Scottish Championship
RangersRangers4CowdenbeathCowdenbeath1

Rangers 4-1 Cowdenbeath

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Ibrox
Haris Vuckic scores for Rangers against Cowdenbeath
Haris Vuckic's double gave Rangers breathing space against Cowdenbeath
  • Nicky Clark opens scoring for Rangers
  • Kudus Oyenuga equalises, Darren McGregor restores lead
  • Haris Vuckic scores late double
  • Rangers move level with Hibernian in table

Haris Vuckic scored twice as Rangers beat Cowdenbeath to move level on points with second-place Hibernian in the Scottish Championship.

The on-loan Newcastle striker finished neatly in each corner from eight yards after coming on as a substitute.

Nicky Clark had bundled Rangers in front but Cowdenbeath's Kudus Oyenuga capitalised on a blunder to equalise.

Former Cowdenbeath man Darren McGregor struck to restore Rangers' lead before Vuckic's late double.

Rangers manager Stuart McCall secured rare back-to-back wins and the momentum he craved, with the Ibrox side's first home victory since early January.

It was also a fitting result on the day a creative pre-match tribute to Davie Cooper was on display, marking 20 years since the former Rangers and Scotland winger's passing.

Perhaps it was the early, robust, yellow card-earning challenge by Cowdenbeath's Colin Marshall on David Templeton that motivated the re-introduced Rangers forward, or maybe it was purely a desire to improve what has been a frustrating and goal-shy season for the former Hearts man.

Either way, it was a rejuvenated performance by Templeton and it was usually him at the hub of the flurry of opportunities that Rangers created in the opening 45 minutes.

After a couple of Cowdenbeath half-chances from Oyenuga and Sean Higgins early on, McCall's men created a string of chances.

Goalkeeper Robbie Thomson repelled most of them, showing excellent reactions to tip over two identical headers by Lee McCulloch and Bilel Mohsni.

When the former Celtic youth player was beaten, the woodwork came to his aid - Nicky Law's bending an eight-yard curler that rebounded off the inside of the far post.

Templeton teed up Kenny Miller to shoot wide then Dean Shiels had his low, angled drive tipped by the post by Thomson as the rain began to swirl from dark clouds and a slight sense of uneasiness developed in the Ibrox stands.

There was not enough angst to deny Rangers a brief applause as they left the pitch at half-time, but profligacy had to be a thing of the past after the break as far as the supporters were concerned.

They got their wish. Four minutes into the second half and Clark was in the right place to bundle home Lee Wallace's partially saved strike - a seventh of the season for the striker.

Clark should have doubled the lead soon after, but instead the visitors - under the eye of assistant Lee Makel in Jimmy Nicholl's absence - equalised against the run of play.

And the visitors were soon level. Mohsni misplaced a pass out of defence and Lewis Toshney immediately found on-loan Dundee United man Oyenuga, who confidently fired past Cammy Bell.

Ibrox was aghast and feared a third successive home draw. However, McGregor's thumped effort found the far corner and Rangers were in front again - with no sign of a restrained celebration from the former Cowdenbeath defender.

Vuckic's late goals were then something of a repayment for all the problems the Newcastle signings seem to have been for Rangers, the 22-year-old the only loanee to have made an impact since joining in the winter transfer window.

Rangers fans pay tribute to the late Davie Cooper
Rangers fans paid tribute to Davie Cooper, who passed away 20 years ago
Nicky Clark broke the deadlock for Rangers
After a scoreless first half, Clark broke the deadlock early in the second period
Kudus Oyenuga scores for Cowdenbeath
Oyenuga silenced the home crowd with Cowden's equaliser
Darren McGregor scores for Rangers against Cowdenbeath
McGregor regained the lead for Rangers
Haris Vuckic celebrates after scoring for Rangers against Cowdenbeath
Vuckic netted twice in the closing stages

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Bell
  • 24McGregorBooked at 79mins
  • 6McCulloch
  • 3Mohsni
  • 5Wallace
  • 22ShielsSubstituted forVuckicat 69'minutes
  • 34Murdoch
  • 7Law
  • 11TempletonSubstituted forBlackat 86'minutes
  • 18Miller
  • 14ClarkSubstituted forHardieat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Aird
  • 8Black
  • 9Daly
  • 10Vuckic
  • 21Crawford
  • 25Robinson
  • 52Hardie

Cowdenbeath

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 17Thomson
  • 18Brownlie
  • 5ArmstrongBooked at 19mins
  • 6Wedderburn
  • 27Toshney
  • 26MarshallBooked at 2mins
  • 7Robertson
  • 8MilneSubstituted forO'Brienat 84'minutes
  • 28HughesSubstituted forMillerat 65'minutes
  • 19Oyenuga
  • 10HigginsSubstituted forBuchananat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4O'Brien
  • 9Nish
  • 12Kane
  • 15Buchanan
  • 20Miller
  • 21Johnston
  • 25Sneddon
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
32,682

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamCowdenbeath
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home24
Away2
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home5
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Rangers 4, Cowdenbeath 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Rangers 4, Cowdenbeath 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 4, Cowdenbeath 1. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Darren McGregor.

  4. Post update

    Lee Wallace (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 3, Cowdenbeath 1. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lee Wallace.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Ian Black replaces David Templeton.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Haris Vuckic (Rangers).

  9. Post update

    Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Thomas O'Brien replaces Lewis Milne.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 2, Cowdenbeath 1. Darren McGregor (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andy Murdoch.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

  13. Booking

    Darren McGregor (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Darren McGregor (Rangers).

  15. Post update

    Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Rangers 1, Cowdenbeath 1. Kudus Oyenuga (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Ryan Hardie replaces Nicky Clark.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andy Murdoch (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andy Murdoch (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Post update

    David Templeton (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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