Rangers 3-0 Clyde

By Paul BarnesBBC Scotland at Ibrox Stadium
Highlights - Rangers 3-0 Clyde

Rangers eased to a comfortable victory over Clyde to extend their lead at the top of Division Three to 12 points.

Lee Wallace opened the scoring midway through the first half, before David Templeton curled home from 20 yards.

Substitute Dean Shiels sealed the win 15 minutes from time to make it nine consecutive league victories for Rangers.

The opening stages produced very little in the way of goalmouth action.

Kevin Watt's near post header for the visitors drifted harmlessly over, while at the other end Lee McCulloch's powerfully struck half-volley was tipped wide by Jamie Barclay.

With Clyde unable to maintain possession for any prolonged periods, Ally McCoist's team enjoyed the bulk of possession.

And in the 21st minute they found the breakthrough.

Marauding full-back Lee Wallace signalled for an early through ball from Templeton. The former Hearts man hooked straight into his team mate's path, and Wallace raced through to slot past Barclay.

Given a noticeable lift by their lead, Rangers continued to press forward in the hope of adding to their advantage.

Their progress was somewhat thwarted in the 26th minute, though, when Andrew Little hobbled off following a melee in Clyde's penalty box.

His replacement, Shiels, would go on to play a pivotal role in the afternoon's proceedings.

Six minutes before the interval, Rangers doubled their lead, and what a beautiful strike it was.

Templeton, a constant menace for the Clyde backline, found possession 20 yards from goal. With few options, he manoeuvred into a shooting position before unleashing a wonderful curling effort beyond the hapless Barclay.

With the Bully Wee causing few problems for Neil Alexander in the Rangers goal, it seemed unlikely at the break that they would threaten to deny the home side a victory.

And so it proved. Ally McCoist's side picked up from where they left off as the second period began, seeing plenty of the ball while pinning the visitors into their own half.

Lewis Macleod, who was excellent throughout, had a chance to make it 3-0 20 minutes after the interval. He played a one-two with Shiels but his finish was disappointing, firing wide from close range.

Shiels then took centre stage in the 75th minute. He collected the ball with his back to goal 15 yards out before turning and shooting into the far corner.

After a disappointing start to life in the Third Division, Rangers' grip at the top of the table continues to tighten, as they sent the bulk of the 47,000-plus crowd home with the perfect late Christmas present.

Rangers: Alexander, Hegarty, Perry, Emilson Cribari (Cole 78), Wallace, Little (Shiels 26),Hutton, Macleod, McKay, Templeton (Crawford 83), McCulloch. Subs Not Used: Currie, Sandaza.

Goals: Wallace 21,Templeton 38,Shiels 76.

Clyde: Barclay, John Kane, Gray, Lanie, Brown, Fitzharris (Sweeney 71),Hay (Neill 81),Scullion, McColm, Gilfillan (McCluskey 88),Watt. Subs Not Used: Rajovic, Oliver.

Booked: Hay, Scullion, Neill.

Att: 47,463

Ref: Crawford Allan

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