Report: Rangers 3 St Mirren 1
Sat 6.3.2010 / 3pm
Rangers went thirteen points ahead at the top of the SPL after a comfortable 3-1 over St Mirren. Two goals from Lee McCulloch, and one from Nacho Novo sealed the game for Rangers after St Mirren had taken a shock lead.
Rangers boss Walter Smith made two changes from the 1-0 victory over Celtic last week. One of them was enforced due to an injury to Madjid Bougherra, Danny Wilson came in for him. DeMarcus Beasley came in for Kyle Lafferty who dropped out of the team completely and didn't even make the bench. Lee McCulloch made it after limping off last week against Celtic.
In an entertaining first half, Rangers hit the woodwork twice, first from a Steve Davis free-kick, and again shortly afterwards when Sasa Papac seen a shot come off the post. St Mirren also had their chances, the lively Michael Higdon fired just over from twenty yards out, then Steven Thomson forced Allan McGregor into a great save after he latched on to a through ball.
It was the visiting side though who went into a shock lead, and it was Graham Carey (on loan from Celtic) who got the goal after he fired in a free-kick which Christiano Ronaldo would have been proud of. Carey fired into the corner of the Rangers net, leaving McGregor rooted to the spot.
The Buddie's lead did not last long however. Rangers went straight on the attack, and won a free-kick. Midfielder Kevin Thomson took it and found McCulloch in the box. McCulloch managed to get the ball into the net via a deflection off Chris Innes.
Rangers came out of the traps early in the second half, and that man McCulloch doubled his goal tally and put Rangers into the lead in the first minute of the half, without St Mirren even getting a touch of the ball. McCulloch finished off a good move in which Papac fired a cross which was met by the head of Kris Boyd who knocked to Kenny Miller who then lay the ball onto McCulloch.
Nacho Novo wrapped the three points up for Rangers when he got in behind the St Mirren defence to convert from a Steve Davis free-kick. Rangers took their foot off the pedal after this and St Mirren had a couple of chances, but in the end it was a comfortable victory, and Rangers march on.
Next up, a visit to Rugby Park on Tuesday night.
Rangers McGregor, Whittaker, Weir, Wilson, Papac, Davis, McCulloch, Thomson (Edu 64), Beasley (Novo 64), Boyd, Miller (Naismith 79).
SUBS NOT USED: Alexander, Broadfoot, Fleck, Little.
GOALS: McCulloch (32, 46), Novo (78).
St Mirren Gallacher, Mair, Potter, Barron, Innes (O'Donnell 50), Carey, Dorman, Thomson, Brady, Mehmet, Higdon (Dargo 70).
SUBS NOT USED: Howard, Faulds, McLennan, Johnston.
GOAL: Carey (30).
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