Motherwell 0-1Rangers (Lovenkrands 54)

Last updated : 15 January 2006 By Southside Johnny
Rangers move to within one point of Hibernian in third
place in the League table with a 1-0 win over
Motherwell at Fir Park this afternoon – but it was a
far from impressive performance by the Champions,
albeit one that brought a welcome three points.

The Light Blues travelled to Fir Park today for the
first time since the League Championship was so
dramatically snatched from Celtic’s hands at this very
venue last May

Manager Alex McLeish made one change from the Scottish
Cup with Thomas Buffel replacing Nacho Novo.

It was the home side who made the early running –
Brian Kerr striking the top of the crossbar with a
twenty-yard shot in the first minute after successive
shots from Jim Hamilton and Phil O’Donnell had been
blocked by Marvin Andrews.

Five minutes later Scott McDonald, the hero of 22 May,
saw his shot from a Martin Corrigan cross held by
Ronald Waterreus.

Rangers scarcely mustered an attack worthy of the name
in the opening twenty minutes, yet when they finally
forced a corner ‘Well goalkeeper (and former Ranger)
Graeme Smith was perhaps fortunate to receive merely a
lecture when he decked Kris Boyd before the kick was
taken. Mind you, given that the referee was none other
than Kenny Clark, the villain of Broadwood, perhaps
one should not be surprised.

The visitors finally managed a shot on target in 33
minutes – Lovenkrands’ 22-yard effort being held by

Two minutes later McDonald saw his shot from a Brian
Kerr cross cleared off the line by Kyrgiakos.

Lovenkrands had the ball in the net in 38 minutes from
a Buffel pass, but whilst the Dane was onside the
Belgian was not.

A goalless first-half had been dire to say the least,
but Rangers should have opened the scoring three
minutes after the restart when a Bob Malcolm free-kick
headed down by Marvin Andrews was sliced wide by

The same route provided the opener in 54 minutes
however – Lovenkrands volleying home on this occasion.

There was a welcome return for Dado Prso nine minutes
later when he replaced Buffel.

Motherwell were far from finished – Waterreus
producing a superb one-handed save from an O’Donnell
volley off a Kerr cross in 65 minutes.

Five minutes later Rangers suffered an injury blow
when Lovenkrands was stretchered off, to be
substituted by Novo.

Waterreus again kept the Ibrox men in front in 76
minutes with a point-blank save from McDonald after
Steven Hammell’s corner had been headed down by Jim

‘Well kept going to the end – Kerr seeing his 25-yard
effort held by Waterreus in 85 minutes, but Rangers
survived to secure the three points.

Afterwards a relieved Alex McLeish looked back:

“The games turned out exactly as I expected.
Motherwell came out the traps battling. We defended
well and took one of the few chances going. The game
was played at a frantic pace.”

MOTHERWELL G. Smith; Corrigan, Craigan, Kinniburgh,
Hammell; McCormack (Fitzpatrick 86), Kerr, O’Donnell,
Foran; McDonald, Hamilton (McBride 78)
UNUSED SUBS Meldrum, Fagan, Maguire, D. Smith,

RANGERS Waterreus; Murray, Andrews, Kyrgiakos, Smith;
Burke, Ferguson, Malcolm, Buffel (Prso 63); Boyd,
Lovenkrands (Novo 70)
UNUSED SUBS Klos, Hemdani, Hutton, A. Rae, McCormack

REFEREE Kenny Clark