RANGERS’ Development Squad returned from their winter break this afternoon with a deserved victory at the Falkirk Stadium.
Up against a Falkirk side made-up of fringe players and under-20s, the first half was pretty even, although the one overage player in Gers’ ranks came close to a stunning opener inside five minutes.
Cutting in from the left wing, Joe Dodoo, who has returned from his Charlton loan spell, beat no-less than three Bairns defenders before shooting from the edge of the box and hitting the inside of the far post.
It was a stunning piece of play which really deserved a goal. Dodoo then almost turned provider, with another charging run down the left before he cut the ball back to Andy Dallas in the six-yard box. He shot for goal, and somehow Robbie Mutch in the home goal got across to parry his effort to safety.
Into the second half, and right from kick-off, Rangers’ level of play really was terrific. The pressure they put on Falkirk meant Paul Hartley’s men struggled to get out of their own half, and it really seemed only a matter of time before the Light Blues took the lead.
After Dallas fired an effort just wide of the target following some excellent build-up play from the increasingly influential Stephen Kelly, Dodoo got his name on the scoresheet.
Some fabulous work from Jordan Houston, who was advanced forward from his right-back role, saw him feed a terrific ball into the path of Dodoo, and the Ghanaian couldn’t fail to hit the target from only a matter of yards out with Mutch stranded at the opposite side.
Gers were showing some real confidence on the ball, and should have gone further clear before, with 12 minutes left on the clock, Dallas made it 2-0.
Making his comeback after nine injured months, Liam Burt played the most fantastic, defence-splitting ball from wide midfield for Dallas to latch onto. The striker retained his composure and slid it low beyond Mutch to seemingly seal the victory
However, within a minute of the restart, Falkirk were back in the game with one of their few attacks of the half. Aidan Lafferty crossed for Kieran Sweeney, and he steered the ball beyond Aidan McAdams in the Gers goal to give them hope of a comeback.
Dallas could have killed the game as he went one-on-one with Mutch again from a Kelly pass, but this time the goalkeeper came out on top.
To Rangers’ credit, they remained composed on the ball and limited Falkirk to practically nothing as the clock ticked down.