Nikica Jelavic returned from injury to inspire Rangers to a comfortable victory over Arbroath in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor had superbly denied Josh Falkingham before the 17th-minute opener.

Jelavic was involved as Edu set up David Healy to fire past Darren Hill.

Craig Wedderburn deflected a Jelavic cross into his own net, the Croat fired in the third after the break and Salim Kerkar's volley finished the scoring.

A capacity crowd of 5,900 had packed Gayfield Park, with more than half of them praying for the first major shock of the weekend's fourth-round ties.

But the Scottish Premier Leaguechampions clinically inflicted the Second Division promotion hopefuls' first home defeat since their opening fixture of the season, when they were knocked out of the Ramsdens Cup 2-1 by Dundee.

David Healy and Nikica Jelavic

Jelavic (right) returned from injury to help set up the opening goal for Healy

Fit-again top scorer Jelavic returned for Rangers along with John Fleck in place of the injured Kyle Lafferty and suspended Steven Davis.

And the Croatia striker was immediately involved, flicking the ball into the path of Healy, who should have done better than half-volley over from 12 yards.

The Red Lichties, unchanged despite their defeat by Dumbarton, responded without any signs of an inferiority complex and twice came close to taking a surprise lead.

After a slip by Carlos Bocanegra, the United States defender named as captain in Davis's absence, Steven Doris raced into the penalty box and flashed a low drive just wide of the far post from 14 yards.

Falkingham was next to threaten following a corner, his volley deflecting off Maurice Edu and spinning over McGregor, who stretched back to turn the ball over the crossbar.

Healy failed to connect properly when set up by Jelavic 12 yards in front of goal, but Arbroath threatened at a couple more corners before the Northern Ireland striker eventually made the breakthrough.

Jelavic combined with Edu before the USA midfielder slipped the ball through for Healy, who poked the ball under advancing goalkeeper Hill.

The relief was obvious in the Rangers ranks and they stretched their lead five minutes later when a low cross from Jelavic was diverted into his own net by Wedderburn under pressure from Edu.

Interview - Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin

Arbroath did not let their heads dip and could have been handed a lifeline had Gavin Swankie been awarded a penalty for a jersey tug by Sone Aluko.

The Rangers midfielder survived that scare to force Hill into a good block followed by a fine low save at the other end.

Arbroath player-manager Paul Sheerin had no intention of resorting to a damage-limitation exercise as he swapped a midfielder for a striker at half-time, Liam Caddis being replaced with Lee Sibanda.

However, it was Rangers who squandered a chance immediately after the break, with Fleck diving to send a header well wide following a swift break from Jelavic.

There were muted calls for a penalty when Sibanda bounced off the body of Rangers defender Dorin Goian, but the visitors ended any prospect of a surprise comeback after 58 minutes.

Aluko's clever through ball set up Jelavic and the Croatian finished clinically off the inside of the far post from 12 yards.

Algerian subsitute Kerkar grabbed his first goal for Rangers with a controlled 15-yard volley from a Healy cross 13 minutes from time before missing a chance to stretch the lead further.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Arbroath

  • 01 Hill
  • 02 Baxter Booked
  • 05 Malcolm Booked
  • 06 Wedderburn
  • 08 Caddis (Sibanda - 46' )
  • 03 McAnespie
  • 04 Kerr (Gibson - 83' )
  • 07 Falkingham
  • 10 Swankie
  • 11 Sheerin (Bryce - 65' )
  • 09 Doris

Substitutes

  • 21 Burns
  • 16 Busch
  • 12 Sibanda
  • 14 Gibson
  • 15 Bryce

Rangers

  • 01 McGregor
  • 02 Goian
  • 05 Papac
  • 12 Wallace (Kerkar - 66' )
  • 18 Bocanegra Booked
  • 22 Bartley (McMillan - 74' )
  • 07 Edu
  • 10 Fleck
  • 19 Aluko (Wylde - 79' )
  • 09 Jelavic
  • 15 Healy

Substitutes

  • 25 Alexander
  • 23 McMillan
  • 21 Bedoya
  • 27 Wylde
  • 28 Kerkar
Ref: Murray
Att: 5,895

Match Stats

Shots

8 21

On target

4 12

Corners

7 11

Fouls

9 14

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:37 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +1:16

Kieran McAnespie delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.

90:00 +1:16 Booking

Booking Carlos Bocanegra goes into the referee's book.

