Partick Thistle 0 Rangers 1 (Lovenkrands 75)

Last updated : 02 February 2004 By Grandmaster Suck

New signing Frank De Boer from Galatasaray made his debut, with his brother Ronald on the substitute's bench. Frank replaced the suspended Craig Moore, one of four changes from last week - the others being Henning Berg, Michael Ball and Hamed Namouchi who replaced Maurice Ross, Paulo Vanoli and Shota Arveladze.

Conditions were dreadful as the game started at a frenetic pace with two yellow cards in the opening twelve minutes - John Paul McBride for a foul on Fernando Ricksen in six minutes, then Ricksen himself for a foul on Gerry Britton.

There was precious little goalmouth action to excite the fans until the nineteenth minute when Lovenkrands tested Kenny Arthur with a stunning twenty-five yard drive that the home goalkeeper did well to fist away.

Lovenkrands was involved with every Rangers' attack - one mazy run ten minutes later creating an opening for Nuno Capucho who wasted the opening by chipping well over.

A dreadful first-half ended goalless, with the one saving grace for the Light Blue legions being the composure and class of Frank De Boer whose style shone like a beacon in the Maryhill gloom.

Ronald De Boer joined his brother eight minutes into the second-half, replacing the ineffective Capucho, and thus creating history as the first twins to play first-team football together for Rangers.

Ronald almost made an immediate impact, connecting with a long Christian Nerlinger free-kick in 57 minutes only to see his effort parried by Arthur.

Sixty seconds later the Jags were fortunate to remain at full strength when Adrian Madaschi committed a chest-high tackle on Lovenkrands. Astonishingly Referee Stuart Dougal - in perfect position - awarded a free-kick but took no further action.

The introduction of Ronald De Boer had given the Champions greater movement up front, and the Dutch Master almost broke the deadlock in 71 minutes when his twenty-yard drive was deflected wide.

The goal was merely delayed however - Lovenkrands taking possession of Ronald's head-flick four minutes later before cutting inside and rifling a low shot into the corner of the net.

The Dane's joy was short-lived however - being stretchered off the park in 82 minutes following a deplorable late tackle by Ian Ross when the Thistle player stamped on his ankle. Once again it should have been a straight red card, but somehow the referee missed the incident in its' entirety.

The injury looked desperately serious, and the remainder of the game was played out in a subdued atmosphere.

PARTICK THISTLE Arthur; Madaschi, Murray, Milne, Anis; Rowson, I. Ross, McBride (A. Ross 89), Waddell (Bonnes 64); Grady, Britton (Thomson 84) UNUSED SUBS Langfield, Forrest

RANGERS Klos; Khizanishvili (Ross 65), F. De Boer, Berg, Ball; Namouchi, Ricksen, Nerlinger, Lovenkrands (Malcolm 82); Mols, Capucho (R. De Boer 53) UNUSED SUBS McGregor, Walker

REFEREE Stuart Dougal

Crowd Arrives - It's Firhill For Thrills

The Jackie Husband Stand Is Full

The Blue Order erupts!

Kick off - our heroes limber up

The players prepare for the vital corner

Lovenkrands celebrates but the camera shakes as the Bears go bouncy!

Full-Time - The Bears head for the exit

Deeply sinister man peddles footballing pornography and models