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Kilmarnock 2 vs. 3 Rangers

Written by Bazza

Saturday, 20th November 2010

Kilmarnock 2 vs. 3 Rangers

Dick Turpin used to have the decency to wear a mask, or so they say anyway. This wasn’t quite daylight robbery but it’s as close as it gets.

Walter wouldn’t have been thinking, or hoping for that matter, that this would be as physical and close a game, especially with such a huge game coming up in midweek. Kilmarnock though are on a good run of form and weren’t ready to give it up without a fight.

Rangers, on paper, looked good from middle to front but one look at our back line and there was plenty to be concerned about. With Bougherra and Papac both out through injury, Foster came in at right back, Broadfoot went into the centre alongside Weir and Whittaker became the makeshift Left back. Dodgy looking and dodgy it proved.

Rangers, as per usual, started the game in cruise mode and never really lifted out of it at any stage today. Miller had a reasonable chip that had the Killie keeper worried but other than that Bell had very little to do and when they did break forward they always looked a threat. The threat became a reality when Killie came down the Rangers right and although their path was blocked they managed to get a good ball out to the opposite side of the box where Rangers were vastly out numbered. Lafferty was caught on his heels and Whittaker ball watching as the ball fell to the feet on the onrushing forward whose shot was well saved by McGregor but dropped straight into the path of Sammon who had the easiest of tap ins for 1-0.

Truth be told, most Gers were looking for the half time whistle so we could get in and re-group but it was a rather good job that it didn’t. Bell was to start on a nightmare spell that let Rangers back into the game. A very slack pass out put his defence under pressure and Miller latched onto the loose pass back. Sissoko had little option but to pull down the Gers striker and concede a penalty. He grabbed the ball with the authority of a man with a point to prove after last weeks miss and duly drilled the ball down the middle and sent Rangers into the break at a very relieved 1-1.

The second half quality didn’t show any improvement from Rangers until Lafferty decided to have a go at the Killie defence. He skipped delightfully past the full back and into the box, he was bearing down on goal but was hauled back by the shirt and Referee was on the spot to give the second penalty of the game and also a second yellow card to Sissoko who headed for an early bath. Who else was to step up but Miller to fire home number 2.

Miller was then given the chance to finish the game off when Davis played a lovely ball into the striker’s feet but his subsequent shot was sclaffed wide. Rangers were to rue this chance as Killie never gave up and once more tore the Rangers defence wide open down the right and this time the drilled cross fell once more to Sammon who grabbed his and Killies second to tie the game up once more.

Rangers looked a little shell shocked but with a little touch of stubbornness and a bit of skill, Whittaker flicked the ball past the Full back and drove to the by line, his cross was perfect for Miller who took a touch to control and a second to grab his hat trick. 3-2 and game over? Well it should have been as Killie looked for another equaliser, Rangers stole the ball and broke quickly with Lafferty putting Miller through on goal. He sped forward and bore down on goal. A slight lift of the head would have seen Lafferty unmarked and ready to tap in the game clincher but Miller went for goal and his shot was easily saved.

Rangers were to have a tense last 5 minutes but stuck to their task to see out a difficult day and a bad performance. Three points from these games though are ones that define titles.


RM’s verdict:

McGregor – 8 Conceded Two goals that he could do nothing about but kept Rangers in the game with some good saves.

Foster – 5 Looked rusty after his long stretch out of the first team and couldn’t quite get to grips with the game.

Weir – 5 Tried his best to gel a very weak looking Rangers back line and couldn’t quite manage the task.

Broadfoot –5 Makeshift centre back and it showed. Looked slightly lost at times as the ball was played around him. Not his ideal position.

Whittaker –4 I hate to give him a hard time but he was bordering on useless today, well until he fired the perfect cross for Miller anyway. Was getting torn a new one down the left and was switched to the right at half time where he wasn’t much better.

Naismith – 5 Anonymous for large parts of the game. I wasn’t sure at times if he was a right midfielder, a central midfielder or a striker. Never seemed to hold down a position and left gaps behind him.

Davis – 5 Given his more creative central role but couldn’t get on the ball enough to influence the play.

McCulloch –5 Tasked with giving cover to the defensive line but was unsuccessful when you look at the score.

Fleck –4 Had a ten minute period in the first half where he looked dangerous, was moved out left in the second half where I don’t think he touched the ball.

Lafferty – 6 Given pass marks for some of the decent driving runs and won the second penalty.

Miller – 6 Probably the worst performance to gain a hat trick I have seen. Took both penalties really well and finished his third with aplomb. Had some woeful misses though and showed a touch of greed when the game could have been wrapped up.

Subs –

Weiss – 4 Fresh legs to take over from Fleck for the last 20 minutes.

Rangers: 01 McGregor, 03 Weir, 04 Broadfoot, 12 Foster, 16 Whittaker, 06 McCulloch, 08 Davis, 09 Miller, 10 Fleck (Weiss 69), 11 Lafferty, 14 Naismith.

Subs: 25 Alexander, 36 Perry, 39 Wylde, 20 Weiss, 28 Kerkar, 34 Loy, 41 Hutton.

Goals: Miller pen 42, pen 55, 64

Booked: Naismith

Kilmarnock: 13 Bell, 05 Wright, 06 Sissoko, 16 Gordon, 07 Bryson, 08 Hamill, 10 Taouil (Forrester 76), 22 Kelly (Rui Miguel 86), 29 Pascali, 18 Sammon, 20 Eremenko.

Subs: 21 Letheren, 02 Clancy, 03 Hay, 04 Fowler, 14 Silva, 09 Rui Miguel, 19 Forrester.

Goals: Sammon 21, 59

Booked: Wright. Pascali

Off: Sissoko

Att: 10,177

Ref: Norris

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McGregor - 7

Whittaker - 3

Weir - 5

Broadfoot - 5

Foster - 5

McCulloch - 3

Naismith - 5

Davis - 5

Fleck - 3

Lafferty - 4

Miller - 5

1st half was a shocker and once again the manager failed to freshen things up, even when Naismith was a foul away from a red, struggling, along with a few other players.

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That's an absolutely brutal assessment! :lol:

I saw the last 20mins of the 1st half and the whole of the 2nd, and only McGregor really stood out, which says a lot. Miller obviously got the goals, but his overall play has deteriorated.

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