THE gap in class between these two sides was evident from the first whistle this afternoon with Rangers totally overwhelming their second division opponents to take their place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Six goals for Alex McLeish’s side was in no way flattering as the home side appeared severely intimidated by their multi-million pound opponents, highlighted by the concession of the first goal after only 39 seconds of play.

Recalled Billy Dodds, who hadn’t started for Rangers since a 3-0 SPL defeat by Celtic last April, was always lively and his opener set the tone for his Man-of-the-match display.

In a new front pairing with Shota Arveladze, Dodds excelled in the cold Angus air and ended up with the match ball after a hat-trick.

The 32-year-old could even afford to miss a 72nd minute penalty before grabbing his third in the final minute of the game.

A competitive encounter was never really on the cards after the half-hour mark as Rangers went 2-0 ahead through their other lively looking forward, Arveladze.

Andrei Kanchelskis knocked the ball inside to the Georgian and he took a couple of strides forward before playing a one-two with Dodds. Upon receiving the return, he hit an accurate shot past Brown.

Rangers’ control of the Scottish Cup tie was evident in Forfar’s scurrying players trying to get possession from the Ibrox men.

On the few occasions they did manage to get into their opponents’ penalty area, Neil Cooper’s side’s shooting wasn’t good enough to beat Stefan Klos.

Rangers netted their third after 39 minutes, Arveladze again on target when he chested down Hughes’ floated pass over the Forfar back four and lobbed the ball over the advancing Brown.

Arveladze collided with Brown in the follow-through and this resulted in the Georgia being replaced by Russell Latapy at half-time, probably as a precautionary measure by McLeish.

Before that, Kanchelskis did his bit by thundering a drive high into the Forfar net for the fourth and Forfar were by now desperate just to get into the dressing room at the interval and regroup.

Kanchelskis could have scored another before the break but Brown was equal to his intentions.

Maurice Ross came on for Fernando Ricksen for the second half as Rangers simply resumed where they had left off.

Latapy had a chance to score after 54 minutes but delayed his effort and Brown parried to Kanchelskis. The Ukranian shot wide when he ought to have done better.

Latapy was involved again in Rangers’ fifth when he played a one-two with Dodds for the now buoyant former Scotland striker to fire past Brown.

Dodds missed from the spot after Good had brought him down and two minutes later young goalkeeper Allan Mcgregor was handed his Rangers debut as a substitute for Stefan Klos.

The hat-trick arrived for Dodds in the last minute when McCann fed him from the left and he used just one touch to net his third and complete a Man-of-the-Match performance.

Forfar (4-4-2): Brown; Rattray, Horn, Good, Milne (Christie 58); Byers, Sellars, Lunan (Henry 62), Bett (Moffat 66); Tosh, Stewart. Unused subs – Ferrie (Gk), Morris.

Rangers (4-4-2): Klos (McGregor 74), Ricksen (Ross 45), Amoruso, Vidmar, Numan; Kanchelskis, Hughes, Ferguson (c), McCann; Dodds, Arveladze (Latapy 45). Unused subs – Wilson, Lovenkrands.

Referee: Stuart Dougal.

Attendance: 4,504.

Man-of-the-Match: Billy Dodds.

Moment of the Match: Arveladze’s lob for the third.

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