Rangers 2 - 1 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, December 17th, 2011, 3:00 PM at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Attendance: 43,701
Referee: Bobby Madden
Rangers Inverness CT

Goalscorers
Carlos Bocanegra (55)
Kyle Lafferty (83)
Andrew Shinnie (67)

Team Managers
Ally McCoist Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Allan McGregor
Kyle Bartley
Lee Wallace
Carlos Bocanegra
Sasa Papac
Steven Whittaker
Greg Wylde
Alejandro Bedoya
Maurice Edu
Steven Davis
Nikica Jelavic
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Kenny Gillet
Roman Golobart
Lee Cox
Johnny Hayes
Graeme Shinnie
Greg Tansey
Richie Foran
Gregory Tade
Billy Mckay

Bench
Neil Alexander
Kirk Broadfoot
Rhys McCabe
Thomas Bendiksen
Matt McKay
Lee McCulloch
Kyle Lafferty
Jonny Tuffey
Thomas Piermayr
Gavin Morrison
Nick Ross
Andrew Shinnie
Shane Sutherland

Substitutions
Lee McCulloch => Maurice Edu (46)
Kyle Lafferty => Alejandro Bedoya (53)
Thomas Bendiksen => Sasa Papac (78)
Andrew Shinnie for Greg Tansey (60)
Shane Sutherland for Billy Mckay (85)

Bookings
Carlos Bocanegra (75)
Kyle Lafferty (83)
Lee McCulloch (87)
Kenny Gillet (43)
Lee Cox (64)
Richie Foran (90)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 127 apps -
Roman Golobart 11 apps -
Ross Tokely 576 apps36 goals
Kenny Gillet 24 apps -
Greg Tansey 18 apps2 goals
Johnny Hayes 84 apps20 goals
Lee Cox 80 apps4 goals
Graeme Shinnie 38 apps1 goal
Richie Foran 113 apps29 goals
Gregory Tade 20 apps6 goals
Billy Mckay 5 apps1 goal
Andrew Shinnie (sub) 17 apps7 goals
Shane Sutherland (sub) 51 apps2 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 275 days)
Oldest Player:Greg Tansey (2013 years 140 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 215 days
Domestic Players:10 (90.91 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Roman Golobart (19 years 275 days)
Oldest Player:Graeme Shinnie (2013 years 140 days)
Average Player Age:24 years 305 days
Domestic Players:16 (94.12 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

Rangers grab all three points in a hard fought battle at Ibrox.Â

Caley Thistle, Â once again travelling without a full matchday squad, held the champions at bay for the first half but it looks like Ally McCoist gave them a rollicking at half-time and they certainly moved up a gear in the second.

Carlos Bocanegra opened the scoring in the 55th minute but it was former Ger, Andy Shinnie who equalised in controversial fashion 12 minutes later. Jelavic was down injured (or slow to get up) and Rangers did not put the ball out of play ... they then lost it and the end result was an Andy Shinnie goal. It was a deserved goal, and as the BBC commented, Rangers could have put the ball out if Jelavic was really as injured as he was making out !

The final 20 minutes were, for want of a better description, "pulsating". Chances fell at either end with McKay hitting the post and having another attempt saved by McGregor, and Foran also had a "goal" chopped off. Â Rangers had the ball cleared off the line three times and hit both the post and the bar before Lafferty grabbed the winner seven minutes from time.

Plenty for our intrepid reporter to write about when he gets home from Ibrox ..............................and here he is safe and sound as Capital Caley relates his day out down Govan way.......................

What a performance. What an effort.

So close to being a result. That has to be one of the best performances we've ever had at Ibrox. This makes it even more frustrating that we didn't take anything from the game. I feel strangely happy after this game. Of course the result is bitterly disappointing but I think the 140 away fans in attendance will all feel very proud of the way the players went about their business.

The day started for a few Caley Thistle fans how it usually starts when we play Rangers by hitting Glasgow's number 1 Unofficial Caley Thistle bar at Brechins. Taking part in the Brechins festivities along with myself were familiar faces such as Govan Jaggie (of course) tm4tj, Red Card, Snow, Snow Jnr, ICT Bob, JK, Ginger Jaggy and last but not least, Alternative Maryhill. As we headed along to the stadium (running late as usual) there was a feeling of optimism within the ranks. Hindered slightly by Glasgow Council's inability to relieve the pavements of their coating of ice we skated merrily towards Ibrox and entered the stadium to the noise of the Gers singing section. The game kicked off just as we were settling into our seats.

