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Tuesday, 21 August 2012 21:27

Falkirk 0-1 Rangers

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RANGERS have progressed to the quarter finals of the Ramsdens Cup after a hard working display secured a 1-0 victory against Falkirk at Westfield.

In-form Andy Little scored the only goal of the night with a terrific finish on 44 minutes and, with the Light Blues gradually improving with every game, Ally McCoist will no doubt be pleased his side have booked their place in tomorrow’s 2.30pm draw at Hampden.

The manager handed Chris Hegarty his top team debut as the visitors looked for a bit of revenge following last season’s League Cup exit to Steven Pressley’s men at the same venue.

The Northern Ireland under-21 captain put in a composed performance while Brazilian Emilson Cribari also looked comfortable alongside Carlos Bocanegra on his first start for his new club.

Once again Rangers fans packed the stadium with hundreds still streaming into the stadium after kick off and their team started positively.

With just six minutes on the clock an excellent near-post cross from Kirk Broadfoot was controlled instantly by Little who turned his marker but Michael McGovern was there to make an excellent diving block.

At the other end Stewart Murdoch broke free from a challenge from Ian Black and played the ball down the right channel to Craig Sibbald but the youngster's teasing cross was too far in front of Bairns’ number 9 Lyle Taylor who failed to make a connection.

On 22 minutes another dangerous delivery from Sibbald made its way through to left back Stephen Kingsley but his shot on the volley was deflected over Neil Alexander’s bar.

After the half hour mark a jinking run from the lively Barrie McKay won a free-kick with Falkirk right back Kieran Duffle guilty of a poor challenge.

Black crossed and Francisco Sandaza headed wide having rose above the home defence.

Rangers were now in the ascendency and after McKay had won a corner another teasing Black cross almost swerved in at the back post but was nervously cleared.

On 44 minutes the deadlock was finally broken and once again it was Little who showed his quality to bag his sixth goal of the campaign.

The Ulsterman received the ball and produced a burst of pace to get away from left back Kingsley before drilling a low, right-foot shot across his countryman McGovern into the bottom corner of the net.

It was another fine finish from Little and it couldn’t have come at a better time before the interval.

As expected Falkirk came out fighting in the second period but chances were few and far between before the hour mark with the Gers new look backline working well together.

On 68 minutes, however, referee Calum Murray had to go into his top pocket for the first time, issuing a yellow card to Sibbald for a late challenge on Black in the centre circle.

As the Scotland midfielder got to his feet McCoist made two changes with Kal Naismith replacing McKay and Kevin Kyle taking the place of Sandaza.

Robbie Crawford also got a late run-out, going on for Hegarty, on a night where both sets of fans got to see some of Scottish football's brightest young stars in action.

With the game moving into injury time a few hard challenges were flying in, with Little on the receiving end of a couple, but Rangers held on to their victory and it was certainly deserved.

Man of the Match - Andy Little: Once again put in a tenacious performance throughout the 90 minutes and was the matchwinner with his another superbly taken goal.

Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Flynn, Smith, Kingsley, Alston, Murdoch, Jay Fulton, Weatherston (Haworth 75), Sibbald (White 83), Taylor.
Subs not used: Bowman, Dick, Dale Fulton.
Booked: Sibbald, Haworth.

Rangers: Alexander, Broadfoot, Emilson, Bocanegra, Hegarty (Crawford 84), McKay (Naismith 70), McCulloch, Black, Macleod, Little, Sandaza (Kyle 70).
Subs not used: Gallacher, Wiktorski.
Goals: Little 45.

Att: 6,747.

Ref: Calum Murray

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