Rangers 0 - 0 Stirling Albion

Saturday 23rd March 2013
The referee starts the match.

Stirling are the scourge of Rangers - again

Stirling took points off Rangers for the third time this season after comfortably holding Ally McCoist's uninspired side to a goalless draw at Ibrox.

Rangers had approached the weekend knowing they could be celebrating the Irn-Bru Third Division title, but they were greeted with boos from a dwindling Ibrox crowd at the final whistle after failing to put Albion under any sustained pressure.

The prospect of the title win disappeared hours before the noon kick-off when second-placed Queen's Park saw their clash at Annan postponed because of snow and it was just as well for Rangers as they had needed a victory.

Apart from a couple of early chances, Rangers did not look like getting the breakthrough and Stirling came closest when Jordan White had a header cleared off the line.

The fan-run club have now equally shared 10 points with Rangers this season.

McCoist was hampered by selection issues - he had eight players unavailable - but his young side lacked a spark with most moves failing to progress beyond the middle third.

McCoist made three changes after his options were restricted by Ian Black's red card last week, Andy Little's Northern Ireland call-up and the club's decision to suspend Francisco Sandaza after he allegedly declared himself open to a move during a hoax phonecall which was broadcast online.

Barrie McKay and striker Kane Hemmings came in, while Kyle Hutton returned from suspension as Rangers lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Before the match, Rangers fans were treated to the skill and goalscoring ability of Davie Cooper on the big screens at Ibrox, 18 years to the day since the winger died aged 39.

The contrast with what followed could not have been greater as Rangers lacked the guile and creativity to break Stirling down other than sporadically.

Their two best chances came in the first quarter. Lee Wallace had the first one inside six minutes when he played a one-two with Hemmings that put him clean through, but Stirling goalkeeper Sam Filler made himself big enough to block the left-back's attempt to dink the ball home.

Hemmings then missed a good chance when he headed over McKay's right-wing cross, and he also dragged a shot wide just before the half-hour mark following a rare sharp passing move from the hosts.

Wallace had set that chance up with a first-time pass and the left-back looked the most likely Rangers player to open up Stirling.

But the visitors were not sitting back and were passing the ball around well at times. And they finished the half on top as they created two excellent chances.

Striker White had a free header following Scott Davidson's corner and glanced the ball towards the far corner. Goalkeeper Neil Alexander was beaten but Fraser Aird headed off the line.

White then returned the favour to Davidson in the last move of the half, his cross finding the midfielder in yards of space just inside the box.

However, Alexander raced off his line to put him off and the left midfielder fired just over.

Aird forced a save from Filler just after the break with a run and shot but there was no second-half improvement from Rangers.

Davidson had another chance just before the hour mark when Phil Johnston's cross reached him at the back post, but the wide man's acrobatic volley took a deflection and seemed to be going wide before Alexander made sure.

That prompted McCoist to bring on Kal Naismith for McKay and move to a 4-4-2. Crawford soon set up Hemmings but he was closely marked as he sidefooted wide.

And the home side could still not impose themselves on the game with Stirling continuing to look threatening when they went forward while holding out comfortably.

Rangers are now four points from securing the title and could do so next weekend, but will need Queen's Park to slip up at home to Elgin after they play Montrose.

