Rangers 1 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, December 24th, 2016, 12:30 PM at Ibrox Stadium
Attendance: 48,528
Referee: Don Robertson
Rangers Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Brad McKay (og.13) None.

Team Managers
Mark Warburton Richie Foran

Starting Eleven
Wes Foderingham
Lee Hodson
Rob Kiernan
Clint Hill
Lee Wallace
James Tavernier
Andy Halliday
Jason Holt
Martyn Waghorn
Joe Garner
Barrie McKay
Owain Fon Williams
Josh Meekings
Gary Warren
Carl Tremarco
Brad Mckay
Iain Vigurs
Liam Polworth
Greg Tansey
Ross Draper
Larnell Cole
Lonsana Doumbouya

Bench
Matthew Gilks
Danny Wilson
Kenny Miller
Josh Windass
Joseph Dodoo
Harry Forrester
Michael O Halloran
Ryan Esson
Aaron Doran
Alasdair Sutherland
Jake Mulraney
Alex Fisher
Scott Boden
Billy King

Substitutions
Kenny Miller -> Barrie McKay (58)
Josh Windass -> James Tavernier (58)
Harry Forrester -> Martyn Waghorn (70)
Aaron Doran for Iain Vigurs (72)
Alex Fisher for Lonsana Doumbouya (78)
Scott Boden for Larnell Cole (83)

Bookings
James Tavernier (42) Larnell Cole (36)
Iain Vigurs (45)
Josh Meekings (84)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Owain Fon Williams (GK) 67 apps -
Gary Warren 174 apps14 goals
Josh Meekings 190 apps7 goals
Brad Mckay 13 apps -
Carl Tremarco 97 apps7 goals
Greg Tansey 170 apps26 goals
Iain Vigurs 84 apps16 goals
Ross Draper 183 apps16 goals
Larnell Cole 9 apps1 goal
Liam Polworth 96 apps10 goals
Lonsana Doumbouya 16 apps5 goals
Aaron Doran (sub) 168 apps21 goals
Scott Boden (sub) 14 apps5 goals
Alex Fisher (sub) 18 apps1 goal

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Liam Polworth (22 years 79 days)
Oldest Player:Larnell Cole (2018 years 149 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 12 days
Domestic Players:7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Alasdair Sutherland (20 years 101 days)
Oldest Player:Josh Meekings (2018 years 149 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 88 days
Domestic Players:12 (66.67 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Oh Gee Brad:

Inverness were dealt a blow when an own goal from Brad Mckay was enough to give Rangers all three points despite the hosts being played off the park by a lively Inverness. Martyn Waghorn cut along the byeline and prodded the ball into the box, unfortunately it cannoned off Mckay for the only goal of the game.

The goal came seconds after Lonsana Doumbouya spurned a great chance to score at the other end, Foderingham stopping the ball on the line as the big striker looked to be impeded before poking the ball goalwards.

Larnell Cole almost benefited from slack play across the Rangers back line but Foderingham saved well again. Greg Tansey saw another effort saved by the keeper and Carl Tremarco almost got on the end of a deep cross that was just missed by Doumbouya as the visitors dominated in everything but the scoreline..

The best chance before the break fell to Liam Polworth after another cock-up in the home defence, alas he side footed the ball just the wrong side of the post.

It was more of the same after the break but Rangers did break forward occasionally only for players to squander the chances. Owain Fon Williams was a virtual spectator as Inverness searched for the goal their slick play deserved, but he was eventually called into action to deny Jason Holt an undeserved second for the hosts.

The last major action saw Foderingham deny sub Alex Fisher who spun and fired a superb volley towards the top of the goal, unfortunately the keeper was alert enough to tip it over for a corner.

Full Time 1-0

So, bottom of the table as expected, but that was as good a performance as we have had all season and deserving of so much more. I'm not sure the goal will stick with Waghorn as it was going across the face of the goal before striking Mckay, but we will have to wait and see on that one. As I said, great performance, but wrong result.

Motherwell next, a win would be nice.

Alternative Maryhill was slightly more restrained in his summary.

Really frustrating to come away without anything there. We looked stronger at the back than we have in ages - Meekings was superb and Mckay again showed that he has been an excellent signing - and we pressed the ball really well further up the park; Tansey and Doumbouya deserve particular praise in this regard. Cole also had probably his best game for us to date - nominally starting on the left of a three behind Doumbouya, he actually played a bit of a free role and looked far more willing take players on than he has in previous games.

The drawback of the line-up and tactics we adopted was that we were very short of pace up front, and, especially with Doumbouya dropping back to support so much, we lacked anyone overlapping or taking the ball on. The chances we created - and there were more than there have have been for a while - were mostly created through sheer hard graft, forcing Rangers back by degrees. The fact that we weren't able to take any of them points to a fundamental weakness in the current squad that will probably see us struggling all season, even if we can turn in performances as impressive as this on a consistent basis. Then again, six points against Motherwell and County and we could be back in the top six for the start of 2017. Funny league this year.

Merry Christmas btw, CTO folks.

Richie Foran was quoted on BBC Sport as saying "I think the fact Rangers struggled is all down to us. I thought we controlled the game and absolutely dominated the first half. We cut them open on numerous occasions and were solid at the back. I can't ask for much more than that We were just lacking that wee bit of magic. Unfortunately we were up against a goalkeeper in unbelievable form. It's soul-destroying how we don't come away with more than a point today."

Match report written by tm4tj



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 18 17 1 0 50 13 37 52
2. Rangers 19 11 5 3 26 18 8 38
3. Aberdeen 18 9 4 5 32 18 14 31
4. Hearts 19 7 7 5 34 25 9 28
5. St. Johnstone 18 7 6 5 24 20 4 27
6. Ross County 19 4 8 7 20 32 -12 20
7. Dundee 19 5 4 10 18 26 -8 19
8. Kilmarnock 19 4 7 8 16 31 -15 19
9. Partick Thistle 19 4 6 9 22 29 -7 18
10. Motherwell 18 4 5 9 22 31 -9 17
11. Hamilton Academical 19 2 10 7 19 28 -9 16
12. Inverness CT 19 3 7 9 23 35 -12 16