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Saturday, 30 March 2013 14:12

Montrose 0-0 Rangers

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RANGERS were left frustrated after a second consecutive goalless draw in SFL3, this time at Montrose's Links Park.

But the point proved enough to win the Scottish Third Division title after second-placed Queen's Park lost to Elgin City at Hampden, a result which confirmed the Light Blues as Champions.

The performance against the Gable Endies was ultimately disappointing with the home team arguably creating the better chances, especially in a disappointing second half.

Nevertheless Ally McCoist's young side did enough to get over the finish line and they deserve to enjoy their success.

The manager made two changes to his team that drew with Stirling Albion at Ibrox last weekend with David Templeton and Ian Black returning in place of Fraser Aird and Barrie McKay to face Montrose.

Templeton started on the left wing while Ian Black joined Kyle Hutton in the middle of the park as part of a 4-1-4-1 formation.

Rangers had to work hard for the three points when they last travelled to Angus in December and they started positively on this occasion.

Hutton's early long-range effort swerved wide of target and on 11 minutes Templeton looked up and saw John Gibson off his line but the keeper got back to save his cheeky lob from 35 yards.

The Gers winger looked lively on his return from an Achilles injury and on 15 minutes saw another attempt blocked after his pace and skill had taken him into a goalscoring position.

It was one-way traffic at this stage and when Wallace powered his way into the box his shot hit Gibson before skimming off the top of the crossbar.

Montrose were struggling with the pace of Templeton and on 24 minutes the number 11 landed painfully on the 3G surface when Cameron McDonald produced a poor tackle which halted a promising counter attack. He was quite rightly shown the first yellow card of the game.

From the resulting free-kick Lee McCulloch smashed a shot through the wall but again the ball flew a metre wide of the target.

Montrose, however, had a couple of chances before the half hour mark.

On 27 minutes a low drive from the experienced Jamie Winter was arrowing into the bottom corner but Neil Alexander dived to his right to make a good save.

Defender Alan Campbell then had his head in his hands when he rose to meet a wicked Paul Watson free kick but the ball curled past the post.

Montrose were now back in the game and they should have been ahead at the break when, on 37 minutes, a great cross from right back Stephen McNally found striker Martin Boyle who headed over from just five yards.

As it was the game was goalless at the break with the travelling Bears frustrated their team couldn't build on their good start to the match.

McCoist and Montrose boss Garden stuck with the same players for the restart and it was the home side this time that came out the traps quickly.

With two minutes of the second period played David Gray's rocket had to be watched by Alexander as it soared into the Rangers fans behind his goal.

At the other end Hemming's left foot shot on the turn was going in but was palmed away confidently by Gibson.

With Rangers in need of a spark Barrie McKay replaced Robbie Crawford before the hour mark with Templeton moving through the middle with Hemmings.

More urgency was required in the last third of the pitch if Rangers were to get the win in Angus they so desperately craved. But on 67 minutes it was Montrose that had the ball in the net.

A deep cross from substitute Lloyd Young was punched out by Alexander who then had to stop a powerful volley from Terry Masson.

The ball went straight up in the air and as it came back down the Gers keeper was fouled before Boyle fired it in from eight yards.

With just over 20 minutes remaining Kal Naismith was given a run out in place of Hemmings but the youngster didn't have time to have an impact and help his team secure a victory.

Montrose (4-4-2): Gibson; McNally, Campbell, McDonald (L. McIntosh 90), Watson; Masson, Winter (R. McIntosh 85), Gray (Young 64), Johnston; G. Wood, Boyle

Subs Not Used: S. Wood, McCord

Rangers. (4-1-4-1): Alexander; Hegarty, Cribari, McCulloch, Wallace; Faure; Crawford (McKay 59), Black, Hutton, Templeton; Hemmings (Naismith 69)

Subs Not Used: Smith, Aird, Argyriou

Ref: Kevin Clancy

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