Rangers produced their best performance of the season to knock Scottish Premier League leaders Motherwell out of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

After an even first period, Lee McCulloch headed the home side in front early in the second half.

Shortly afterwards Dean Shiels struck a low volley past Darren Randolph from 12 yards out.

Neil Alexander saved brilliantly from Tom Hateley but Rangers were good value for their victory.

It delighted the vast majority of the fans inside Ibrox, who had spent chunks of the night deriding the SPL.

Rangers forward Dean Shiels

Shiels set up the first and scored the second

Rangers looked like they meant business from the off, with Shiels sliding in to a first-minute challenge to release Fraser Aird, but Francisco Sandaza just failed to convert the youngster's cross.

Motherwell looked startled by the intensity of that start, but gradually eased their way into the game, with Hateley's 25-yard drive forcing Alexander to look lively.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men for a lengthy period midway through the first half, following a nasty clash of heads between Sandaza and Shaun Hutchison.

Sandaza was unable to continue and was replaced by Kyle Hutton while Hutchison, who was taken up the Ibrox tunnel looking like an extra from a Wes Craven movie, returned after several minutes of treatment.

McCulloch should have given the home side the lead on 28 minutes following terrific work by Shiels down the left.

The Northern Irishman slipped the ball through the legs of Hutchison before squaring for his captain, who made it too easy for Randolph to gather with a shot straight at him from 12 yards.

Motherwell spurned a great chance of their own 10 minutes before the break.

Nicky Law was released by a quickly-taken free-kick, but as Alexander rushed way out of his box in what looked a dangerous ploy, the keeper nicked the ball away from the midfielder as he tried to take it round him.

Interview - Rangers manager Ally McCoist

The huge Ibrox crowd got what it had been waiting for five minutes after the interval.

A short corner was taken to Shiels and his whipped cross found McCulloch, who had shaken off his marker to head in from six yards.

Moments later, Aird cut in from the left before flashing a shot across the face of goal as Rangers sought to build on their momentum.

And they did just that on 56 minutes as Anestis Argyriou pulled a cross from the right back for Shiels, who volleyed sweetly low past Randolph from near the penalty spot.

Motherwell thought they had pulled a goal back four minutes later, as Hateley swung a free-kick across goal. It was heading in at the back post but Alexander did remarkably to get down to his left to maintain the two-goal lead.

Interview - Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

Aird, making his first start for Rangers, came close to capping a good performance with a goal, weaving past a couple of challenges, but his final effort was kept out by the legs of Randolph.

Henrik Ojaama was foiled by Alexander as Motherwell tried to claw their way back into the game, while Rangers substitute Barrie NcKay brought out two decent stops from Randolph.

The Motherwell manager Stuart McCall had questioned the notion that his side were pre-match favourites, and he was proved correct as they tumbled out to the Third Division team.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Rangers

  • 01 Alexander
  • 02 Argiriou
  • 03 Cribari
  • 04 Perry
  • 05 Wallace
  • 06 McCulloch Booked
  • 07 Faure
  • 08 MacLeod
  • 10 Shiels (Crawford - 75' )
  • 11 Aird (McKay - 81' )
  • 09 Sandaza (Hutton - 24' )

Substitutes

  • 16 Gallacher
  • 12 Hutton
  • 14 Crawford
  • 17 Stella
  • 15 McKay

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell Booked (Francis-Angol - 65' )
  • 05 Hutchinson
  • 19 Kerr
  • 30 Cummins
  • 04 Law
  • 06 Hateley (Murphy - 64' )
  • 07 Humphrey (Daley - 72' Booked )
  • 14 Lasley
  • 08 Ojamaa
  • 09 Higdon

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 11 Ramsden
  • 17 Francis-Angol
  • 15 Daley
  • 26 Murphy
Ref: Murray
Att: 29,413

Match Stats

Shots

14 11

On target

8 6

Corners

5 7

Fouls

12 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:21 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +3:05 Booking

Booking Omar Daley goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +1:10

Foul by Sanchez Emilson Cribari on Henrik Ojamaa, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Michael Higdon, save made by Neil Alexander.

90:00 +0:52

The ball is delivered by Zaine Francis-Angol, Sanchez Emilson Cribari makes a clearance.

89:51

Fraser Kerr challenges Lee McCulloch unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sebastien Faure takes the direct free kick.

88:19

Lee McCulloch has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.

