Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 Rangers 3

Last updated : 29 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
A Kris Boyd double did the damage in Inverness as Rangers climbed to third in the table with a 3-2 victory at the Caledonian Stadium.

It was two of the top division's form teams coming head to head, with the Highlanders 11 games without defeat and the Gers nine matches without a loss.

The game was also the dawn of a new era for Inverness, with former playmaker Charlie Christie making his debut as manager, alongside tried and trusted assistant Donald Park.

The hosts were without suspended anchor man Ian Black, while Gers skipper Barry Ferguson missed out with a broken nose.

Gavin Rae returned to the Rangers bench after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Liam Fox took Black's role.

The Ibrox side got off to a flier when Boyd continued his excellent scoring run when he tapped in from six yards after a brilliant surging attack by Chris Burke after just six minutes.

Barry Wilson tried to respond with a speculative long-range drive but it didn't trouble Ronald Waterreus.

However, Caley Thistle did level on 13 minutes when Craig Dargo picked up a low drive by Ross Tokely, controlled the ball well and calmly slammed it into the net.

It was exactly what Christie was looking for, and it shocked the Gers.

The champions regained their lead though when big Marvin Andrews headed home a Peter Lovenkrands corner after the Dane forced a fine diving save from keeper Mark Brown.

The goal came after a period when Inverness had the edge and the slight majority of possession.

Rangers began the second half as the stronger team and only a great point-blank save from Brown denied them the chance of a third goal.

Dennis Wyness squandered a golden chance to level things when he headed the ball over the bar from just six yards after Tokely knocked on a corner from Wilson.

On 58 minutes, Rangers did stretch their lead when Boyd bagged his second, from the penalty spot, after Golabek and Richard Hastings combined to bring down the in-form Lovenkrands.

With 18 minutes to go, Wyness struck from six yards to knock the ball into the net from Wilson's miscue, to set up a potential grandstand finish.

The Highlanders upped the tempo and felt they should have been awarded a penalty when the ball seemed to strike Ian Murray's arm eight yards out.

Both sides could have added to the scoreline but it was the Gers who left with the three valuable points to overtake Hibs in the league.