DEAN SHIELS, James Tavernier and Lee Wallace were the goal heroes for Rangers as they produced a battling performance to beat Falkirk at Ibrox.

Shiels, making his fourth start of the campaign, hit a terrific opener before the Bairns replied with Will Vaulks producing a terrific strike which gave Wes Foderingham no chance.

The score stayed at 1-1 for some time but with nine minutes remaining Tavernier scored another sensational free-kick to send Ibrox wild.

The drama was not finished there though, and before the final whistle there was still time for skipper Lee Wallace to smash an unstoppable strike into the top corner to send the Ibrox faithful home more than happy!

With Gedion Zelalem on international duty with the United States Under-23 squad, Shiels was named in Mark Warburton’s starting eleven and it proved to be a great call from the gaffer as the Ulsterman opened the scoring with a terrific early goal.

Wallace fed a perfectly-weighted pass inside to the Gers number 22 who skipped by a marker into the 18-yard box. He then played a glorious one-two with Martyn Waghorn before rolling the ball beyond Bairns keeper Danny Rogers in front of the Broomloan Stand.

It was a dream start for Bluenoses in the stadium but Falkirk showed their fighting spirit and levelled with 17 minutes on the clock.

A deep corner was headed out to the unmarked Will Vaulks who, from 20 yards, smashed an unstoppable drive past Wes Foderingham.

The Falkirk midfielder’s acrobatic celebrations were just as impressive as his strike but, from Rangers’ perspective, the defending was poor.

The Light Blues now had it all to do again and on 25 minutes Tavernier produced a powerful run into the box and appeared to be pushed to the ground. The English full-back looked to ref John McKendrick but he let play continue.

Rangers were certainly the more positive side in attacking sense and after Andy Halliday curled a shot over the bar from 25 yards, Rogers did brilliantly to tip Jason Holt’s close-range effort over after Barrie McKay and Lee Wallace had linked well on the left.

Martyn Waghorn was, as ever, industrious in attack and as the game edged towards the interval the South Shields striker slalomed through two challenges to get into a shooting position but he didn’t get enough purchase on the ball to beat Rogers at his far post.

Before the break there was an air of frustration in the four stands, and in the dug-out, because of decisions made by the ref, who walked up to the tunnel to a chorus of boos.

As the teams emerged for the second half the Gers supporters again got behind their side as they looked to get a grip of a game which was proving tricky with Falkirk working hard to maintain their own unbeaten league status.

The league leaders were in need of a moment of inspiration and Waghorn tried to provide it seven minutes into the second period but his clever chip failed to catch out Rogers who grabbed the ball from underneath his crossbar at full stretch.

On the hour mark Kenny Miller replaced Oduwa and the former Scotland star was immediately in the thick of the action.

With one of his first touches he played in Shiels who turned away from his marker in the box but his left foot shot brought out a good save from the Bairns’ number one, who palmed it out for a corner.

Falkirk were refusing to simply sit back though, and on 67 minutes a rasping low drive from Tom Taiwo was stopped by Foderingham and he had to react quickly to snatch the ball at the second attempt with Craig Sibbald lurking.

When Man of the Match Waghorn received the ball you always felt he could make something happen, and in Rangers’ next attack he tried to do it all himself.

First he darted away from Luke Leahy on the right wing, and after getting into the box he cut back inside before firing a left foot shot into the near post side netting.

With the game looking unlikely to produce a winning goal, a foul on Law presented Rangers with the perfect opportunity and fans knew it.

With Tavernier setting his sights you almost expected the net to ripple and it did, with his free-kick dipping perfectly over the wall and past Rogers.

Ibrox erupted and with the clock ticking down they then went in search of a third.

Waghorn released Miller who rounded the keeper but his shot from a tight angle was scooped away by David McCracken before it crossed the line.

That looked to be the last chance but in injury time a shot from Law was parried out to Wallace and he composed himself before unleashing a thunderbolt shot which completed the scoring in sensational style and helped Rangers retain their 100 per cent league record.

RANGERS: Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Shiels (Ball 90), Halliday, Holt (Law 72); McKay, Waghorn, Oduwa (Miller 61)
SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, Clark, Hardie, Thompson
GOALS: Sheils 3, Tavernier 81, Wallace 90+2

FALKIRK: Rogers; Muirhead, McCracken, Grant, Leahy; Alston, Sibbald, Kerr (Miller 90), Vaulks, Taiwo (Smith 86); Baird
SUBS NOT USED: Bowman, McHugh, Cooper, Blair, Watson
GOALS: Vaulks 17
BOOKINGS: Leahy, Muirhead, Kerr, Baird
REF: John McKendrick

ATT: 45,135

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Shiels 3′Tavernier 81′Wallace 92′

Vaulks 17′


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All Stats & Lineup