88:05

Barrie McKay takes a shot. Save by Darren Randolph.

85:41

The ball is sent over by Jamie Murphy, blocked by Anestis Argyriou.

85:23

The ball is delivered by Zaine Francis-Angol, clearance made by Sanchez Emilson Cribari.

85:05

Barrie McKay takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.

82:29

Zaine Francis-Angol concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Wallace. Lee Wallace takes the direct free kick.

80:40

Barrie McKay takes a inswinging corner.

80:40 Substitution

Substitution Barrie McKay joins the action as a substitute, replacing Fraser Aird.

80:19

The ball is delivered by Lee Wallace, Zaine Francis-Angol gets a block in.

78:14

The ball is delivered by Nicky Law.

78:01

Short corner worked by Nicky Law.

77:52

Zaine Francis-Angol crosses the ball, Ross Perry makes a clearance.

76:55

Outswinging corner taken by Nicky Law.

76:45

The ball is sent over by Keith Lasley, blocked by Sanchez Emilson Cribari.

76:10

Outswinging corner taken by Omar Daley from the right by-line, Sanchez Emilson Cribari manages to make a clearance.

76:01

The ball is sent over by Zaine Francis-Angol, Robbie Crawford gets a block in.

73:42

Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

73:42 Substitution

Substitution Robbie Crawford comes on in place of Dean Shiels.

73:42 Booking

Booking Lee McCulloch is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

73:26

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Lee McCulloch.

72:58

The ball is delivered by Zaine Francis-Angol.

71:43 Substitution

Substitution Omar Daley is brought on as a substitute for Chris Humphrey.

71:30

Lewis Macleod takes a long range shot clearing the crossbar.

71:04

Dean Shiels takes a shot. Blocked by Shaun Hutchinson.

70:24

Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Save made by Neil Alexander.

69:47

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Cummins by Lee McCulloch. Nicky Law takes the direct free kick.

66:45

Shot from just outside the area by Jamie Murphy goes over the bar.

66:02

Fraser Aird takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

64:45 Substitution

Substitution Zaine Francis-Angol comes on in place of Stevie Hammell.

64:31

Shot by Kyle Hutton went wide left of the target.

64:15

Corner taken right-footed by Dean Shiels.

64:09

Centre by Anestis Argyriou, blocked by Stevie Hammell.

62:07

Direct free kick taken by Neil Alexander.

62:07 Substitution

Substitution Jamie Murphy comes on in place of Tom Hateley.

62:07

Lee Wallace concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Humphrey. Tom Hateley delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, Ross Perry fouled by Shaun Hutchinson, the ref awards a free kick.

61:38

Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Save by Neil Alexander.

60:56

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Lee Wallace.

59:12

Ross Perry concedes a free kick for a foul on Henrik Ojamaa. Tom Hateley fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save by Neil Alexander.

58:45

Kyle Hutton challenges Michael Higdon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Keith Lasley restarts play with the free kick.

58:35

The ball is swung over by Anestis Argyriou, Adam Cummins makes a clearance.

57:06

Fraser Aird delivers the ball, Shaun Hutchinson manages to make a clearance.

56:46

Lee McCulloch produces a cross, clearance made by Adam Cummins.

55:07

Assist by Sebastien Faure.

55:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Dean Shiels - Rangers 2 - 0 Motherwell Dean Shiels grabs a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 2-0 Motherwell.

55:00

The ball is sent over by Lee Wallace.

54:22

Lee McCulloch takes a shot. Tom Hateley gets a block in.

52:03

Adam Cummins takes a shot. Ross Perry gets a block in.

51:16

The offside flag is raised against Lee McCulloch. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

50:12

Effort from the edge of the area by Fraser Aird goes wide of the right-hand upright.

49:02

Dean Shiels provided the assist for the goal.

49:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Lee McCulloch - Rangers 1 - 0 Motherwell Lee McCulloch scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Rangers 1-0 Motherwell.

48:58

Centre by Dean Shiels,

48:20

Short corner taken by Fraser Aird.

46:51

Fraser Aird delivers the ball, save made by Darren Randolph.

45:30

The ball is sent over by Adam Cummins, Headed effort from inside the area by Michael Higdon misses to the right of the goal.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +1:01

Michael Higdon is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Lee Wallace.

45:00 +0:36

Michael Higdon produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.

