Massive Fright For Rangers

Last updated : 23 September 2005 By Mark Dingwall
Rangers are through to the quarter-finals of the
League Cup - but only after a hard-fought tussle that
stretched to extra-time and at times threatened to
produce a massive shock - the final scoreline of 5-2
belying the contribution of the underdogs.

Manager Alex McLeish made five changes from Saturday
with youngster Alan Lowing (making his first-team
debut), Marvin Andrews, Bob Malcolm (captain on the
night), Nacho Novo and Thomas Buffel replacing
Fernando Ricksen, Julien Rodriguez, Hamed Namouchi,
Barry Ferguson and Dado Prso against a visiting side
that included two former Ibrox men in Paul McHale and
Tom Brighton.

There was a healthy travelling support for the 'Bully
Wee' with the visitors' section virtually full.

Rangers almost made an immediate impact when a Peter
Lovenkrands cross found Novo unmarked just two yards
out - but somehow the Spaniard shot wide.

The goal was only delayed however - Buffel slotting
home Novo's pass three minutes later.

Rangers were in total command - with the impression
that more goals would follow at any time - yet few
chances were created until Francis Jeffers saw his low
shot from a Malcolm free-kick turned wide by
goalkeeper Paul Jarvie in 26 minutes.

Nine minutes later Peter Lovenkrands might have done
better than head wide from a Buffel cross, but an
instantly forgettable half ended without further
scoring and the impression that the Cup Holders were
content to stroll through the game.

The home side's complacency was shaken to the core
five minutes after the restart when Craig Bryson
turned the ball home from a Brighton cross to level
matters at 1-1.

Argentinian Federico Nieto made his competitive debut
when he replaced Jeffers on the hour, and four minutes
later the Ibrox management adjudged the situation
serious enough to replace Malcolm with Ferguson.

Ferguson almost made an immediate impact - his cross
finding Sotirios Kyrgiakos whose header was held by
Jarvie in 69 minutes.

Quite unbelievably - given the home side's absolute
domination throughout the first-half - Clyde snatched
the lead in 71 minutes when Referee Mike McCurry
awarded a penalty for Lowing's challenge on Robert
Harris. Stephen O'Donnell did the necessary from the
spot, and Rangers were facing a disaster of Berwick

The spectre of 1967 hung over the Stadium for just two
minutes - Buffel levelling the score when he took
advantage of a grotesque error by Jarvie to equalise -
the Clyde goalkeeper fumbling a Lowing cross.

Novo was denied by Jarvie in 81 minutes when his shot
from a Buffel cross was held by the goalkeeper.

The Belgian had been the outstanding player afield,
and his superb pass to Lovenkrands five minutes later
deserved a better fate than for the hapless Dane to
run into a dead end.

Extra-time it was, and a crescendo of boos greeted the
end of normal time.

Rangers have not suffered defeat at the hands of a
lower division club since that cataclysmic afternoon
at Shielfield Park, yet the prospect could not be
entirely dismissed as extra-time unfolded.

Olivier Bernard almost eased the nerves of the 30,104
spectators (although the actual attendance looked to
be at least 10,000 greater) when his twenty-yard shot
was beaten out by Jarvie in 92 minutes.

To immense relief Rangers regained the lead five
minutes later when debutant Nieto netted from a Buffel

Marvin Andrews made it 4-2 in 111 minutes with a
header from a Ferguson free-kick, and sixty seconds
later Nieto added a fifth with a superb header from a
Lovenkrands cross.

Many Light Blue followers applauded Clyde as they left
the field.

RANGERS Waterreus; Lowing, Andrews, Kyrgiakos,
Bernard; Novo (Namouchi 82), Malcolm (Ferguson 65),
Murray, Lovenkrands; Buffel, Jeffers (Nieto 61)
UNUSED SUBS Fanfan, Klos

CLYDE Jarvie; McGregor, Malone; Harris (Brawley 73),
McKeown, McHale; Bryson (Dick 90), O'Donnell,
Williams, Brighton (Arbuckle 67), McGowan
UNUSED SUBS Miller, Cherrie

REFEREE Mike McCurry
Attendance 30,104