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Rangers 4 vs. 1 Falkirk

Written by Bazza

Saturday, 15th August 2009

Rangers 4 vs. 1 Falkirk

It’s back!! Thank god. The close season is well and truly past and all the namby-pamby pre-season stuff is but a distant memory. The real stuff starts now, the battle for number 53 is on!!

For the first line up of the new season, there were tough choices to be made. Would McGregor or Alexander take the number one spot? With Mendes, Edu and Thommo not fit, who would take the game by the scruff of the neck in the engine room? Who would solve the left flank problem that has never been addressed over the summer? And who would lead the goal scoring line in the absence of Novo and Lafferty? Well?

All was answered about an hour before kick off with the team news… McGregor got the nod. McCulloch and Davis were going to control the midfield. Fleck was the man for the left. Miller and Boyd were the goal scoring threat. To me this was a decent team but the midfield looked a little weak, especially playing a team that plays a lot of football. That couldn’t dampen the excitement of the new season though and we weren’t going to be disappointed.

The first half saw Rangers take an early lead as McCulloch put his name forward very early on for goal of the season with a strong tackle, quick recovery and a superb 25 yard screamer that went right into the top corner. The lead wouldn’t last long though and a mix up in a usually solid Rangers back line allowed Falkirk in to equalise. Things were put right just after the half hour mark though as Davis sent in a delightful chip that Miller met with his head and directed into the back of the net. Some good football was played by the bears.

The second half was a bit of cat and mouse with Falkirk posing a threat in attack and Rangers trying to play some nice neat counter attacking football. That is until the 72nd minute when a nice move saw Miller have a wee step over, Davis returning him the pass and then Miller putting on the after burners and cruising past the Falkirk defence to slot the ball home and see the first three points of the season safely put on the board. All that remained now was to take the top spot with goal difference and Naismith iced the cake with a beautiful run in behind and a clinical finish for number four.

A good start to the new season sees the Champions retain their rightful top spot. Long may it continue.

________________________________________

RM’s verdict:

McGregor – 6 No clean sheet on his return to the squad but the goal wasn’t really his fault. Couple of decent saves.

Whittaker – 6 Decent going forward but a wee bit shaky at the back. Could build a decent partnership with Naismith going down the right.

Bougherra – 6 A bit erratic early on but settled into his dominating style. One or two trademark forward runs to create excitement.

Weir – 7 Despite his years he cruised through the game and kept a level head on his back four.

Smith – 7 Good to see him at his natural left back slot. Made some strong tackles and good runs forward to support Fleck.

Naismith – 8 Extremely tricky and creative and looked to be involved at every opportunity. Capped a good performance with a goal.

Davis – 8 The silent assassin of the team. He wasn’t seen all that often but his quality on the ball showed with two great assists and his work rate is second to none.

McCulloch – 7 Opened the Bears account for the season with dogged determination to win the initial ball. Safe and solid.

Fleck – 7 Some glimpses of the future with some lovely touches and runs. At last we have a bit of quality from set pieces too.

Miller –9 Started the season in tremendous form with two superb goals. Very unlucky not to get his hat trick at the death.

Boyd – 7 Good link up play with his fellow forwards showed he is upping his levels to fit into the new look Gers. No trade mark goal which is unusual when we bag four. That’s a good sign though.

Thomson – 4 Great to see Thommo get another few minutes under his belt.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Smith, Naismith, Davis, McCulloch, Fleck, Miller, Boyd (Thomson 76).

Subs: Alexander, Thomson, Aaron, Beasley, Little, Wilson, Ness.

Booked: McCulloch (16), Miller (67), Whittaker (81)

Goals: McCulloch (14), Miller (34,72), Naismith (82)

Falkirk: Olejnik, Barr, Scobbie (Marceta 45), McNamara, McLean, Twaddle, O'Brien, Arfield, Flynn (Mitchell 84), Lima (McDonald 17), Finnigan.

Subs: Wagenaar, Allison, Mitchell, Lynch, MacDonald, Robertson, Danijel, Marceta

Goals :- Finnigan (23)

Booked: McNamara (38),

Att: 50239

Ref: Tumilty

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McGregor – 6 No clean sheet on his return to the squad but the goal wasn’t really his fault. Couple of decent saves.

Whittaker – 6 Decent going forward but a wee bit shaky at the back. Could build a decent partnership with Naismith going down the right.

Bougherra – 6 A bit erratic early on but settled into his dominating style. One or two trademark forward runs to create excitement.

Weir – 7 Despite his years he cruised through the game and kept a level head on his back four.

Smith – 7 Good to see him at his natural left back slot. Made some strong tackles and good runs forward to support Fleck.

Naismith – 8 Extremely tricky and creative and looked to be involved at every opportunity. Capped a good performance with a goal.

Davis – 8 The silent assassin of the team. He wasn’t seen all that often but his quality on the ball showed with two great assists and his work rate is second to none.

McCulloch – 7 Opened the Bears account for the season with dogged determination to win the initial ball. Safe and solid.

Fleck – 7 Some glimpses of the future with some lovely touches and runs. At last we have a bit of quality from set pieces too.

Miller –9 Started the season in tremendous form with two superb goals. Very unlucky not to get his hat trick at the death.

Boyd – 7 Good link up play with his fellow forwards showed he is upping his levels to fit into the new look Gers. No trade mark goal which is unusual when we bag four. That’s a good sign though.

Thomson – 4 Great to see Thommo get another few minutes under his belt.

Agree with all of these, well written mate :)

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Always good to start the season off with a couple of goals and more importantly a win.

But we must continue this into Hearts next Sunday which will no doubt prove to be an extremely tough game.

I reckon we'll change back to the 4-3-3 for the Hearts away game.

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