After the defeat at Ibrox (that's one win in the last five games) Billy has to look forward to the five games left before the winter break in to get us into the top six. Today's performance suggests there is much to do.
It was four years since our last win at Ibrox and the second Sunday start in succession. McMillan and Townsley were laid low with a virus and Adams and Spencer had just returned to light training though both made the bench. Keith Lasley was given his debut in midfield having impressed Billy Davies with his under 21 appearances.
For the first half hour the game was even and if anything we looked the more attack minded team. We had a dangerous free kick on the edge of their box after two minutes but failed to make anything of it. Brannan was booked after eleven minutes and had to tone his act down for the rest of the game. The forty six thousand crowd was eerily silent for most of the half and the natives were not impressed with the home team's performance.
Things turned on the half hour mark when Ben Kemble had to substituted following an earlier knock. Ange Ouiefio replaced him and played at right back with Corrigan moving into the centre with Strong. Flo was replaced by Tugay for the opposition and for the last ten minutes of the half we were under constant pressure.
In thirty eight minutes Goram was called on to make his first save of the game from a Ferguson header. The Goalie held it confidently and sent the ball upfield. It returned immediately and we conceded a corner on the left. Albertz took it and as the heads went up in the box Konternam got the touch and we were one down.
Half time and time to regroup. Young Lasley had a good first forty five minutes and showed some good, confident touches and no lack of courage.
The second half started but there was no change in the flow of the game. Rangers had been settled with the goal and although they made few chances they looked more likely to stretch their lead than we did to equalise.
We picked up another three bookings and lost a poor second goal in seventy eight minutes. A thirty yard floated cross into the box found Ferguson who headed down past the static goalie.
We never looked like scoring despite lots of possession in midfield. Twaddle's injury with twenty minutes to go must be a concern. Spenny replaced him but is clearly not at match fitness yet.
Billy suggested after the game that anything we may have picked up would have been a bonus - but that the next game (v Hearts) really matters. Too true!
Corrigan, Kemble, Strong (S31 Ouiefio), Hammell
Brannan Leitch (S69 Adams) Lasley Elliott
Twaddle (S71 Spencer) McCulloch
Subs unused: Woods Nicholas Ramsay Spencer
Referee Tom Brown
Rangers 2 Motherwell 0
10 December 2000
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