Rangers overcame their third test in this new League Cup format as they comfortably dispatched East Stirling 3-0 at Ochilview.
Andy Halliday's penalty kick followed by Josh Windass' first competitive Rangers goal in the first half was added to by debutant Joe Dodoo in the second. The victory now leaves the Light Blues with a 100% record and they look like they will ease their way into the next round with minimal fuss.
Mark Warburton made three changes to the side that beat Annan 2-0 at Ibrox on Tuesday evening. In came Danny Wilson for Rob Kiernan, Kenny Miller for Martyn Waghorn and Harry Forrester for Niko Kranjcar.It was a case of how many in this match as Rangers cruised it and basically played out the whole game in first gear, and even that is being a bit optimistic. As expected East Stirling, for all their efforts, could not make any kind of impact on the match and the Lowland League side didn't force Gers keeper Matt Gilks into any kind of action in the 90 minutes.
Rangers started like they meant business and went close seven minutes in. Michael O'Halloran went on a mazy run across the East Stirling box and the winger teed up Josh Windass, but the midfielder's low effort went inches past Dolan's left-hand post.However, just minutes later Rangers would take the lead from the spot. Barrie McKay was dragged back by the arm when there looked to be enough East Stirling defenders around to deal with the situation. Crawford Allan had no option but to point to the spot, and Andy Halliday made no mistake from 12 yards.
Predictably, the Rangers attacking pressure. This time McKay and Wallace combined before Dolan made a smart save from Wallace's effort. Kenny Miller, who didn't have the best of nights would be next to go close. O'Halloran done excellently well to beat his full-back and stand the ball up to the back post, but the veteran striker couldn't get enough on his header to beat Dolan.
It would take until 10 minutes before the break to grab the second. Barrie McKay was heavily involved as he swung the ball into the box and Windass was on hand to take advantage of some poor Shire defending and show some real striker's instincts by flicking the ball cutely beyond Dolan, which was his first competitive goal for the club.
It would be Windass' last contribution to the game as the goalscorer was replaced by Niko Kranjcar at half-time.
The second period wasn't much to write home about. Rangers had put the tools away and had the game handily won, while East Stirling were trying to keep the score down to a respectable level.
Forrester would hit the side netting, Kranjcar would shoot wide, fellow sub Jordan Thompson would test Dolan, and that was before debutant Joe Dodoo would fire home after Lee Wallace did all the handiwork down the left.
All in all, it was a pointless exercise in terms of real opposition. The positives were that the players should be getting closer to full match fitness and that Josh Windass and Joe Dodoo are of the mark scoring-wise.
Rangers:Gilks; Hodson, Hill, Wilson, Wallace; Halliday, Forrester (Thompson 65), Windass (Kranjcar 45); McKay, Miller, O'Halloran (Dodoo 60).
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