Second half goals from David Greenhill and Lee Currie capped an excellent team performance as Rangers strolled into the Ramsdens Cup quarter finals against Second Division Dumbarton at the Strathclyde Homes Stadium on Tuesday night.
Rangers claimed their second consecutive scalp against a team from a higher league, and such was the all-round quality of this display that it made the defeat at Elgin look like a bizarre aberration. Three away cup ties, three victories, is a very decent return. A fourth at Easter Road next week would be the icing on the cake, but in the meantime Jimmy Crease and his team can reflect on a team effort with no weaknesses. Tuesday night’s line up featured three changes from the Elgin fiasco, Lee Currie and David Greenhill coming into a midfield four and Chris Townsley replacing Andy McLean in central defence.
It took Rangers two minutes to threaten, Gray turning McNiff inside out before squaring to Paul Currie, who skied his shot. Prunty cracked a fierce volley over the backpeddling Barclay a minute later, but his effort cleared the bar. Rangers had a luckier escape in the 12th minute, Walker latching onto Townsley’s underpowered header but his shot clipped Barclay’s shoulder and deflected over. Despite the unwelcome interjections of referee Charleston, who seemed to have decided that any physical contact was out of bounds, Rangers bounced back and McLeod and Gray both had shots cleared off the line after McDonald’s corner caused carnage in the home defence. Though Rangers were passing Dumbarton off the park, the home side was’nt devoid of threat, and Walker flicked a header inches wide on the half hour mark before Greenhill brilliantly headed Agnew’s effort off the line and into Barclay’s hands two minutes from the interval.
A minute into the second period, the impressive Paul Currie spooned McDonald’s lay off over Ewings’ bar, as Rangers tightened their grip. They were only denied for another 9 minutes. Steven Thompson bullocked his way down the left and hung over a peach of the cross which found the unlikely figure of Greenhill lurking unmarked on the penalty spot. He buried his diving header beyond Ewings. The Black & Gold midfield were in complete control by now, though Barclay had to react sharply to tip Walker’s overhead kick over his bar in the 65th minute. Ten minutes later, Walker set Noble, Gray and Paul Currie loose on a three-on-one break, but the latter fired straight at Ewings. Two minutes later Gray lobbed Ewings from McDonald’s clever free kick but Monaghan cleared from under the bar. Darren Gribben’s introduction turned the pressure up even more, and he helped to ice the cake a minute from time by setting up Lee Currie for a neat finish to kill the game and secure a last eight place for the Gers.
Roll on East Stirling.
Barclay 7; Walker 7; McLeod 7; Townsley 7; Thompson 7; Greenhill 8; L Currie 8; P Currie 8; McDonald 6; Gray 6; Noble 7
Crowd – 334