Scottish Championship
Raith RoversRaith Rovers0RangersRangers1

Raith Rovers 0-1 Rangers

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Stark's Park
Andy Halliday
Andy Halliday scored his sixth goal of the season to seal victory for Rangers

Andy Halliday's goal a minute from half-time was enough to keep Rangers eight points clear of Hibernian at the top of the Scottish Championship.

The midfielder made sure there was nothing the officials could misinterpret as he celebrated his sixth goal of the season at Stark's Park.

This was his first game back following a controversial dismissal after hitting the target against Morton last month.

In truth Rangers' seventh win in row should have been more comfortable.

Raith, who remain on fourth place on goal difference, have now failed to score in their last five matches.

An indication of the squad strength Gers manager Mark Warburton has assembled to ensure Rangers return to the Premiership this season saw £500,000 signing Michael O'Halloran start on the bench.

He was joined there by Nicky Law and Dean Shiels as the manager made two changes to the side that beat Falkirk at Ibrox, with Gedion Zelalem and Halliday both returning.

The early signs were far from promising for Rovers - who had Leicester City's on-loan striker Harry Panayiotou on the bench - as Rangers pulled them apart with superior pace, movement and almost total control of the ball.

Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton's side are now on a seven-match winning run

Martyn Waghorn might have had a first-half hat-trick with a bit more composure in front of goal, while Barrie McKay forced Kevin Cuthbert into a sharp save.

Halliday's free-kick from the edge of the area after 28 minutes deflected off the defensive wall and bounced clear of a post.

But the home side's luck finally ran out just before the interval when they failed to cope with a great overlap down the right by James Tavernier.

The full-back burst his way to the bye-line before pulling back a cross that Halliday drilled into the net from six yards, scant reward for the visitors' dominance.

Raith pressed a higher line after the break with Panayiotou adding a more physical presence up front in the final half-hour.

The St Kitts and Nevis international even had the ball in the net with 20 minutes left, but Lewis Toshney - back from injury - was penalised for a barging into an opponent when setting up the chance with a powerful header.

Rangers created far fewer chances in a surprisingly flat second-half display, the away fans saving their loudest cheer for the introduction of O'Halloran.

The high-profile signing from St Johnstone arrived for his debut on the hour and showed characteristic pace with one run and cross that found no takers.

Line-ups

Raith Rovers

  • 1Cuthbert
  • 22BatesBooked at 82mins
  • 5ToshneyBooked at 28mins
  • 6Benedictus
  • 23McKeown
  • 14Davidson
  • 30Robertson
  • 18Connolly
  • 4CallachanSubstituted forCraigenat 60'minutesSubstituted forAndersonat 75'minutes
  • 21LongridgeBooked at 88mins
  • 9StewartSubstituted forPanayiotouat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Thomson
  • 7Anderson
  • 8McCord
  • 11Panayiotou
  • 12Matthews
  • 28Craigen
  • 31Law

Rangers

  • 25Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Kiernan
  • 27WilsonBooked at 90mins
  • 5Wallace
  • 6Ball
  • 9MillerSubstituted forO'Halloranat 64'minutes
  • 8ZelalemSubstituted forShielsat 72'minutes
  • 16Halliday
  • 19McKaySubstituted forForresterat 63'minutes
  • 33Waghorn

Substitutes

  • 1Bell
  • 7Law
  • 14Clark
  • 15Forrester
  • 17King
  • 22Shiels
  • 29O'Halloran
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
5,493

Match Stats

Home TeamRaith RoversAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home2
Away13
Shots on Target
Home1
Away7
Corners
Home0
Away9
Fouls
Home17
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Raith Rovers 0, Rangers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Raith Rovers 0, Rangers 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Forrester (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  4. Post update

    Rob Kiernan (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kyle Benedictus (Raith Rovers).

  6. Booking

    Danny Wilson (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Danny Wilson (Rangers).

  8. Post update

    Aidan Connolly (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Dean Shiels (Rangers).

  10. Post update

    Lewis Toshney (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by David Bates.

  12. Booking

    Louis Longridge (Raith Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Louis Longridge (Raith Rovers).

  15. Post update

    James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Louis Longridge (Raith Rovers).

  17. Post update

    Hand ball by Lee Wallace (Rangers).

  18. Post update

    Harry Forrester (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Scott Robertson (Raith Rovers).

  20. Post update

    Lee Wallace (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers23192265164959
2Hibernian22163338172151
3Falkirk23137338182046
4Raith Rovers218492226-428
5Queen of Sth208482127-628
6Morton216691924-524
7Dumbarton2264121939-2022
8St Mirren2156102232-1021
9Livingston2344152436-1216
10Alloa2232171043-3311
View full Scottish Championship table

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