Lewis Macleod’s deflected winner handed Rangers a morale-boosting League Cup victory over Inverness at Ibrox.Rangers Vs Inverness highlights.
The rest of his team-mates had been appealing for a handball against Greg Tansey but the Scotland Under-21 international stayed alert to smash the loose ball past Dean Brill – albeit with a helpful nick off Josh Meekings’ outstretched leg.
This past week has been another which has left the Ibrox support narrowing their suspicious gaze on the club’s unpopular board, with many making their feelings clear by staying away.Rangers Vs Inverness Ct 1-0 goals video hd.
So with just 15,208 in the stadium, it was a unusually muted Ibrox atmosphere that greeted the teams.
The groans of Kris Boyd could be heard loud and clear though. The striker was left frustratedly looking to the heavens last Friday after missing four chances in the 4-0 romp over Raith.
And he looked just as fed-up after wasting the best chance of the first half against Caley Thistle when he smashed an early opening straight at visiting keeper Brill.
Boyd will admit himself he is nothing without good service but a succession of long balls cannoned down his throat did little to brighten his mood before he was replaced By Jon Daly with 18 minutes left.
Rangers had lived dangerously themselves after Bilel Mohsni gave the ball away just outside his own box after 57 minutes – but it was Macleod who proved to be the matchwinner, with his goal now teeing up a third-round trip to Falkirk.
McCoist may find he has work to do to raise Boyd’s spirits. The former Scotland striker would have tucked away his 16th-minute opening in days gone by but the 31-year-old is struggling to recapture the deadly form of his first Rangers spell.
Inverness were toppled from the Premiership summit on Saturday as they conceded their first three goals and lost their first game of the season at Partick. They were sloppy again as they allowed Boyd in.
Liam Polworth played a square ball straight to Nicky Clark just inside the Highlanders’ half but Boyd toe-poked straight at Brill after his strike partner had sent him galloping in on goal.
At the other end, Lee McCulloch bore a relieved look after David Raven’s 25-yard effort deflected off him before just missing the target.
Possession was not an issue for the hosts but creating chances was. It took Mohsni to try his luck from 25 yards after 30 minutes for Rangers to come close when the ball flew just wide after deflecting off Gary Warren. From the resulting corner, skipper McCulloch could only connect with fresh air as Macleod’s delivery sped past his foot.
They nearly paid for their lack of penetration when Inverness broke away soon after but were lucky to see Marley Watkins hit a tame effort straight at Steve Simonsen in goal.
McCulloch did connect with a Macleod free-kick wide on the left after 38 minutes but Brill again went untested as the defender’s header flew wide.
But Rangers were lucky Mohsni’s casualness did not cost them dear 12 minutes after the interval. First the Tunisian almost got in a muddle with Wallace, then he dawdled on the ball as if he was in acres of space.
He was caught out though when Watkins darted up on his blindside to rob the ball before rolling across goal for Billy McKay, who could only fire wide.
Rangers were just as careless in the final third but finally got the breakthrough with a massive stroke of luck. Law’s cross bounced up off Tansey’s arm but before Crawford could even give his verdict Macleod leapt onto the lose ball and saw it skip past Brill after nicking Meekings’ leg.
The teenager nearly had a second after a surging run soon after.
But there were real moments of concern in stoppage time as a Ryan Christie header was blocked on the line by Ian Black, before an offside flag came to Rangers’ rescue as Warren’s last-gasp header flew past Simonsen.Follow @Football7x24