Written by NoNotOne
A great day for Rangers as some of their loyalist fans from the North of Her Majesty’s largest Island had to make the shortest journey they know to watch their team on the Scottish mainland, and after Northern Ireland best Russia in midweek hopes were high for another victory from those arriving at the ferry terminal so it was.
Confidence was high after the win last week and with Captain ‘Jig’ McCulloch back from suspension even more reassurance than seeing the Union flag above Belfast City Hall was forthcoming. Youngster Kyle McAusland who had a solid display against Albion Rovers on day 1 in the Ramsden’s Cup also started as the defence was missing Cribari and Hegarty. For those travelling across the sea it was pleasing to see Dean Shiels was also in the starting line-up after his goal scoring return at Ibrox last week so he did.
Jon Daly and Nicky Law were again named as the two trialists as Rangers wait for a transfer and registration embargo to end on September 1st. It would be safe to say however that neither can have any doubts that they will be offered contracts on that date so they will.
The mighty Light Blues playing in white started sprightly and John Daly still looking for his first goal for Rangers was denied by the sea swept woodwork when following a Lee Wallace free-kick his effort came off the post as Rangers went for an early advantage so they did.
The early goal arrived quicker than the parade’s commission banning of an Orange March when it took only five minutes for a Black shot from the edge of the area to deflect off one of Northern Ireland’s finest Andy Little to go past Stranraer goalkeeper David Mitchell so it did.
The game was effectively over after just 22 minutes when Lewis Mcleod demonstrated why he is tipped as a star for the future. It was Andy Little who crossed and despite it being missed by Daly in front of goal, Macleod was on hand at the back post to score number 2 so he was.
Number 3 arrived after 30 minutes when for the 3rd time this season a corner involving Triallist Nicky Law brought a goal, this time it was McCulloch who was unmarked to head past Mitchell from eight yards after Law had delivered another spot on set piece so he did.
Stranraer tested Scott Gallacher who is taking his chance of first team football and he was alert and prevented any hope building in the home side by tipping over Chris Aitken’s effort from a free kick so he did.
With victory virtually assured Rangers could have held back but went out in the second half to convince and Daly was unlucky not to score following a good flick from Shiels which was turned away by Mitchell so it was. It will be interesting to see if Daly finds the net or the proposed boardroom EGM produces a finished product first, but we are ever hopeful of each.
In responses the home side saw McKeown connect well with a free-kick but his header was comfortably claimed by Gallacher who looked as solid as an end of terrace loyalist Mural in the Rangers goal so he did.
As the game meandered to a finish in the 72nd minute the luckless Aitken was shown a second yellow card reducing Stranraer to 10 men but Rangers could not capitalise on the numerical advantage and settled for the three first half hour goals to secure a two game but nonetheless 100% league record so they did.
So its Rangers top of the league and the ferry home to pipes and drums and fine night in the lodge….and of course God save the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George.