Match ends, Raith Rovers 1, Rangers 2.
Raith Rovers 1-2 Rangers
- Rangers claim first win in four games
- Result moves Ibrox club up to second in table
- Murdoch scores his first goal for club
- Raith's seven-game unbeaten run ended
Rangers moved back up to second in the Championship table after victory over a spirited Raith side in Kirkcaldy.
A stunning Andy Murdoch strike and a Kris Boyd goal either side of half-time put Rangers in firm control.
Ryan Conroy's deflected effort gave Raith hope of drawing, but the visitors held on for the win which takes them above Hibernian in the table.
It also ends a run of three straight defeats in all competitions for Kenny McDowall's men.
Nicky Clark threatened first for Rangers, his strike from 25 yards out sailing high over the crossbar.
Lee Wallace and Haris Vuckic combined down the left, with the Scotland full-back crossing for Boyd, whose header beat Raith keeper David McGurn but came back off the bar.
An error from Marius Zaliukas allowed Mark Stewart a sight of the Rangers goal, but Sebastien Faure bailed out his defensive partner with an excellent challenge.
Clark headed a good chance wide from eight yards after he was picked out by Vuckic's free-kick, and Faure directed a similar chance wide moments later.
Boyd teed up Clark for another attempt on goal, but he dragged his shot from the edge of the box just wide of the post.
Rangers were well on top in the opening 35 minutes, and they got their reward in stunning fashion.
Murdoch took possession from Wallace 30 yards from goal, turned and fired a superb drive into the top corner to claim his first Rangers goal.
The 20-year-old was clearly full of confidence and his angled 30-yard pass early in the second half found Clark in the penalty area, but his volley on the turn flew just wide.
Rangers did not have long to wait to double their lead, however.
A Wallace shot was blocked, but the ball ricocheted around the box and eventually fell to Boyd, who prodded it home from close range for his 10th goal of the season.
Substitute Darren McGregor headed just over the crossbar from a Law corner as the visitors looked to put the result beyond any doubt.
Faure's dangerous cross was cleared only as far as Vuckic, whose volley was well struck but straight at McGurn.
The Raith keeper had to be alive just a minute later when the ball dropped at the feet of Faure from a corner. The defender looked like he would smash home the third from close range but McGurn reacted well to block.
The stopper could only parry Vuckic's strike from outside the box, but Clark nodded wide with the goal at his mercy.
Raith were hanging on, but they were given a lifeline 20 minutes from time.
Stewart held up play well in Rangers territory and found support in the shape of Conroy, his shot from 20 yards deflected off Wallace and looped up and over Robinson into the net.
Ross Callachan's well-struck volley brought Robinson into action as Raith sensed a point could be theirs for the taking, but Rangers regained control of the ball and the match in the closing stages to see out the victory.
Rangers coach Gordon Durie: "The performance was great last week, but we didn't get the result and I think we got both tonight.
"We probably made it a bit harder for ourselves in the last 15 minutes by switching off and giving them a goal.
"We probably should have been out of sight by that time, but we're delighted with the three points and I think the score flattered them.
"I've had Andy [Murdoch] with the Under-20s. He's got a great attitude and has goals like that in his locker.
"He's got his chance and he's come in and taken it.
"I'm delighted not just for him. I think the whole team showed a spirit that's what we need for the rest of the season.
"Great for Boydy as well. He's not scored many goals and he had chances before that, but that will hopefully put him on the road to a lot more."
Raith Rovers manager Grant Murray: "It didn't feel like we got high enough up the pitch to bother them.
"We did get a goal back, but it was not enough in the end.
"It seems we have come up against Rangers in the league three times and they have been bang on each time.
"It now makes it difficult for us for the play-offs regardless of what Falkirk and Queen of the South do tomorrow.
"We need to go on another run."
- 4WatsonBooked at 56mins
- 7AndersonSubstituted forVaughanat 90+2'minutes
- 8MoonSubstituted forFoxat 72'minutes
- 6McCullochSubstituted forMcGregorat 45'minutes
- 10VuckicBooked at 32mins
- 14ClarkSubstituted forShielsat 88'minutes
- 15BoydSubstituted forDalyat 90+3'minutes
- Craig Charleston
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Raith Rovers 1, Rangers 2.
Substitution, Rangers. Jon Daly replaces Kris Boyd.
Attempt missed. Christian Nade (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left.
Substitution, Raith Rovers. Lewis Vaughan replaces Grant Anderson.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ross Callachan.
Substitution, Rangers. Dean Shiels replaces Nicky Clark.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Dougie Hill.
Foul by Grant Anderson (Raith Rovers).
Haris Vuckic (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Grant Anderson.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Paul Watson.
Attempt blocked. Kris Boyd (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Ross Callachan (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Raith Rovers. Conceded by Sebastien Faure.
Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Raith Rovers. Liam Fox replaces Kevin Moon.
Attempt saved. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Goal! Raith Rovers 1, Rangers 2. Ryan Conroy (Raith Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Mark Stewart.
Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Kevin Moon.
Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Sebastien Faure (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Rory McKeown.
Attempt saved. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Rory McKeown (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Andy Murdoch (Rangers).
Rory McKeown (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Haris Vuckic (Rangers).
Grant Anderson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lee Wallace (Rangers).
Attempt missed. Darren McGregor (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Paul Watson.
Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
Attempt missed. Christian Nade (Raith Rovers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Corner, Raith Rovers. Conceded by Haris Vuckic.
Paul Watson (Raith Rovers) is shown the yellow card.
Paul Watson (Raith Rovers).
(Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.