OfficialCraig Thomson
Attendance44,608
VenueIbrox Stadium
Kick Off
Rangers 0 - 0 Stirling Albion
0:46
Cross from Ross Forsyth
1:44
Cross from Sanchez Emilson Cribari
1:50
Clearance by Gary Thom
5:34
Shot taken by Lee Wallace using his left foot from the centre penalty area
5:49
Save made by Samuel Filler
5:55
Corner taken by Barrie McKay with his right foot from the left byline
6:21
Shot taken by Lee McCulloch with his right foot from the centre penalty area
6:35
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
7:08
Foul on Fraser Aird
7:15
Free Kick taken by Lee Wallace
8:03
Foul on Kane Hemmings
8:09
Free Kick taken by Kyle Hutton
8:55
Shot taken by Lee McCulloch with his right foot
9:15
Block taken by Gary Thom
11:22
Cross from Scott Davidson
11:29
Save made by Neil Alexander
13:00
Shot taken by Lee Wallace using his left foot
13:14
Block taken by Gary Thom
14:33
Cross from Fraser Aird
14:40
Clearance by David McClune
15:11
Cross from Fraser Aird
15:22
Clearance by Ross Forsyth
16:02
Cross from Phillip Johnston
16:09
Block taken by Lee Wallace
16:12
Corner taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot from the right byline to the near post
16:26
Clearance by Lee McCulloch
16:32
Shot taken by Mark Ferry with his right foot from the centre penalty area
16:45
Block taken by Lee McCulloch
17:05
Cross from Jamie McCunnie
17:15
Save made by Neil Alexander
18:14
Cross from Phillip Johnston
18:20
Clearance by Sanchez Emilson Cribari
19:04
Cross from Barrie McKay
19:16
Shot taken by Kane Hemmings from the centre penalty area
19:43
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
22:31
Foul on Lee McCulloch
22:42
Free Kick taken by Christopher Hegarty
22:46
BOOKING: Scott Davidson of Stirling Albion given yellow card for unsporting behaviour
23:21
Cross from Phillip Johnston
23:28
Clearance by Lee McCulloch
27:37
Corner taken by Barrie McKay with his right foot from the left byline
28:06
Clearance by Jordan White
28:09
Shot taken by Fraser Aird with his right foot
28:24
Block taken by David McClune
28:51
Shot taken by Kane Hemmings using his left foot from the left penalty area
29:10
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
31:22
Foul on Sanchez Emilson Cribari
31:28
Free Kick taken by Neil Alexander
32:50
Goal Kick taken by Neil Alexander
34:19
Foul on Phillip Johnston
34:26
Free Kick taken by Ross Forsyth from the right wing
34:29
BOOKING: Lee McCulloch of Rangers given yellow card for unsporting behaviour
34:54
Cross from Ross Forsyth
35:04
Clearance by Christopher Hegarty
37:04
Cross from Lee Wallace
37:09
Clearance by Ross Forsyth
37:17
Foul on James Bishop
37:37
Free Kick taken by Samuel Filler
38:15
Foul on Robbie Crawford
38:23
BOOKING: Gary Thom of Stirling Albion given yellow card for unsporting behaviour
38:49
Free Kick taken by Lee McCulloch
39:15
Corner taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
39:43
Shot taken by Jordan White from the left six yard line
39:57
Block taken by Fraser Aird
41:13
Cross from Barrie McKay
41:44
Cross from Ross Forsyth
41:55
Clearance by Lee McCulloch
43:05
Shot taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot
43:31
Goal Kick taken by Neil Alexander
44:57
Cross from Jordan White
45:00+0:10
Shot taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot from the left penalty area
Half Time
Rangers 0 - 0 Stirling Albion
Second Half Started
Rangers 0 - 0 Stirling Albion
45:18
Foul on Barrie McKay
45:25
Free Kick taken by Lee Wallace from the right wing
45:44
Cross from Lee Wallace
45:51
Clearance by James Bishop
45:54
Corner taken by Barrie McKay with his right foot from the right byline to the near post
46:12
Clearance by Mark Ferry
47:50
Foul on Joshua Flood
47:55
Free Kick taken by Ross Forsyth
48:29
Foul on David McClune
48:33
Free Kick taken by Jamie McCunnie
50:08
Foul on Gary Thom
50:13
Free Kick taken by Samuel Filler
51:18
Foul on Robbie Crawford
51:28
Free Kick taken by Kyle Hutton
52:08
Shot taken by Robbie Crawford with his right foot
52:19
Save made by Samuel Filler
52:24
Corner taken by Robbie Crawford with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
52:40
Clearance by Jordan White
52:44
Corner taken by Fraser Aird with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
53:29
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
55:56
Foul on Joshua Flood
56:00
Free Kick taken by Ross Forsyth from the left wing
56:17
Cross from Ross Forsyth
56:24
Clearance by Sanchez Emilson Cribari
56:28
Shot taken by Scott Davidson using his left foot
57:40
Corner taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
57:59
Clearance by Lee Wallace
59:13
Cross from Phillip Johnston
59:22
Shot taken by Scott Davidson with his right foot from the left penalty area
59:33
Foul on Neil Alexander
59:41
Free Kick taken by Neil Alexander
59:48
Block taken by Sanchez Emilson Cribari
60:42
Substitution for Rangers: Kal Naismith on for Barrie McKay
62:11
Cross from Kal Naismith
62:19
Clearance by Mark Ferry
62:23
Corner taken by Fraser Aird with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
62:40
Save made by Samuel Filler
62:44
Shot taken by Robbie Crawford using his left foot
62:56
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
63:13
Foul on David McClune
63:20
Free Kick taken by Jamie McCunnie
63:22
Substitution for Stirling Albion: Graham Weir on for Scott Davidson
64:27
Cross from Robbie Crawford
64:38
Shot taken by Kane Hemmings with his right foot from the right six yard line
65:06
Foul on Christopher Hegarty
65:11
Free Kick taken by Lee McCulloch
66:39
Corner taken by Phillip Johnston with his right foot from the right byline to the far post
67:10
Clearance by Kal Naismith
67:15
Cross from Jamie McCunnie
67:20
Clearance by Christopher Hegarty
67:55
Foul on Kyle Hutton
68:01
Free Kick taken by Kal Naismith
68:20
Cross from Kal Naismith
68:26
Clearance by David McClune
68:34
Shot taken by Lee Wallace using his left foot
68:44
Save made by Samuel Filler
69:51
Foul on Lee Wallace
69:55
Free Kick taken by Neil Alexander
72:05
Cross from Christopher Hegarty
72:16
Shot taken by Kane Hemmings from the centre penalty area
72:38
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
73:36
Offside flag raised against Kane Hemmings
73:40
Free Kick taken by Samuel Filler
74:44
Cross from Joshua Flood
74:52
Block taken by Christopher Hegarty
74:55
Corner taken by Joshua Flood with his right foot from the left byline short of the target
75:19
Foul on Lee Wallace
75:23
Free Kick taken by Lee McCulloch
76:33
Substitution for Rangers: Anestis Argyriou on for Fraser Aird
77:16
Shot taken by Mark Ferry with his right foot
77:26
Save made by Neil Alexander
77:59
Corner taken by Daniel Ashe with his right foot from the right byline to the near post
78:54
Clearance by Sanchez Emilson Cribari
79:05
Cross from Graham Weir
79:10
Clearance by Christopher Hegarty
79:34
Cross from Ross Forsyth
80:08
Shot taken by Jordan White from the centre penalty area
80:27
Foul on Sanchez Emilson Cribari
80:32
Free Kick taken by Robbie Crawford
83:18
Goal Kick taken by Samuel Filler
85:09
Cross from Kal Naismith
85:15
Clearance by Gary Thom
86:28
Cross from Lee Wallace
86:37
Cross from Anestis Argyriou
86:42
Clearance by Gary Thom
87:11
Cross from Graham Weir
87:16
Clearance by Sanchez Emilson Cribari
88:47
Cross from Christopher Hegarty
88:52
Clearance by Gary Thom
89:16
Substitution for Rangers: Andrew Mitchell on for Kane Hemmings
90:00+2:02
Cross from Andrew Mitchell
90:00+2:08
Clearance by Ross Forsyth
90:00+2:12
Corner taken by Andrew Mitchell with his right foot from the left byline to the near post
90:00+2:42
Clearance by Ross Forsyth
Full Time
Rangers 0 - 0 Stirling Albion

