Five Goal Romp For Rangers
Rangers 5 (Boyd 2 [58, 68], Adam 22, Burke 35,
Ferguson 87) Dundee United 0
Fittingly the Tannadice men provided the opposition as
they did in the Manager's last League game in
charge on 9 May 1998 at Tannadice when
‘Ten-In-A-Row' was so unjustly snatched
from Ibrox hands. United of course have played such a
key role in ‘Wattie's' career
- both as a player, coach and Assistant Manager
under Jim McLean.
The incoming manager received a warm welcome from the
50,276 crowd prior to kick-off, having made three
changes to the starting line-up from the Dunfermline
debacle with Chris Burke, Jeremy Clement and Dado Prso
replacing Julien Rodriguez, Gavin Rae and Jeremy
Barry Ferguson was restored to the
“Walter Smith's Blue and White Army”
and “Super Ally” filled the air as the
game commenced - but it was the visitors who
were first to threaten when an error by Karl Svensson
allowed Craig Conway to send in a shot that the Swede
himself cleared off the line.
The opening goal when it arrived in 22 minutes came at
the other end however - and it was truly a thing
of beauty, Charlie Adam netting with a superb
first-time chip from all of forty yards after United
goalkeeper Derek Stillie had rushed out of his goal to
block Kris Boyd as he moved through on an Ian Murray
Boyd again had an appalling miss in 35 minutes -
but on this occasion it led to a goal. Prso's
cross found the centre at the far post with the goal
gaping, yet somehow Boyd completely missheaded, the
loose ball finally being headed home by Burke.
Rangers suffered an injury blow five minutes later
when Prso limped off to be replaced by Novo.
The half finished in sweeping, torrential rain and
during the interval the officials twice tested the
pitch in order to determine if it was in a fit state
for the game to continue. The break lasted almost 25
minutes, and to immense relief play did restart with
the rain easing off.
It should have been 3-0 in 57 minutes when Adam sliced
a Novo cutback wide of the target, but within sixty
seconds the third goal duly arrived when Boyd netted
from a Novo cutback.
Burke should have done better on the hour when his
mazy run following a slide rule Novo pass ended with a
cross that was far too strong.
United had not given up the ghost however - Greg
Cameron seeing his eighteen-yard shot deflected wide
in 65 minutes, but it was soon 4'0 when Boyd headed
home Adam's cross three minutes later.
Filip Sebo replaced Burke in 73 minutes - and
soon embarked on a brilliant run from the halfway line
that ended when his shot was blocked.
The rout was completed in 87 minutes when Ferguson
rounded Stillie from a Boyd headflick before slotting
the ball home.
Afterwards a happy Walter Smith reflected:
“I am very pleased. We played very well today. I
made Barry Ferguson captain because it was the best
thing to do for the club. It is vital that the level
of consistency improves - a good start was
vital. Expectations are always high here. The pitch
was a problem, it's not easy to play football on
it - it will be completely reseeded during the
RANGERS McGregor; Hutton, Svensson, Hemdani, Murray;
Burke (Sebo 73), Ferguson, Clement, Adam; Prso (Novo
UNUSED SUBS Klos, Papac, Novo, Rae, Sebo, Lowing,
DUNDEE UNITED Stillie; Dillon, Kenneth, McCracken,
Duff; Cameron (Gomis 80), Robertson, Kerr, Conway;
Samuel (Hunt 51), Daly
UNUSED SUBS McLean, Archibald, Easton, Watson,
REFEREE Craig Mackay