Brechin City v Rangers as it happened

Rangers visit Brechin City having already secured the League One title but building for their Scottish Cup semi-final.

23 March 2014 Last updated at 12:31

As it happened

  1. 12:30: 

    Welcome to our coverage of the League One match at Glebe Park between Brechin City and Rangers. The Ibrox side have already secured the title, but there's still plenty to play for.

  2. 12:34: 

    Can Rangers end the League One season undefeated? Can they beat Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-final and, indeed, could they win the trophy itself despite being in the third tier? Can Brechin avoid relegation?

    Give us your thoughts. Text us 80295 or send me a tweet on @CliveLindsayBBC.

  3. 12:37: 

    Brechin: Smith, McLean, Hay, McLauchlan, Steven Jackson, Brown, Trouten, Petrie, Molloy, Barr, Thomson. Subs: Nelson, Ferguson, Walker, Cameron, Carcary.

    Rangers: Bell, Foster, McCulloch, Mohsni, Wallace, Aird, Black, Callum Gallagher, Law, Daly, Shiels. Subs: Peralta, Simonsen, Telfer, Clark, Crawford, Faure, Steven Smith.

    Referee: Andrew Dallas

  4. 12:38: 

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist has made one change. Northern Ireland international Dean Shiels comes into midfield to replace Kyle Hutton, who drops out of the squad altogether.

  5. 12:41: 

    Injury-hit Brechin have only been able to name five substitutes instead of seven. Top scorer Andy Jackson misses out after breaking his thumb in training. Experienced former Dundee United defender Garry Kenneth is also missing. Defenders Paul McLean and Jonathan Brown, midfielder Bobby Barr and striker Robert Thomson come into the side. Midfielders Greg Cameron and Allan Walker drop to the bench.

  6. 12:43: 

    The Brechin players are giving their opponents a guard of honour as they welcome the newly crowned League One champions to Glebe Park. A nice touch.

  7. 12:46: 

    Will the gulf between the clubs, in terms of finances and league points, show when battle commences in a few minutes? The sides have only met nine times previously, with Rangers winning them all. However, Brechin gave them a fright at the same venue in October, when the Glasgow side edged it 4-3.

  8. 12:46: 

    Brechin kick off with Glebe Park bathed in sunshine but with a typically cooling north east swirling wind.

  9. 12:49: 

    Rangers start the afternoon 29 points ahead of second-top Dunfermline Athletic in League One and have yet to suffer defeat in the competition. In all competitions, they are undefeated in 33 games since being knocked out of the League Cup by Forfar Athletic in their second fixture of the season.

  10. 12:52: 

    Brechin lie seventh in League One, only four points clear of East Fife after the Methil side's surprise win away to second-top Dunfermline yesterday. The Fifers are in second-bottom place, which brings with it a relegation play-off. Brechin are in danger of being drawn into the relegation spot having gone five games without a win and having only taken one point from those matches.

  11. 12:52: 

    First shot of the afternoon comes from Rangers, but the ball bobbles as Fraser Aird pulls the trigger and the winger's 20-yard drive goes will over the crossbar.

  12. 12:54: 

    Rangers have already suffered a couple of knocks from late challenges, with defender Bilel Mohsni and now midfielder Ian Black the ones left hobbling.

  13. 13:00: 

    Graeme Smith, the former Motherwell, Hiberniand and Partick Thistle goalkeeper who began his career with Rangers, rises to claim a long Ian Black cross under pressure from Bilel Mohsni. The Brechin number one has not had to deal with anything else so far and that will give him some confidence.

  14. 13:02: 

    A dangerous Calum Gallagher cross just evades the head of Fraser Aird at the back post as Rangers start to apply some pressure. The 19-year-old has made a big impression since making his debut in December, scoring three goals.

  15. 13:06: 

    Brechin, having only been able to name five fit players on their bench, are already forced into a change following injury. Defender Paul McLean limps off with what looks like a hamstring injury and on comes Greg Cameron, the former Dundee United and Scotland Under-21 midfielder. That will require a bit of re-organisation of his formation from Brechin manager Ray McKinnon, the former Aberdeen and Dundee United midfielder.

  16. 13:08: 

    Alan Trouten is booked after taking a tumble under a diving challenge from Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell. A bit harsh on the Brechin midfielder, who just stood his ground after flicking the ball past the keeper. Might have been a soft penalty too if it had been given.

  17. 13:11: 
    GOAL - Brechin City 0-1 Rangers (Fraser Aird)

    Immediately after Brechin's cries for a penalty are waved away by the referee, Rangers race to the other end and to score. Ian Black wins possession and his long ball forward would have ran harmlessly out of play if it had not hit the back of Jonathan Brown. The defender stumbles and Fraser Aird takes advantage and fires into the far corner from 16 yards.

    Ally McCoist and Graham Wallace Relations between Rangers manager Ally McCoist and chief executive Graham Wallace were all sweetness and light before kick-off.
  19. 13:17: 

    Rangers are turning the screw now at Glebe Park and it is only some desperate, last-ditch interventions that are preventing Brechin going further behind.

