Annan Athletic 1-3 Rangers

By Martin ConaghanBBC Scotland
Highlights - Annan 1-3 Rangers

Third Division leaders Rangers started 2013 with a comfortable victory over Annan Athletic at Galabank.

David Templeton's tight-angled cross found its way into the net in the 26th minute, but that was cancelled out by a similar Ally Love strike 10 minutes before the interval.

A second-half shot from Robbie Crawford put Rangers back into the lead after Ian Black had nodded down.

Templeton completed the win with a long-range shot that Harry Monaghan deflected into his own net with seven minutes remaining.

The win is Rangers' 11th straight victory in the league and puts them 18 points clear at the top of Division Three.

Ally McCoist made three changes to the team that played against Queen's Park on Saturday with Darren Cole, Francisco Sandaza and Andrew Little in after Lee McCulloch dropped out.

Templeton started brightly with a right-footed shot from 18 yards out in the third minute, but Annan goalkeeper Alex Mitchell gathered comfortably.

Moments later, Michael Daly flashed a header wide of goalkeeper Neil Alexander's left-hand post but was flagged offside - then Templeton wasted a free-kick by firing it wide of the target.

With 20 minutes played, a left-footed shot by Lee Wallace curved past Mitchell's right-hand post then Daly struck from wide on the right, but Alexander parried out for a corner.

The stalemate was broken in the 26th minute, Templeton picked up a cleared ball and drifted down to the goal-line before sending in a cross that somehow evaded Mitchell and found its way into the top left corner of the net.

Three minutes later, Fran Sandaza's downward header bounced up and hit the crossbar before looping out for a goal-kick.

Ahead of the break, Love restored the balance when he skipped his way down the left-hand wing past two Rangers defenders and flighted in a ball that looped past Alexander into the net.

Shortly after the restart, Black tested Mitchell with a low drive, but the Annan keeper easily smothered it.

After the hour mark, Black out-jumped the Annan defence and nodded a backwards header down for Crawford to angle a low drive past Mitchell into the back of the net.

Sandaza tested Mitchell with a long-range effort that the keeper struggled to contain then Andy Little could have done more to reach a looping cross that landed in the Annan six-yard box.

With 10 minutes of the match remaining, Andrew Donnelly forced a save from Alexander that was pushed out for a corner then had a second bite at the cherry with a header from the set-piece, but the Rangers keeper held firm.

Templeton put the match beyond Annan in the 83rd minute with a shot from distance finding the net after Monaghan's attempted flick clearance helped it into his own net.

Annan Athletic: Mitchell, Blake, Monaghan, Swinglehurst, McGowan, Steele (Donley 74), Sloan (McKechnie 74), Jardine, Love (Hopkirk 65), Chaplain, Daly. Subs Not Used: Summersgill, Thorburn.

Booked: Daly.

Goals: Love 35.

Rangers: Alexander, Cole (Faure 54), Hegarty, Perry, Wallace, Hutton, Black, Crawford, Templeton (McKay 86), Little, Sandaza. Subs Not Used: Currie, Aird, Hemmings.

Booked: Black, Perry.

Goals: Templeton 26, Crawford 63, Templeton 83.

Att: 2,441

Ref: Stephen Finnie

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