Scottish Cup - Fourth Round
Cowdenbeath1Rangers3

Cowdenbeath 1-3 Rangers: Ibrox side secure Scottish Cup trip to Kilmarnock

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Highlights - Cowdenbeath 1-3 Rangers

Rangers secured a Scottish Cup last-16 trip to Premiership rivals Kilmarnock after a routine win over League Two part-timers Cowdenbeath.

Once Andy Halliday put Steven Gerrard's side into a 12th-minute lead, there was little prospect of a cup shock.

Lassana Coulibaly slotted the second from close range and Kyle Lafferty provided a cool finish.

David Cox pulled one back after Wes Foderingham saved a Harvey Swann penalty kick just after the break.

Rangers survived some nervous moments thereafter, but they were never in real danger of losing the rearranged tie.

Changes, but Rangers still too strong

The fortunes of these two clubs have diverged dramatically since the Glasgow side's last visit to Central Park, which ended 0-0 in the Scottish second tier in 2015.

Rangers manager Gerrard, though, insisted he was not taking the opposition lightly despite only Nikola Katic, Ryan Jack and Daniel Candeias retaining their places following the weekend win over Livingston.

It meant a start for Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis, Rangers' high-profile loan signings from the English top flight, but Cowdenbeath started impressively against their more illustrious visitors.

Home manager Gary Bollan - a former Rangers defender - had started midfielder Blair Malcolm ahead of forward Jordan Allan in an attempt to frustrate Gerrard's side.

However, with veteran former Livingston and Dunfermline Athletic left-back Jason Talbot off the pitch nursing an injury, Rangers took full of advantage of the extra man in midfield to take the lead.

Halliday left Kyle Miller foundering with a neat shimmy before firing low past goalkeeper David McGurn from 18 yards.

Substitute Harvey Swann restored Cowdenbeath to full strength, but the part-timers' belief in a shock appeared to have disappeared along with the unfortunate Talbot.

Rangers soon extinguished any remaining doubts as Lafferty flicked on a corner and, when Defoe's shot was blocked, Coulibaly thumped home the rebound.

Defoe will have rarely, if ever, played in a stock car stadium and Rangers were taking an uncharacteristically direct approach against a side renowned for their robust challenges, sending long balls forward to exploit the veteran former England striker's pace.

However, it was Lafferty who beat the offside trap to extend the lead just before the break, the Northern Ireland striker capitalising on Ryan Jack's through ball.

David Cox scored the rebound after Harvey Swann's penalty was saved
David Cox scored the rebound after Harvey Swann's penalty was saved

Renton, the one-time Norwich City striker, had been lucky to only receive one yellow for two thumping challenges on Nikola Katic and used his physique to win a penalty under a Jon Flanagan challenge.

Although Swann's spot kick was blocked by goalkeeper Foderingham, Cox was first to react to the rebound.

McGurn was called upon to save from Defoe and Candeias, but Rangers were guilty of thinking the job was done against the side sitting seventh in Scotland's fourth tier.

Substitute Allan, the forward who made his first-team debut for Airdrieonians at the age of 14 before a spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers, thought he had capitalised on a moment of slackness by Flanagan only for his strike to be ruled out by an offside flag.

Rangers clinical, with slack moments - analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin at Central Park

Rangers produced a clinical, professional display on a bitterly cold night at Central Park. From the outset, Jack and Candeias looked in the mood to put the game to bed as quickly as possible and Lafferty was also out to prove a point and stake a claim for a more regular place.

However, the slackness shown by the Rangers rearguard in the second half will be a cause for concern for Gerard. The centre-back pairing of Gareth McAuley and Katic was put under pressure time after time by the Cowdenbeath strikers and full-back Flanagan had a night to forget in Fife.

The Cowdenbeath players will take confidence in the fact they kept a clean sheet in the second half and Bollan will impress on his players the need for similar attitude and application between now and the end of the season if they are to have any chance or reaching the promotion play-off spots.

'Hopefully we've learned a lesson' - reaction

Cowdenbeath head coach Gary Bollan: "I'm disappointed with the result, but it's been a good night for the club.

"To go out there and play for 90 minutes and play at full throttle against Rangers, it's a great performance from the lads."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "Credit to Cowdenbeath, they played a game for 90 minutes. We played for 45 but got the job done.

"Hopefully we have learned our lessons. You can't go to Kilmarnock and give goals away or we will be out of the cup. We have to go there and defend better."

Lasy 16 draw

Line-ups

Cowdenbeath

  • 1McGurn
  • 2MullenBooked at 72mins
  • 4Pyper
  • 5Deas
  • 3TalbotSubstituted forSwannat 15'minutes
  • 10Fraser
  • 8MalcolmSubstituted forAllanat 59'minutes
  • 7Cox
  • 6Miller
  • 11Buchanan
  • 9RentonBooked at 35minsSubstituted forHenveyat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Swann
  • 14Sheerin
  • 15Scott
  • 16Allan
  • 17Goodfellow
  • 18Henvey
  • 19Sneddon

Rangers

  • 13Foderingham
  • 15Flanagan
  • 36McAuley
  • 19Katic
  • 16Halliday
  • 23CoulibalySubstituted forMiddletonat 67'minutes
  • 10Davis
  • 8Jack
  • 21CandeiasSubstituted forHoustonat 86'minutes
  • 9Defoe
  • 11LaffertyBooked at 63mins

Substitutes

  • 1McGregor
  • 3Worrall
  • 14Kent
  • 20Morelos
  • 37Arfield
  • 40Middleton
  • 49Houston
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
4,116

Match Stats

Home TeamCowdenbeathAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home33%
Away67%
Shots
Home5
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away8
Corners
Home3
Away9
Fouls
Home15
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Cowdenbeath 1, Rangers 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Cowdenbeath 1, Rangers 3.

Jermain Defoe (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fraser Mullen (Cowdenbeath).

Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Robbie Buchanan (Cowdenbeath).

Jon Flanagan (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Cox (Cowdenbeath).

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Harvey Swann.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jordan Houston replaces Daniel Candeias.

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Daniel Candeias.

Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Hand ball by Jordan Allan (Cowdenbeath).

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamie Pyper (Cowdenbeath).

Booking

Fraser Mullen (Cowdenbeath) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Glenn Middleton (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Fraser Mullen (Cowdenbeath).

Attempt missed. Andy Halliday (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Jermain Defoe (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Robbie Deas (Cowdenbeath).

Attempt missed. Kyle Miller (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Glenn Middleton replaces Lassana Coulibaly.

Booking

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers).

Jordan Allan (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Robbie Deas.

Attempt missed. Gary Fraser (Cowdenbeath) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Foul by Daniel Candeias (Rangers).

Robbie Buchanan (Cowdenbeath) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Cowdenbeath. Conceded by Andy Halliday.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Matthew Henvey replaces Kris Renton.

Substitution

Substitution, Cowdenbeath. Jordan Allan replaces Blair Malcolm.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jamie Pyper.

Attempt saved. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Fraser Mullen.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Harvey Swann.

Attempt saved. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Jermain Defoe (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

goal

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