Rangers

vs

Stirling Albion

0
Goals
0
12
Shots
8
4
On Target
4
8
Off Target
4
16
Crosses
16
7
Corners
6
25
Throw Ins
19
3
Saves
4
12
Clearances
15
2
Goal Kicks
7
5
Blocks
3
13
Free Kicks
8
1
Offside
0
1
Yellow Cards
2

Rangers

Formation: 4-2-3-1

01.Neil Alexander
02.Christopher Hegarty
03.Sanchez Emilson Cribari
04.Sebastien Faure
05.Lee Wallace
08.Kyle Hutton
10.Robbie Crawford
11.Fraser Aird 77+0' Tactical
06.Lee McCulloch (35+0: Unsporting behaviour)
07.Barrie McKay 61+0' Tactical
09.Kane Hemmings 90+0' Tactical

Substitutes

16.Scott Gallagher
12.Anestis Argyriou 77+0' Tactical
14.Andrew Murdoch
17.Andrew Mitchell 90+0' Tactical
15.Kal Naismith 61+0' Tactical

Stirling Albion

Formation: 4-4-2

01.Samuel Filler
03.Ross Forsyth
04.David McClune
05.James Bishop
06.Gary Thom (39+0: Unsporting behaviour)
02.Jamie McCunnie
07.Joshua Flood
08.Mark Ferry
10.Scott Davidson (23+0: Unsporting behaviour) 64+0' Tactical
09.Jordan White
11.Phillip Johnston

Substitutes

17.David Crawford
14.Daniel Ashe
16.Stephen Day
12.Graham Weir 64+0' Tactical
15.Sandy Cunningham

Rangers' absentee list grows

Rangers will be without eight players for the Irn-Bru Third Division clash with Stirling Albion at Ibrox after striker Francisco Sandaza was suspended amid a club investigation into comments he allegedly made during a hoax telephone call.

Ian Black is suspended, while Dean Shiels, Ross Perry, Lewis Macleod, David Templeton and Darren Cole are out through injury and Andy Little is away on international duty with Northern Ireland for their World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Israel.

Midfielder Kyle Hutton returns from suspension and young midfielder Andy Murdoch is included in Ally McCoist's squad.

Stirling Albion add fit-again goalkeeper David Crawford and striker Graham Weir to their squad as they travel to face the league leaders.

Ross McGeachie misses out as his injured foot has not cleared up in time, while player-manager Grieg McDonald is absent following knee surgery and Brian Allison and Kieran McAnespie miss out due to suspension.

McDonald said: "We have grown in stature in every game against Rangers, which is quite strange as we won the first meeting but played better in the two games since.

"I am looking for the players to show again that they have improved throughout the season.

"There is no pressure on us to get anything so we can go out and look to play football without any great level of expectation on us."

Shots

Saves

Yellow Cards

As it stood

PosTeam Pld GD Pts
1 Rangers 30 51 70
2 Queen's Park 28 13 49
3 Up Montrose 30 -5 44
4 Down Berwick Rangers 30 5 43
5 Peterhead 30 8 41
6 Elgin City 29 -6 35
7 Stirling Albion 29 -1 33
8 Annan Athletic 29 -13 32
9 Clyde 29 -20 31
10 East Stirlingshire 30 -32 29

Updated 23/03/2013 at 16:58