90:00 +1:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Carlos Bocanegra on Lee Sibanda.

89:20

Josh Falkingham concedes a free kick for a foul on Salim Kerkar. Carlos Bocanegra takes the direct free kick.

88:40

Effort on goal by Keith Gibson from long distance goes over the crossbar.

87:38

Salim Kerkar produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.

84:49

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Gregg Wylde, Nikica Jelavic produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

83:40

Corner taken by Salim Kerkar played to the near post, Lee Sibanda makes a clearance.

83:26

Nikica Jelavic has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

82:15 Substitution

Substitution Brian Kerr goes off and Keith Gibson comes on.

79:34

Josh Falkingham takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.

79:04

Steven Doris fouled by Dorin Goian, the ref awards a free kick. Stuart Malcolm takes the direct free kick.

78:34 Substitution

Substitution Sone Aluko goes off and Gregg Wylde comes on.

78:01

Corner from the right by-line taken by Gavin Swankie, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Stuart Malcolm misses to the right of the goal.

77:13

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Bryce by Jordan McMillan. Gavin Swankie fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Sasa Papac gets a block in.

76:19

David Healy provided the assist for the goal.

76:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Salim Kerkar - Arbroath 0 - 4 Rangers Salim Kerkar scores a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. Arbroath 0-4 Rangers.

76:16

David Healy produces a cross,

73:21 Substitution

Substitution Jordan McMillan is brought on as a substitute for Kyle Bartley.

70:39

Corner taken short by Salim Kerkar.

70:35

Centre by David Healy, clearance by Craig Wedderburn.

69:42

Kyle Bartley concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Bryce. Free kick crossed right-footed by Gavin Swankie, clearance made by Kyle Bartley.

69:24

Steven Doris fouled by Carlos Bocanegra, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gavin Swankie.

68:53

Dorin Goian is adjudged to have handled the ball. Direct free kick taken by Brian Kerr.

68:01

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by John Fleck played to the near post.

67:30

Corner taken left-footed by John Fleck to the near post, clearance made by Craig Wedderburn.

67:23

The ball is delivered by Sasa Papac, Stuart Malcolm makes a clearance.

65:50

Kieran McAnespie restarts play with the free kick.

65:50 Substitution

Substitution Salim Kerkar joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lee Wallace.

65:50

Handball decision goes against Sone Aluko.

64:53 Substitution

Substitution Paul Sheerin leaves the field to be replaced by Lee Bryce.

64:30

Effort from a long way out by Kieran McAnespie goes wide right of the goal.

63:39

The referee blows for offside. Kyle Bartley takes the indirect free kick.

60:29

Strike on goal comes in from Nikica Jelavic from the free kick, Mark Baxter gets a block in.

60:29 Booking

Booking Booking for Stuart Malcolm.

60:23

Stuart Malcolm gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sone Aluko.

58:11

Sone Aluko provided the assist for the goal.

58:11 Goal scored

Goal! - Nikica Jelavic - Arbroath 0 - 3 Rangers Nikica Jelavic scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arbroath 0-3 Rangers.

57:01

Sone Aluko decides to take the corner short.

56:50

The ball is swung over by Sone Aluko, blocked by Stuart Malcolm.

55:39

The referee blows for offside. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.

55:12

Kyle Bartley concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Sheerin. Kieran McAnespie takes the direct free kick.

53:45

Unfair challenge on Lee Sibanda by John Fleck results in a free kick. Mark Baxter restarts play with the free kick.

52:37

John Fleck takes a shot. Stuart Malcolm gets a block in.

51:53

Sone Aluko takes a shot. Brian Kerr gets a block in.

51:21

Short corner worked by John Fleck, Sasa Papac sends in a cross, clearance by Stuart Malcolm.

50:30

Kieran McAnespie concedes a free kick for a foul on Sone Aluko. Free kick taken by Sone Aluko.

48:21

The referee gives a free kick against Maurice Edu for handball. Josh Falkingham takes the free kick.

48:07

David Healy crosses the ball, save made by Darren Hill.

47:27

The offside flag is raised against David Healy. Stuart Malcolm takes the indirect free kick.

46:54

Unfair challenge on Nikica Jelavic by Craig Wedderburn results in a free kick. Sasa Papac takes the direct free kick.

