Scottish Championship
AlloaAlloa Athletic1RangersRangers5

Alloa Athletic 1-5 Rangers

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
James Tavernier and Kenny Miller celebrate
James Tavernier and Kenny Miller both scored

Five-star Rangers swept aside Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park to underline their early advances under manager Mark Warburton.

James Tavernier supplied the first of a series of lethal finishes against part-timers the Ibrox side only managed to beat once in five outings last season.

Michael Chopra equalised, but a Martyn Waghorn penalty soon restored the lead.

Jason Holt and Kenny Miller killed the game before half-time and the latter added his own second late on.

The thumping victory took Rangers to the top of the Scottish Championship table.

A mere two games have been played and they are only ahead of Queen of the South and Dumbarton on goal difference.

Jason Holt celebrate his goal
Jason Holt scored Rangers' third goal against Alloa at Recreation Park

But the signs are there that this Ibrox side could dominate the division in a similar fashion to the Hearts one that left their Glasgow rivals trailing in their wake last term.

Under Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall and Stuart McCall, Rangers had struggled to overcome Alloa and much was made of their dislike of the artificial surface at Recreation Park.

Successor Warburton promised no excuses this time and there was no need for them as his restructured team quickly found their feet in the Clackmannanshire sunshine.

Tavernier has been a revelation since his summer purchase from Wigan Athletic and the right-back provided another thundering finish into the top corner after being played in behind the defence by Nicky Law - the Englishman's third goal in four games.

The lead only lasted three minutes as Chopra was found by a Graeme Holmes chip over the visiting defence to apply the kind of lethal volleyed finish that reminded onlookers of the 31-year-old striker's days with Newcastle United, Cardiff City, Sunderland and Ipswich Town.

Thoughts turned to December, when Alloa came from two goals down to defeat Rangers in the Petrofac Training Cup semi-final.

However, there was to be no sting in the tail for the Wasps this time as Holmes spoiled his earlier work by barging Holt to hand Waghorn the opportunity to restore the lead from the penalty spot within another two minutes.

Lee Wallace had a quiet game in his first as Rangers' official new captain, but it was the left-back's low drive, spilled by goalkeeper Andy McNeil, that allowed Holt further involvement with a goal of his own from close range.

When Tavernier found Miller to finish from similar range shortly before the break, the game was effectively over.

Michael Chopra scores for Alloa
Michael Chopra scored for Alloa to level the scores at 1-1

The interval was time for Alloa boss Danny Lennon to switch to a less vulnerable formation, but the damage was done.

Rangers were by now in second gear and could afford some showboating from the midweek arrival from Tottenham Hotspur, Nathan Oduwa. They also had two goals disallowed and still managed a further goal-line finish from Miller in the closing minutes.

Warburton's side march on to bigger challenges while Lennon, whose side lie bottom without a point, was left to wonder how long it will take his 14 new signings to gel.

Alloa manager Danny Lennon: "You could certainly see the gulf between the clubs today, but what the biggest message for the players today was that they've got to have more belief, they've earned the right to compete in this league but what we have to do is compete better than what we showed today."

Line-ups

Alloa

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1McNeil
  • 2McAusland
  • 6Marr
  • 3Hill
  • 5Hamilton
  • 7DuffySubstituted forHetheringtonat 45'minutes
  • 14McManus
  • 8O'Brien
  • 10HolmesSubstituted forLynasat 68'minutes
  • 9Chopra
  • 23MitchellSubstituted forLayneat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Reintam
  • 11Ferns
  • 17Layne
  • 18Hetherington
  • 20Williams
  • 21Crawford
  • 25Lynas

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 25Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Kiernan
  • 27Wilson
  • 5WallaceBooked at 12mins
  • 19McKaySubstituted forOduwaat 61'minutes
  • 23Holt
  • 16Halliday
  • 7LawSubstituted forShielsat 62'minutes
  • 9Miller
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forClarkat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Ball
  • 10Oduwa
  • 14Clark
  • 22Shiels
  • 32Kelly
  • 42Hardie
  • 48Walsh
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
3,047

Match Stats

Home TeamAlloaAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home29%
Away71%
Shots
Home3
Away18
Shots on Target
Home2
Away8
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 5.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 5.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Oduwa (Rangers).

  4. Post update

    Colin Hamilton (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jason Marr.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

  8. Post update

    Colin Hamilton (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 5. Kenny Miller (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Tavernier.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kenny Miller (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Burton O'Brien.

  12. Post update

    Kenny Miller (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Dougie Hill (Alloa Athletic).

  14. Post update

    Nathan Oduwa (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Connor McManus (Alloa Athletic).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathan Oduwa (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

  18. Post update

    Nathan Oduwa (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Kyle McAusland (Alloa Athletic).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers22008266
2Queen of Sth22004136
3Dumbarton22004226
4Falkirk21102114
5Raith Rovers21013123
6Hibernian21012203
7Morton201112-11
8St Mirren200225-30
9Livingston200204-40
10Alloa200228-60
View full Scottish Championship table

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