DUNFERMLINE 0 RANGERS 4
Rangers got back to winning ways with a vengeance in Fife on Monday night, overwhelming second-placed Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park 4-0 in front of a 10,089 crowd.
The Ibrox club’s last visit to East End Park produced a 4-1 win in February 2012 in the last game before the club plunged into administration – with a certain David Healy scoring the Light Blues’ opener.
That Ally McCoist made two changes from Boxing Day was no surprise, but perhaps the identity of the two omitted was something of an eye-opener for the travelling Light Blue legions who, despite talk of a boycott, turned out in massive numbers.
Fraser Aird and Steven Smith it was who came in for Arnold Peralta and Lewis MacLeod as the Rangers Manager finally introduced some width to the midfield. Dean Shiels returned as a substitute.
Rangers started positively – but the first real chance fell to the home side when Jordan Moore raced through on goal only to be denied by a last-gasp tackle from Sebastien Faure.
Sixty seconds later at the other end Steven Smith was through on goal from an Ian Black through-ball only to see his left-foot shot slip wide of the post.
Cammy Bell was tested on the quarter-hour mark when he saved a low angled Jordan Moore shot from a Josh Falkingham through-ball.
It was the ‘Pars’ who were creating the early chances – never more so than when Stephen Husband’s flashing header from a Shaun Byrne corner was turned over by Cammy Bell.
The opener when it arrived however came at the other end when Fraser Aird cut in from the right before netting with a low left-foot shot from the edge of the box.
Rangers were now in control – and might have increased their lead before the interval, firstly when following a Lee Wallace run down the left his cutback found Jon Daly whose shot was blocked by the legs of home goalkeeper Ryan Scully, then right on half-time when Scully parried Black’s drive Aird pounced on the loose ball only to see Alex Whittle clear off the line.
It was 2-0 six minutes after the restart when Nicky Clark turned the ball over the line from point-blank range after Ian Black’s corner had been headed goal-wards by Jon Daly.
Four minutes later Smith limped off to be replaced by MacLeod then midway through the second-half Richard Foster returned from an eight-week absence when he came on for Nicky Clark.
Rangers were in total command now – and Nicky Law made it 3-0 in 69 minutes when he dinked the ball past Scully after Lewis MacLeod had dispossessed Ryan Williamson.
Robbie Crawford substituted for Ian Black in 77 minutes – and rounded off the scoring in the dying seconds when he rifled the ball home after Fraser Aird’s cross had broken to him.
Dunfermline Athletic: Scully; Williamson (Spence 88), Whittle; Martin, Young, Geggan; Byrne (Smith 75), Husband, Wallace, Falkingham, Moore
Unused Subs: Dargo, Kane, El Bakhtaoui, Millen, Goodfellow
Rangers: Bell; Faure, Mohsni, McCulloch, Wallace; Aird, Black (Crawford 77), Law, Smith (MacLeod 55); Daly, Clark (Foster 68)
Unused Subs: Simonsen, Peralta, Shiels, Cribari
Referee: Craig Charleston