45:34

Nikica Jelavic crosses the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by John Fleck misses to the right of the target.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Lee Sibanda comes on in place of Liam Caddis.

45:00 +1:28 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

45:00 +1:01

Corner taken by John Fleck from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Paul Sheerin.

45:00 +0:45

Sone Aluko takes a shot. Save made by Darren Hill.

44:12

John Fleck crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left by-line, clearance by Paul Sheerin.

44:12 Booking

Booking Mark Baxter booked.

44:04

Foul by Mark Baxter on Lee Wallace, free kick awarded.

43:26

Corner from the left by-line taken by John Fleck, Craig Wedderburn fouled by Kyle Bartley, the ref awards a free kick. Darren Hill takes the free kick.

43:11

Kyle Bartley takes a shot. Craig Wedderburn gets a block in.

42:24

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by John Fleck.

41:57

A cross is delivered by Liam Caddis, Allan McGregor makes a save.

41:12

The offside flag is raised against Sasa Papac. Darren Hill takes the free kick.

40:31

The ball is swung over by Kyle Bartley. David Healy takes a shot. Save made by Darren Hill.

39:15

Steven Doris fouled by Maurice Edu, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Doris takes the free kick.

38:38

John Fleck takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Brian Kerr.

38:34

The ball is swung over by David Healy, clearance made by Mark Baxter.

38:09

The ball is sent over by Nikica Jelavic, David Healy produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.

36:45

Sone Aluko takes a shot. Save by Darren Hill.

36:10

David Healy has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

32:27

Inswinging corner taken by Gavin Swankie, Nikica Jelavic makes a clearance.

32:23

Paul Sheerin produces a cross, Carlos Bocanegra manages to make a clearance.

31:50

Corner taken left-footed by Paul Sheerin, clearance by Nikica Jelavic.

29:33

Lee Wallace delivers the ball, Effort from inside the area by Nikica Jelavic misses to the left of the goal.

27:03

Kieran McAnespie delivers the ball, clearance by Kyle Bartley.

26:16

Dorin Goian challenges Steven Doris unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gavin Swankie takes the free kick.

23:29

Steven Doris concedes a free kick for a foul on Dorin Goian. Free kick taken by Dorin Goian.

23:12

Maurice Edu takes a shot. Save by Darren Hill.

21:37

The assist for the goal came from Nikica Jelavic.

21:37 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Wedderburn - Arbroath 0 - 2 Rangers An own goal is scored by Craig Wedderburn. Arbroath 0-2 Rangers.

20:59

The ball is delivered by Nikica Jelavic.

16:58

Maurice Edu provided the assist for the goal.

16:58 Goal scored

Goal! - David Healy - Arbroath 0 - 1 Rangers David Healy scores a goal from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Arbroath 0-1 Rangers.

16:33

Gavin Swankie sends in a cross, Dorin Goian manages to make a clearance.

15:27

Sone Aluko takes a shot. Craig Wedderburn gets a block in. Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee Wallace on Liam Caddis. Darren Hill takes the direct free kick.

13:50

Sone Aluko challenges Gavin Swankie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Gavin Swankie from the free kick, save by Allan McGregor.

13:19

Inswinging corner taken by Gavin Swankie, Kyle Bartley makes a clearance.

12:49

Corner taken by Paul Sheerin, clearance by Carlos Bocanegra.

11:07

The assistant referee signals for offside against Nikica Jelavic. Darren Hill takes the direct free kick.

9:13

Foul by Josh Falkingham on Sone Aluko, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Kyle Bartley.

8:05

Gavin Swankie takes the inswinging corner, Nikica Jelavic manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Gavin Swankie from the left by-line played to the near post. The ball is delivered by Gavin Swankie, Allan McGregor makes a save.

7:56

Josh Falkingham has an effort at goal. Allan McGregor makes a save.

7:31

Unfair challenge on Josh Falkingham by Maurice Edu results in a free kick. Gavin Swankie takes the free kick.

7:08

Maurice Edu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Caddis. Brian Kerr takes the direct free kick.

6:46

Shot by David Healy from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

5:47

Effort from deep inside the area by Steven Doris misses to the left of the target.

2:39

Josh Falkingham gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Fleck. Free kick crossed by John Fleck, save by Darren Hill.

1:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gavin Swankie on Kyle Bartley. The ball is crossed by John Fleck, David Healy takes a shot from close in clearing the crossbar.

0:00

The match gets underway.

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