Rangers March On
By Southside Johnny
Updated Saturday, 1st March 2008
Rangers 3 (Dailly 37, Adam 50, Boyd 83) Aberdeen 1 (Lovell 27)Rangers came from behind to defeat Aberdeen 3-1 at
Ibrox this afternoon to maintain their four-point lead
at the top of the SPL in a hard-fought game and thus
chalk up their eleventh successive League win, the
club's best run for fully fifteen years.
It has been fully seventeen years since Aberdeen last
won in Govan, but there were times during the
first-half in particular today when it appeared that
the long, long road was about to take an unexpected
Manager Walter Smith made two changes from Tynecastle
with Chris Burke replacing Steven Naismith and Kris
Boyd coming in as a late replacement for Jean-Claude
Darcheville who injured himself in the warm-up. To
general surprise, the home side fielded just one lone
striker up front, despite this being a home game
Rangers started well, but it was the Dons were the
first to threaten, Steve Lovell being clean through on
a Lee Miller pass in fourteen minutes only to see
Allan McGregor deflect his shot wide with his legs.
Three minutes later McGregor again kept the home side
level when he held Zander Diamond's header from a
Jeffrey De Visscher corner.
Rangers at last responded, Charlie Adam seeing his
right-foot shot from 25 yards hit the crossbar in 23
It was the visitors who were creating the bulk of the
chances however - three minutes later former Ranger
Barry Nicholson was through on a Miller flick only to
see his effort turned wide by McGregor.
A goal was coming - and it duly arrived from the
resultant corner when De Visscher's kick, headed on at
the near post by Miller, was bulleted into the net by
the head of Steve Lovell.
Rangers were struggling - and they might have found
themselves two down on the half-hour mark when the
Dutchman outpaced David Weir only to see his final
shot deflected wide by the central defender.
The visitors had been playing exceptionally well, but
all against the run of play the scores were levelled
in 37 minutes when Adam's corner was flicked home by
Christian Dailly at the near post for his first goal
for the club.
Nacho Novo replaced Burke at the interval - and it
would be an entirely different ball game in the
Rangers were now on top - and in the lead five minutes
after the restart when Adam headed home a Kirk
The Ibrox men went all out for the kill - but Aberdeen
still threatened danger, particularly against a home
defence that was more vulnerable than of late,
highlighted in 55 minutes when McGregor completely
missed an Alan Maybury free-kick, Andrew Considine
Novo was inches away from putting the result beyond
doubt in 63 minutes when he broke away from the
halfway line, his thirty-yard grounder coming back off
Six minutes later Lee McCulloch replaced Adam.
Boyd made it 3-1 at the second attempt in 83 minutes
when Novo was upended by Maybury as he worked an
opening for himself. Referee Kenny Clark had no
hesitation in pointing to the spot, but Boyd's poor
penalty was parried by visiting goalkeeper Derek
Soutar, the Ibrox striker following up to net.
In the dying minutes 'Man-of-the-Match' Steve Davis,
through on a Barry Ferguson pass, saw his shot turned
wide by Soutar.
Rangers had won, and afterwards Walter Smith
"We've just got to keep winning. The League games are
gaining in importance, but we're involved in every
competition left open to us. We've been very good
defensively all season. We were more direct in the
second-half, and that made all the difference."
RANGERS McGregor; Broadfoot, Weir, Cuellar, Whittaker;
Burke (Novo 45), Ferguson, Dailly, Davis, Adam
(McCulloch 69); Boyd
UNUSED SUBS Alexander, Naismith, Furman, Fleck, Cousin
ABERDEEN Soutar; Maybury, Foster, Diamond, Foster; De
Visscher, Nicholson, Severin, Maguire (Aluko 53);
UNUSED SUBS Langfield, Mackie, Touzani, Mair, Bus,
REFEREE Kenny Clark