THE MIGHT of Manchester United departed the Rangers Training Centre this afternoon with a victory – but they were made to work all the way for it by the home side.
Fresh from a trio of victories over Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Valencia in their Games Programme, the Light Blues went into this afternoon’s clash full of confidence, and could well have emerged with yet another positive result.
United thought they had the lead inside two minutes, but the offside flag denied D’mani Mellor, although the Mancunians weren’t to be denied for much longer.
Cammy Palmer was caught in possession around 30-yards from his own goal by Dylan Levitt before the attacker strode forward with his won ball and slammed it into the bottom right corner, beyond the reach of Liam Kelly who was handed some gametime this afternoon.
It was a blow for Gers, but it’s one they recovered well from. In challenging conditions of driving sleet and a strong wind, they continued to play their own game, and came close to a leveler as Andy Dallas curled an effort off the bar from just inside the area.
Jamie Barjonas had a pair of shots on goal blocked before Dallas was inches away from connecting to a beautiful ball in from full-back Danny Finlayson.
The second half again began with the Light Blues on top, and within two minutes of the restart, they were level.
Dallas had an initial shot blocked from the edge of the area, and after United made a hash of clearing the loose ball, it broke kindly for Stephen Kelly to fire home from 25-yards.
It was a fine finish from a player who has been enjoying a great season to date, but Gers were to fall behind once more as substitute Anthony Elanga made an immediate impact.
Seconds after coming on, he got something on a Jake Kenyon corner to put the visitors back in front.
Dallas had another chance to score, but was denied by a last-ditch block before with 13 minutes left on the clock, Gers did find the leveler. A looping cross from Glenn Middleton wasn’t dealt with by goalkeeper James Thompson, and it fell at the back post for Aidan Wilson to slide in.
Billy Kirkwood’s side looked well set to earn at least a deserved draw, but seconds after the restart, United again took the lead, and again it was Elanga getting himself on the end of a set-piece to win the game for his side.
RANGERS: Kelly, Finlayson (Houston, 45), Wilson, Mayon, Gray, Palmer (Burt, 68), Kelly, Barjonas (Atakayi, 45), Dallas, Rudden, Middleton.