‘Gers get back to winning ways with victory over Raith Rovers

Rangers striker Kris Boyd is all smiles after scoring against Raith last night
Rangers striker Kris Boyd is all smiles after scoring against Raith last night

Rangers ensured they did not suffer the ignominy of losing four matches on the bounce for the first time in 30 years as they grabbed a 2-1 Scottish Championship win over Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy.

Andrew Murdoch rocketed the Ibrox men ahead 10 minutes from half-time before Kris Boyd found the net for the first time since November just after the break.

Ryan Conroy gave Rovers a lifeline with 20 minutes left but Rangers saw out their first win since January 10.

The Fife side had stunned the Ibrox men when they knocked them out of the William Hill Scottish Cup at Ibrox just a fortnight ago.

That devastating loss was sandwiched in between the Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic and last Friday’s 2-0 Championship slip-up at home to Hibernian.

The win sees Rangers retake second place from the Leith side while trimming Hearts’ lead at the top to 19 points having played two games less, although both Edinburgh clubs are in action on Saturday.

Kenny McDowall ordered an increased tempo. His side kept the pace high against Raith and were soon pressing forward creating countless chances.

Rovers proved with their shock cup win at Ibrox they could be dangerous given the chance and it took a brave block by Sebastien Faure on Mark Stewart to save Marius Zaliukas’ blushes after the defender allowed McGurn’s long punt to bounce over his head.

But the visitors continued to swarm forward and saw a couple of headers from Clark and Faure slip by.

Clark then fired wide as Boyd teed his strike partner up on the edge of the box. The impressive Newcastle loanee Vuckic then swept a fine ball from one flank to Wallace on the other but the full-back could only push his shot across goal.

Like last week’s defeat to Hibs, there were plenty of encouraging signs but McDowall was desperate to see his side score.

Before the caretaker boss’ became too worried, though, Murdoch collected a simple ball from Wallace and turned to slam a sensational 25-yard drive into the corner. It was a stunning introduction for a player starting only his second game as a first-team player.

Rangers refused to slow their forward surges after the break and netted again 10 minutes into the second period as Boyd finally broke the longest scoring drought of his career.

He had not struck since netting against former club Kilmarnock in a November Scottish Cup tie.

The move started as Vuckic slotted in the on-rushing Wallace but his effort was blocked by Paul Watson. The ball broke to Boyd but the former Scotland striker’s desperation saw him swing at fresh air with his first attempt.He stayed sharp, though, and pinched it back as Vuckic joined in the scramble and poked past the grounded McGurn.

Christian Nade scored the winner at Ibrox but headed over as Raith looked for a way back into the game. It was the other Rovers scorer from that cup win, Conroy, who did find the net as his 20-yard strike looped over keeper Robinson.

Nade had a half chance in stoppage time to grab a leveller but hooked his volley wide of Robinson’s goal.