Glasgow Rangers made eight changes for the Scottish Cup clash against Fife’s Cowdenbeath from the starting XI that beat Livingston last Sunday.

Wes Foderingham, Jon Flanagan, Gareth McAuley, Andy Halliday, Steven Davis, Lassana Coulibaly, Kyle Lafferty and Jermain Defoe were all chosen to start by Steven Gerrard.

They were all given this ideal opportunity to show exactly what they could do.

Rangers rested Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Joe Worrall, Borna Barisic, Scott Arfield, Ross McCrorie, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos.

Gerrard decided to retain the services of 26-year-old Ryan Jack in his starting XI to give Rangers that extra security of playing in front of a brand-new back four.

Is that a good indication of just how important a player like Jack has become to Gerrard’s plans for the long title run?

As it happens, Jack was chosen by the experts as their man of the match, which his command of the game richly deserved.

Left-back and Rangers captain for the night Halliday opened the scoring against the Central Park side, on an exceptionally cold night in Fife.

It took only 12 minutes for Rangers to go ahead in this typically rough away cup battle, with a cut-back from striker Defoe to set up the opportunity for Halliday.

Defoe was also involved in Rangers’ second goal, when his shot was cleverly saved and Coulibaly followed up to score from only four yards out.

Lafferty managed to outstrip the home defence to toe poke the ball past the out-coming goalkeeper for Rangers’ third goal just before half time – and it was game over. 

In spite of Rangers pulling off a very comfortable 3-1 away win, the Ibrox fans were raging with the usual desperately poor standard from our absolutely dreadful Scottish officials.

Especially when it came to Englishman Defoe and the amount of offsides wrongly called against him by the hopeless assistant referee. 

To be fair to the Rangers supporters, they were well within their rights to be aggrieved after watching the linesman make far too many errors.

Defoe timed his runs to perfection and the clown running the line with his arm raised wrong and often, was either biased, blind or bad.

The officiating was truly questionable at best and horrendous at worst.


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