Annan Athletic 1 - 3 Rangers

Match info: Scottish League Two at Galabank Stadium

Date: 02/01/2013 KO: 12:45 Ref: S Finnie Att: 2,441

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Annan

Ally Love 35

1
vs
3

Rangers

David Templeton 26,83
Robbie Crawford 63

FT (ht: 1-1)

  • Last Updated: January 2 2013, 18:26 GMT

Rangers assistant manager Kenny McDowall absolved Annan's artificial surface of any blame for the ankle injury that led to defender Darren Cole being carried off on a stretcher during his side's 3-1 victory.

Darren Cole feels the pain at Galabank
Darren Cole feels the pain at Galabank

Cole's first start of an injury-hit season ended in the 56th minute after he pulled up in clear pain after making a forward run and challenge.

Rangers partly blamed the Galabank pitch after David Templeton, who scored twice in this game, suffered ankle ligament damage when Rangers drew 0-0 at Annan in September.

But McDowall said: "He has twisted his ankle and he has had ankle problems. So at this moment we don't know the extent but we just hope it's not as bad as we fear.

"I think he has stood on the boy's boot and twisted it, so I wouldn't say it was on the pitch because he was fine first half."

McDowall was "delighted" to see Rangers overcome Ally Love's equaliser to claim their 11th consecutive Irn-Bru Third Division win. Templeton opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a sliced cross but Love soon levelled with a replica goal.

Robbie Crawford's impressive finish put Rangers back in front in the 63rd minute and Templeton struck a late deflected effort.

McDowall, whose side were without both Lee McCulloch and Emilson Cribari, said: "It's a great three points. We had to make a few changes and the boys that came in did very well.

"It's not an easy place to come and we got the points, so we're well pleased.

"We have just come through a hell of a schedule in December. It's been a demanding seven games and the two guys were carrying knocks.

"We are hopeful both will be available on Saturday but we felt coming here, with this pitch, that you need to take everything into consideration.

"We had 10 players who have come through Murray Park on the pitch. It took them a while to learn how to compete in this division and compete is probably the right word.

"Because early on that's the bit we were lacking. They have got ability, we know that, and they are now competing and we are turning games into wins because of that."

McDowall revealed Rangers had made no fresh bid to speak to Hearts defender Ryan McGowan, who is set for talks with Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng after the Tynecastle side accepted a bid.

McGowan turned down a move to Ibrox in August and is out of contract in the summer.

McDowall said: "It's no secret that we tried to sign him before the transfer embargo came in. We haven't spoken to him at this moment in time."

Meanwhile, Annan caretaker-boss Euan Brydson was proud of his players.

"We are disappointed in the goals we lose, the first is arguably a mis-hit cross and the third one was deflected," he said.

"But I think we acquitted ourselves really well and I'm delighted with the level of performance.

"We didn't sit back at any stage. The last 15-20 minutes we put two up and created more chances, and on another day you are hoping your strikers take those chances."


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