Scottish Championship
DumbartonDumbarton1RangersRangers3

Dumbarton 1-3 Rangers

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at the Bet Butler Stadium

Ryan Hardie scored twice on his first start as Rangers edged closer to securing the Scottish Championship runners-up place.

It was an ultimately comfortable win but Dumbarton drew first blood thanks to a tremendous Mark Wilson strike.

Hardie soon equalised but it took a two-goal burst early in the second half to put the visitors at ease.

Hardie looped in a second, quickly followed by an impressive shot from Haris Vuckic.

It puts Stuart McCall's side four points clear of Hibernian, with the Edinburgh club having three games left to play - one more than Rangers.

Dumbarton have already achieved their goal of Championship survival and on an uneven pitch provided Rangers with a stiff examination of their promotion credentials.

Rangers' habit of making life awkward for themselves manifested itself from the outset though, as first Nicky Clark scooped the ball over with the goal gaping before the home side galloped forward to open the scoring.

Wilson will rarely have struck the ball as sweetly as he did when the ball fell to him at the back post, volleying tenaciously past Cammy Bell.

However, Bell's opposite number, Danny Rodgers, was the busier man, saving brilliantly in the opening period from Lee McCulloch's acrobatic strike, Darren McGregor's long-range piledriver and Nicky Law's curling effort in addition to an important block to deny Vuckic.

But despite his best attempts, he could not prevent Hardie's equaliser creeping over the line.

The striker raced onto Vuckic's pass and though his shot was half-stopped by the keeper, the youngster followed up to ensure Stuart Findlay's efforts to clear were in vain.

For all their superiority in the shots-on-target column, there remained an edginess about Rangers until they established a two-goal cushion shortly after the interval.

Hardie hooked the ball over his head and past Rogers from Lee Wallace's cross and then Vuckic produced a gem of a goal, cutting in from the right on his left foot before unleashing a thunderous strike into Rogers' top-right corner.

That took the sting out of Dumbarton, although if the impressive Findlay had done better with a header that he directed straight at Bell it might have been a different story.

As it was, Rangers saw the game out and will now watch Hibs' midweek match away to Livingston with great interest.

Line-ups

Dumbarton

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Rogers
  • 7GilhaneySubstituted forLintonat 82'minutes
  • 4GrahamBooked at 85mins
  • 18Findlay
  • 22Wilson
  • 16EastonSubstituted forMegginsonat 72'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 8Agnew
  • 11Kirkpatrick
  • 12Taggart
  • 14Fleming
  • 20Campbell

Substitutes

  • 3Linton
  • 10Megginson
  • 15McCallum
  • 17Petrie
  • 19Ewings
  • 24Lightbody

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Bell
  • 24McGregor
  • 6McCulloch
  • 26Zaliukas
  • 5Wallace
  • 10VuckicSubstituted forBlackat 85'minutes
  • 34Murdoch
  • 7Law
  • 48Walsh
  • 52HardieSubstituted forGallagherat 86'minutes
  • 14Clark

Substitutes

  • 3Mohsni
  • 8Black
  • 15Boyd
  • 21Crawford
  • 22Shiels
  • 30Gallagher
  • 31Simonsen
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
1,766

Match Stats

Home TeamDumbartonAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home11
Away22
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home5
Away12
Fouls
Home7
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dumbarton 1, Rangers 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dumbarton 1, Rangers 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Archie Campbell (Dumbarton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mitchel Megginson (Dumbarton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Calum Gallagher (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

  7. Post update

    Nicky Law (Rangers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the left side of the box following a corner.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Calum Gallagher replaces Ryan Hardie.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Ian Black replaces Haris Vuckic.

  10. Booking

    Andy Graham (Dumbarton) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Scott Linton.

  12. Booking

    Mitchel Megginson (Dumbarton) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Post update

    Haris Vuckic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Mitchel Megginson (Dumbarton).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Dumbarton. Scott Linton replaces Mark Gilhaney.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Agnew (Dumbarton) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Haris Vuckic (Rangers).

  18. Post update

    Andy Graham (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Haris Vuckic (Rangers).

  20. Post update

    Mark Gilhaney (Dumbarton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts34283392236987
2Rangers34198765353065
3Hibernian33187860303061
4Queen of Sth34169956391757
5Falkirk341410104643352
6Raith Rovers34126164059-1942
7Dumbarton3496193375-4233
8Cowdenbeath3474233081-5125
9Alloa3459203052-2224
10Livingston3368193550-1521
View full Scottish Championship table

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