Two Goals Secures Three Points Against Ross County

RANGERS made it six home wins from six in all competitions by defeating Ross County in their final match before the international break.

A James Tavernier first-half penalty and a Brandon Barker strike late-on were the difference for Gers against the Staggies.

From the side which so impressively dispatched Galatasary here in Govan on Thursday, boss Steven Gerrard named four changes

Jon McLaughlin replaced Allan McGregor in goal, Leon Balogun came in to start instead of Fil Helander, Ryan Jack for Steven Davis and Jordan Jones switched for Ianis Hagi.

It was County who had the opening chance of the match inside two minutes as Regan Charles-Cook flashed a ball across the face of goal which would have needed only a touch to take it into the back of the net.

At the other end, a James Tavernier ball was well-smothered by visiting ‘keeper Ross Laidlaw to prevent Ryan Kent tapping home from close-range.

Borna Barisic saw a free-kick from 25-yards deflected over by the Staggies’ wall, before on 16 minutes, Gers were awarded a penalty with Alfredo Morelos bundled over by Coll Donaldson as the Colombian looked to get on the end of a Tavernier cross.

Referee Greg Aitken had no doubt over the award, and Tavernier made it eight goals in eight matches, sending Laidlaw the wrong way from the spot.

Morelos came close to making it two, heading a Jones cross at Laidlaw before Connor Goldson headed a corner onto the roof of the net at the back post.

It was one-way traffic, and Kent sent Jones and Morelos clear, but Charles-Cook got back to deny Morelos getting a shot away.

Morelos then did get a shot away after doing wonderfully to work the space for it along the 18-yard line, but again Laidlaw blocked.

Goldson ahead got on the end of a Barisic corner, but headed over this time, while Kent had a 20-yard effort deflected behind.

Into the second half, and a drilled Tavernier cross found Morelos in the six-yard box, but somehow Donaldson was there to block and clear the danger.

Leon Balogan came close on the slide as he connected with a Kent corner but Laidlaw tipped his effort over, and Morelos had another opportunity but shot over at the back post.

Callum Morris almost nodded a Tavernier ball forward into his own net, while at the other end, Donaldson found himself free in the box to head over a free-kick delivery.

Substitute Calvin Bassey came close to an acrobatic goal, as the ball bobbled about in the area he attempted an overhead kick, but Laidlaw gathered.

It looked like being a bit of a nervy finish, but with two minutes left, Brandon Barker, on his birthday, grabbed his second Rangers goal.

A super ball through from Ianis Hagi put Barker and Morelos away. Barker was forced wide, but did superbly to drive across the face of goal and get his shot away under Laidlaw.

It’s onto the international break now for Gers, with a large number of the squad involved with their respective nations before the Old Firm game a week on Saturday.

RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Jack (Hagi, 65), Kent (Davis, 83), Kamara, Morelos, Jones (Barker, 70), Balogun, Barisic (Bassey, 65), Arfield.

SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Edmundson, Defoe, Patterson, Barjonas.

ROSS COUNTY: Laidlaw, Morris, Draper (Hylton, 74), Gardyne (McKay, 83), Iacovetti, Charles-Cook (Shaw, 89) Tillson, Paton, Donaldson, Stewart, Reid.

SUBS NOT USED: Tremarco, O’Connor, Grivosti, Watson, Doohan, MacKinnon.

REFEREE: Greg Aitken