East Stirlingshire 2-4 Rangers

Rangers players celebrate after their fourth goal

Rangers made heavy weather of a victory over bottom club East Stirlingshire, who played much of the game with 10 men.

The visitors took an early lead through Robbie Crawford, but Paul Quinn soon drew Shire level from the penalty spot.

Kevin Turner was dismissed for a bad foul on Ian Black and David Templeton's free-kick put Rangers back in front.

But Quinn headed in his and Shire's second goal, only for Black and Templeton to secure the win.

Rangers were applauded onto the park, with the Shire players forming a guard of honour for the Third Division champions.

But they extended the courteous welcome a little too far in allowing Andrew Little time and space to get in an early cross from the right, which Crawford neatly clipped past Grant Hay.

The last time Rangers visited Ochilview, they'd won 6-2 but not before the home side had made life decidedly difficult for them and the same was true on this occasion as Steven Jackson came mightily close to an equaliser after a terrific run forward from right-back.

But the Shire support didn't have long to wait for a goal, which came from the penalty spot after Turner was fouled by Andy Mitchell. Quinn blasted the penalty straight down the middle, as Neil Alexander dived left.

The home side's cause was dented, though, with the dismissal after half-an-hour of Turner, who went in high on Black.

Nonetheless, Shire remained a tough nut to crack, but Rangers eventually got their noses back in front on the stroke of half-time when Templeton curled a free-kick round the wall and past Hay.

But Rangers failed to capitalise and were again pegged back as Quinn was allowed the freedom of the penalty area to head into the net.

Little had two goalbound efforts saved in quick succession as Rangers tried to make the extra man tell, with Lee McCulloch also being pushed up from centre back to centre forward.

Their pressure finally told when Black evaded some close attention to fire across goal and in off the far post.

One of the many youngsters given their chance by Ally McCoist this season - Daniel Stoney - came off the bench and made a quick impact, driving forward before picking out McCulloch. Though the Rangers captain fluffed his effort, it fell for Templeton who coolly sidestepped his marker before rolling the ball in for Rangers' fourth.

It sealed another less-than-convincing victory for Rangers, their on-field struggle mirroring off-field events.

East Stirlingshire: Hay, Jackson, Miller, Moffat, Maxwell, Greenhill, MacGregor (Glasgow 75), Hunter, Wright, Turner, Quinn. Subs Not Used: Gordon, Gillespie, Benton, Jack Hamilton.

Sent Off: Turner (30). Booked: Quinn, Greenhill, Hunter.

Goals: Quinn 22 pen, 50.

Rangers: Alexander, Mitchell, Emilson Cribari, Hutton (Smith 81), Faure, Black, McCulloch, Crawford, Templeton, Little (Stoney 73), Naismith (Gasparotto 54). Subs Not Used: Aird, Murdoch.

Booked: Mitchell, Hutton.

Goals: Crawford 6, Templeton 45, Black 65, Templeton 79.

Att: 2,805

Ref: Barry Cook

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