With our dearth of players for this one, Butcher elected to try Kenny Gillet at right back and pulled Richie Foran deep, leaving Tade up front to compliment Billy McKay. Lee Cox slotted into the midfield with Davis out because of his red card last week.

The first half hour was very quiet and nothing to get too excited about. Our first real chance occurred when a Foran header struck the hand of Jelavic in the box â€" the referee decided to play on. As Terry Butcher said â€" we don't get penalties! Rangers only real chance of the first half occurred just before half time. A Whittaker shot was brilliantly saved by Ryan Esson. He dived to his left to somehow palm the ball away from goal. The team looked comfortable in the first half with the back 4 looking strong. In particular, Roman Golobart, who had a very good game. His challenges were perfect each time and he did the business. A no nonsense performance, where he tapassed the ball out of play when needed... Don't all laugh at once!

Half Time 0-0

Into the second half, and there was much more to talk about! Rangers started strongly and had a couple of shots cleared off the line/six-yard box. From our small corner, I couldn't see who it was that cleared it â€" but I'll attribute it to the new Golly! We then had another penalty claim turned down. Right in front of goal, Billy McKay was hauled to the ground with the Rangers defender wrapping his arms round him. I was right behind the linesman, who had a clear view. He must have sneezed at the moment of the foul I suppose. Please refer to Butchers previous comment.

Rangers went ahead on 54 minutes. A Bocanegra shot from close range slotted into the bottom corner. In fairness, we could see the goal coming. Rangers did start the second half very strongly. Papac then hit the crossbar for Rangers from a loose ball thirty yards out as they started to show signs of quality. However, we came back into the game and deservedly equalised in 67 minutes when a brilliant run and cross from Gregory Tade found Andrew Shinnie who flicked the ball into McGregor's top corner.

A few minutes later we were 2-1 up! A Foran header at the back post, almost identical to the first goal sailed into the top corner. Jubilation! We were on the road to victory! Then the flag went up for offside. I haven't seen the goal again, but I am certain Foran was not offside. I am certain he was onside by a country mile! TV evidence apparently backs this up.Â

With the game raging on, Billy Mckay rounded McGregor and from a tight angle, hit the post. It was tight, but he looked almost certain to score. Then again, within minutes, Hayes shuffled past McGregor and his poked shot was somehow cleared off the line by Wallace. I don't think he hit it hard enough as he was under pressure. This gave the Rangers defence time to blockade the goal. Mckay should have put us 2-1 up when he skinned Whittaker, spun around and from close range, hit it straight at McGregor.

Against the run of play, Rangers went 2-1 up. Steve Davis found Lafferty who fired in the ball from close range. We continued to press with great runs from Hayes, Shinnie and Tade but couldn't break through in the end.

Full Time 2-1

The Caley Thistle support gave a standing ovation for their team at the end as the players approached and applauded back. Then it was back to Brechins after the game. Being an over 21's pub I had hatched a plan to get two slightly younger fans in â€" martinskye and twin brother Iain â€" or Jedward as they are more commonly known! Unfortunately they got lost and ended up walking a couple of miles in the wrong direction. They ended up closer to St Mirren Park than Brechins! Overall, there was a feeling of optimism within the support after the game. We were all so proud of the team. If they take that performance into the next few games, they shall do well. Every player on the park was first class.

It's difficult to pick a MotM. I would like to give it to McKay, as he did play fantastic but really should have scored. Shinnie made a massive impact when he came on but for running Rangers ragged, I'll give it to Hayes. Lets take this feeling of optimism to the Dons game on Christmas Eve next week.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Match report written by capital caley



Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Rangers 19 15 3 1 36 9 27 48
2. Celtic 18 13 2 3 36 16 20 41
3. Motherwell 18 10 4 4 26 19 7 34
4. St. Johnstone 18 7 5 6 21 18 3 26
5. Hearts 19 7 4 8 20 14 6 25
6. Kilmarnock 18 5 8 5 24 26 -2 23
7. Dundee Utd 19 5 7 7 25 30 -5 22
8. St. Mirren 19 5 7 7 18 24 -6 22
9. Aberdeen 19 5 5 9 22 26 -4 20
10. Inverness CT 19 4 3 12 25 38 -13 15
11. Hibernian 18 3 5 10 16 29 -13 14
12. Dunfermline 18 3 5 10 20 40 -20 14