiktorski.

Booked: McCulloch, Black. Goals: McCulloch 43, Wallace 66.

Peterhead: McCallum, Scott Ross, Strachan, Smith, McLaughlin, Redman (Bavidge 73), Cowie (Deasley 61), Cox (Winters 80), Noble, David Ross, McAllister. Subs Not Used: Jarvie, Maguire.

Booked: Cowie, Deasley.

Att: 48,407

Ref: Craig Charleston

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