Templeton bags a brace as Rangers continue their merry march

Rangers defender Chris Hegarty keeps a close eye on Annan's Michael Daly

Rangers defender Chris Hegarty keeps a close eye on Annan's Michael Daly

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Two-goal David Templeton returned to the scene of his injury nightmare on Wednesday afternoon and took maximum revenge on Annan Athletic to help Rangers seal a 3-1 win.

The victory marks the Light Blues’ 11th consecutive win during a run which has taken them a massive 17 points clear of second-placed Peterhead in the title race.

Two-goal hero Templeton said: “It’s a difficult place to come to and it’s a massive three points for us.

“I must admit however that the first goal was meant as a cross. I just tried to get to the line and hang a cross up for Fran (Sandaza). I know he’s dying to get his first goal but it just crept in at the back post. I was delighted for it to go in and to get our third as well.”

“I think we’ve started to show good form now away from home.”

Ally McCoist made three changes from Hampden with Andy Little making a welcome return from injury.

Darren Cole also made his first start since playing in the Champions League at Bursaspor in December 2010 and Fran Sandaza replacing Emilson Cribari, the injured Lee McCulloch and Barrie McKay.

Lee Wallace captained the side in place of the injured McCulloch who was missing his first game of the season, leaving Neil Alexander as the only ever-present in the Ibrox line-up.

On Rangers’ last visit to Galabank in September a less-than-memorable goalless draw ensued, but from the opening minutes of yesterday’s encounter it was clear that Rangers were determined there would be no slip-up.

Fran Sandaza helped set up the opener when he surged clean through on goal only for Mitchell to finger-tip away his effort.

It scarcely mattered however for Templeton quickly seized on the loose ball to send in a cross that dipped over the ‘keeper into the net.

Annan were level on 36 minutes when Ally Love dispossessed Darren Cole on the left, his dipping cross somehow eluding Alexander to curl in at the top left-hand corner.

With the minutes ticking away the ‘Gers fans amongst the 2,441 crowd were growing restless at the quaint rural venue – but just after the hour it was youngster Robbie Crawford who swooped to make it 2-1 after Templeton’s cross was only partially cleared by Michael McGowan.

The points were made safe when Templeton’s deflected 25-yard shot from an Ian Black pass wrong-footed Mitchell.

Rangers assistant manager Kenny McDowall enthused over the fact that Rangers had secured all three points away from home with a much-changed and injury-ravaged side.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game with the loss of Lee McCulloch and Emilson Cribari – it was always going to be tricky. We had to change the shape of the whole team but to be fair to the guys that came in they did a good job. It’s a massive three points for us.

“We got a couple of good goals and it was reasonably comfortable in the end.”

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