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Nicky Law fires extra-time winner for Rangers over Hibernian

Rangers' Lewis Macleod celebrates his goal with his team mates

Rangers' Lewis Macleod celebrates his goal with his team mates

Nicky Law struck an extra-time winner as Rangers toiled their way to a 2-1 victory over Hibernian in the Petrofac Training Cup first round.

The Englishman swept home 11 minutes into the first additional period after the Edinburgh side had done well to frustrate the hosts.

Lewis Macleod fired the Light Blues ahead after 14 minutes before some kamikaze defending allowed Danny Handling to level on the hour mark.

But the young striker’s night ended on a sour note when he was sent off 11 minutes from time after thudding into David Templeton with an ugly tackle.

Rangers made their numerical advantage count in extra-time as Law’s winner confined Alan Stubbs’ to defeat in his first match in charge of Hibs.

Ally McCoist handed Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd their second Ibrox debuts as the Easter Road side returned to Ibrox for the first time since January 2012.

There was no Bilel Mohsni after his red card for headbutting Derby’s Chris Martin on Saturday, so that gave the Light Blues’ other summer signings Darren McGregor and Marius Zaliukas the chance to line up in defence.

Former Everton coach Stubbs, meanwhile, took over a threadbare squad after his predecessor Terry Butcher axed 15 players before being sacked himself. But he gave new recruits Mark Oxley, David Gray and Farid El Alagui their first starts for the Leith men.

It was another returning Rangers man, however, who scored the opener as Macleod raced on to a Lee Wallace cross, set himself, then fired under keeper Oxley.

Handling was allowed to level, though, when McGregor was caught out by David Gray’s awkward cross. But after wasting three great chances, Hibs paid the price as Law struck the late winner.

It may be a new season, but the off-field problems at Ibrox refuse to go away. The summer saw sections of the frustrated Light Blues support call for a boycott of season tickets as their feud with the club’s board rumbled on.

Season tickets were not valid for Hibs’ visit, but there was clear evidence that fans were staying away as just 18,138 turned out.

The League One champions cantered to the third-tier title unbeaten, but they were painful to watch at times.

 

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