44:57

Foul by Michael Higdon on Kyle Hutton, free kick awarded. Sanchez Emilson Cribari restarts play with the free kick.

44:33

Foul by Anestis Argyriou on Keith Lasley, free kick awarded. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

43:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by Stevie Hammell. Ross Perry takes the free kick.

42:07

Centre by Stevie Hammell, clearance by Sanchez Emilson Cribari.

41:29

Tom Hateley takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Sebastien Faure.

41:20

Chris Humphrey sends in a cross.

40:50

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley, Lee McCulloch makes a clearance.

40:40

Chris Humphrey produces a cross, Lee Wallace gets a block in.

38:31

Ross Perry crosses the ball, clearance by Fraser Kerr.

38:21

Anestis Argyriou delivers the ball, clearance by Fraser Kerr.

37:34

Shaun Hutchinson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch. Free kick crossed by Dean Shiels, clearance by Shaun Hutchinson.

35:36

Henrik Ojamaa crosses the ball.

34:11

Keith Lasley fouled by Dean Shiels, the ref awards a free kick. Keith Lasley takes the free kick.

33:49

Corner taken by Fraser Aird from the left by-line, save by Darren Randolph.

33:42

Fraser Aird delivers the ball, Fraser Kerr gets a block in.

32:00

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Lasley by Sanchez Emilson Cribari. Tom Hateley crosses the ball in from the free kick, Michael Higdon concedes a free kick for a foul on Sebastien Faure. Neil Alexander takes the direct free kick.

29:19

Effort from outside the penalty box by Nicky Law goes wide right of the goal.

28:54

Fraser Aird delivers the ball, clearance by Adam Cummins.

28:10

Lee McCulloch takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.

27:25

Ross Perry challenges Henrik Ojamaa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Henrik Ojamaa restarts play with the free kick.

27:12

The ball is sent over by Sebastien Faure, clearance by Fraser Kerr.

26:47

Shaun Hutchinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee McCulloch. Free kick taken by Kyle Hutton.

26:20

Lewis Macleod sends in a cross, save by Darren Randolph.

25:49

The ball is crossed by Henrik Ojamaa.

23:08 Substitution

Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Kyle Hutton coming on for Francisco Sandaza.

22:36

The ball is crossed by Chris Humphrey, Sanchez Emilson Cribari makes a clearance.

22:21

Centre by Stevie Hammell, clearance made by Sanchez Emilson Cribari.

20:58

Inswinging corner taken by Fraser Aird from the left by-line, save by Darren Randolph.

18:19

Anestis Argyriou produces a cross, Francisco Sandaza takes a shot. Adam Cummins gets a block in.

17:18

Shaun Hutchinson produces a cross, Ross Perry manages to make a clearance.

14:29

A cross is delivered by Dean Shiels, Shot on goal by Lee McCulloch from just inside the area goes over the target.

14:29 Booking

Booking Stevie Hammell goes into the book.

14:23

Dean Shiels fouled by Stevie Hammell, the ref awards a free kick.

12:22

Francisco Sandaza is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

11:13

The ball is delivered by Fraser Kerr, Neil Alexander makes a save.

10:57

The ball is delivered by Chris Humphrey, clearance made by Ross Perry.

10:12

Henrik Ojamaa takes a shot. Blocked by Sanchez Emilson Cribari.

9:40

The offside flag is raised against Michael Higdon. Lee Wallace takes the free kick.

9:31

The ball is swung over by Fraser Aird, blocked by Chris Humphrey.

8:42

Centre by Stevie Hammell, Ross Perry manages to make a clearance.

8:27

The ball is crossed by Fraser Kerr, Sebastien Faure makes a clearance.

7:30

Anestis Argyriou challenges Stevie Hammell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stevie Hammell takes the free kick.

6:10

Michael Higdon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Ross Perry.

5:44

Tom Hateley takes a shot. Save made by Neil Alexander.

5:03

Centre by Nicky Law, Sanchez Emilson Cribari manages to make a clearance.

4:22

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line to the near post, Francisco Sandaza makes a clearance.

3:36

Henrik Ojamaa fouled by Ross Perry, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Hateley crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.

3:08

Fraser Aird produces a cross, clearance made by Adam Cummins.

0:52

The ball is crossed by Lee Wallace, Darren Randolph makes a save.

0:41

Fraser Aird delivers the ball, clearance made by Tom Hateley.

0:24

Fraser Aird produces a cross.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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