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RANGERS 3-0 PETERHEAD

Mon 03 Aug 2015

RANGERS 3-0 PETERHEAD

Scottish League Cup – Round 1

02/08/2015

The Blue Toon may have been defeated in their first trip to Ibrox since 2013 but left Glasgow with their heads held high. Jim McInally’s men made a valiant effort to take the game to a superior Rangers team who took advantage of the visitors’ ‘kamikaze’ last throw of the dice.

Both sides went into the game on the back of goal gluts against Brechin and Hibs respectively but it was the Gers who were able to keep up their form in front of goal, with strikes from David Templeton, Kenny Miller and man of the match James Travernier the difference.

The margin of victory could have been more if not for a series of stunning saves from former Ibrox stopper Graeme Smith.

McInally managed the Blue Toon during the 2012/13 campaign which saw the Light Blues drop to the fourth tier of Scottish football, and the Peterhead boss claimed four points in four clashes against McCoist’s men.

But the new-look Gers side proved more dangerous and McInally believes his opponents are now Premiership quality.

After the final whistle he said: “There’s no doubt they’ve improved. But if we’d sat the way we were sitting in the first half it could’ve finished 1-0. I didn’t think they exposed us in the first half.

“Graeme Smith had one or two good saves in the first half but in the second half he was fantastic and if it wasn’t for him it could’ve been another six like they got last week.”

The Balmoor boss praised the travelling Peterhead support, and explained his bold second-half strategy which saw the visitors finish the match with four strikers on the pitch.

He continued: “We certainly made it a more entertaining game for the supporters in the second half because of the kamikaze way we played but as Mark Warburton said, it was a pre-season game and that’s the way I’ll treat it.

“The game wasn’t going to be normal for us. Rangers are probably Premiership standard and it was always going to be tough.”

He added that the trip to Ibrox proved a “difficult day at the office” for his side.

Rangers had more of the ball in the first half but Peterhead’s organised play and impressive goalkeeping kept the tie at 0-0 until the 40th minute.

Then David Templeton side-footed past Smith to put the Light Blues into the lead. The visitors held on until half time before pushing forward in the second half.

In the 53rd minute McInally made the first change of the game, with Jamie Stevenson coming off to be replaced by new boy Leighton McIntosh who looked lively throughout.

The home side then paraded their strength in depth, swapping Nicky Law and goalscorer Templeton with Jason Holt and Ibrox hero Kenny Miller.

Jordon Brown took a knock and was replaced by summer signing Scott Ferris before Rangers’ impressive Barrie McKay made way for Nicky Clark.

Then the game turned when in the 75th minute Travernier crossed for Kenny Miller to jab the ball past Smith and into the bottom corner.

Once again the visitors pushed on and McInally threw on striker Andy Rodgers to replaced the fit-again Jamie Redman.

But the bold throw of the dice proved to no avail and left back Travernier sealed the result when he found himself in space on the right hand side of the box and curled around Smithy into the far corner.

Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Nathan Blockley, Steven Noble, Ryan Strachan, Scott Ross, Kevin Dzierzawski, Jamie Stevenson, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Shane Sutherland, Jordon Brown.

Subs: Paul Jarvie, Leighton McIntosh, Andy Rodgers, Scott Ferris, Scott Adams, Mark Lawrence, Ryan Baptie.

Rangers: Wes Foderingham, James, Tavernier, Rob Kiernan, Lee Wallace, Nicky Law, David Templeton, Andrew Halliday, Barrie McKay, Dean Shiels, Danny Wilson, Martyn Waghorn.

Subs: Liam Kelly, Kenny Miller, Nicky Clark, Fraser Aird, Jason Holt, Marius Zaliukas, Tom Walsh.

Referee: Greg Aitken

Assistant Referees: Gary Hilland, Kevin McElhinney.