Rangers are through to the Second Round of the League Cup courtesy of two Kris Boyd goals in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Queen’s Park at Airdrie on Tuesday night.
The result should have been much more convincing – but in the final analysis the Rangers Management will be relieved to progress to the next round.
On a gloriously sunny autumnal evening Rangers poured forward from the opening seconds – Lee Wallace releasing Nicky Clark down the left, his cross finding Lee McCulloch whose bullet header was turned over by Queen’s ‘keeper William Muir.
Arnold Peralta – playing on the right of midfield – was quickly involved in the heart of the action with a thirty-yard thunderbolt that flew inches wide.
The opening goal was not long delayed – Kris Boyd leaping to head home a Nicky Law cross in the seventh minute.
Two minutes later Lewis MacLeod had the ball in the net with another header only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.
On the artificial surface of Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium the Light Blues continued to enjoy the overwhelming territorial advantage – Boyd being denied a second on 23 minutes when his low grounder from a McCulloch lay-off was held by Muir.
Against the run of play the scores were levelled on the half-hour mark when Darren Miller’s free-kick produced confusion in the Ibrox rearguard between Steve Simonsen and Bilel Mohsni, allowing Tony Quinn to net with a looping, backward header.
No doubt suitably chastened by some words of wisdom from McCoist, Rangers upped the tempo upon the restart, determined to re-establish control of the game – and did precisely that in 52 minutes when – following a period of sustained pressure – a delicate chip across the face of goal by Peralta was headed home from point-blank range by Boyd.
Seven minutes later a Wallace break down the left saw his cutback find Clark whose drive was deflected over.
Rangers went close again twice through Lewis MacLeod before Mohsni saw his effortcleared off the line.