  20. 13:18: 

    Greg Cameron tries his luck from range, but the Brechin midfielder's strike goes well wide.

  21. 13:20: 

    By the way, a few minutes ago, Rangers were also forced into a change, with Nicky Law being replaced with defender Sebastien Faure after the midfielder appeared to damage his hip.

  22. 13:24: 

    It is Brechin's turn to apply a bit of pressure, winning a free-kick on Rangers' left after a foul by Lee Wallace and now three corners in succession. Bilel Mohsni's head comes to the rescue until a wayward shot ends that spell of danger for Rangers.

  23. 13:27: 

    On-loan Dundee United midfielder Darren Petrie provides the first serious test for Cammy Bell. Petrie tries a pot-shot from about 30 yards out that the Rangers goalkeeper has to touch over the crossbar at full stretch.

  24. 13:28: 

    Yet another injury blow for Brechin. This time it is Jonathan Brown, who has already had a miserable afternoon with a mistake that led to Rangers' goal, who heads off and he is replaced with midfielder Ryan Ferguson. Poor Brechin boss Ray McKinnon is fast running out of defenders.

    Aberdeen city centre Meanwhile, up the A90 from Brechin, the city of Aberdeen is out in force greeting the team who won the Scottish League Cup last weekend.
  26. 13:35: 
    HALF-TIME - Brechin City 0-1 Rangers
    Fraser Aird scores for Rangers Fraser Aird took advantage of a defensive error to fire past former Rangers goalkeeper Graeme Smith and open the scoring at Glebe Park.
  28. 13:43: 

    Having seen Brechin's penalty claim again on TV, I have to say that the home side were very unfortunate to have Alan Trouten booked and not to be awarded a spot kick. Yes, he was looking for it, but Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell definitely made contact with the midfielder without touching the ball.

  29. 13:46: 

    Brechin, though, only have themselves to blame after switching off immediately after the penalty claim. Fraser Aird's goal seconds after that incident is reward for Rangers having most of the first-half pressure. However, Brechin will point out that Rangers goalkeeper Cammy Bell had the only decent save of the first half to make as he superbly touched over Darren Petrie's shot from long range.

  30. 13:49: 

    Was it a penalty? Can Brechin make a game of it in the second half? Are you an Aberdeen fan basking in the sunshine and glory of the Scottish League Cup celebrations?

    Text us on 80295 or contact me on Twitter @CliveLindsayBBC.

  31. 13:52: 

    Rangers start the second half at sunny Glebe Park, shooting down the slope, and Jon Daly immediately finds the target with a little flick from 10 yards, but goalkeeper Graeme Smith collects easily.

  32. 13:55: 
    GOAL - Brechin City 1-1 Rangers (Robert Thomson)

    Rangers allow Greg Cameron too much time and space to send a low cross curling into the front post and Robert Thomson diverts it under goalkeeper Cammy Bell from 12 yards.

  33. 13:58: 

    Until Robert Thomson hit the net, Rangers had gone more than 19 hours without conceding an away goal - their last coming at the very same Glebe Park in October.

  34. 14:01: 

    Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni can go from classy to calamity in a matter of seconds and he almost hands Brechin a second goal with a typically casual piece of play. The Frenchman is dispossessed by Robert Thomson as he attempts to usher the ball to the by-line and only two desperate blocks prevent Brechin men finding the target after the goalscorer plays the ball into the danger area.

  35. 14:08: 

    Rangers midfielder Ian Black looks to have picked up a bad injury after a lunging block just outside the home penalty box by Brechin defender Graham Hay. Black is a hard man, but he will do well to recover from that one. You could hear the thud of the connection from the sidelines.

  36. 14:10: 

    Rangers will not be so concerned about losing Ian Black for the rest of this game. Their biggest worry as the midfielder is stretchered off will be the possibility that the injury could put such a potentially inspirational player out of their forthcoming Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United.

  37. 14:12: 
    GOAL - Brechin City 1-2 Rangers (Nicky Clark)

    I hadn't even had the chance to tell you that Nicky Clark was the man to replace the injured Ian Black before the striker puts Rangers back into the lead. The former Queen of the South man was left in acres of space as he ran away from his marker and headed past Graeme Smith from seven yards after being found by a clever Jon Daly chip.

  38. 14:17: 

    Rangers goalscorer Nicky Clark seems to enjoy himself against Brechin. That's his fifth goal in 11 outings against the Hedgemen during his career.

  39. 14:17: 

    There was a hint of offside against Jon Daly in the lead up to Nicky Clark's goal. That will no doubt be another post-match talking point from Brechin boss Ray McKinnon.

  40. 14:20: 

    It appears that the injury to Ian Black is not as bad as first feared. The midfielder apparently has some movement in his bruised ankle. It will be a waiting game to find out the extent of the injury once it settles.

  41. 14:22: 

    Nicky Clark threatens to add to his tally against Brechin, but the striker's overhead kick flies over from 12 yards.

  42. 14:23: 

    Fraser Aird drags a shot just wide of the far post after the Rangers winger uses his speed to power behind the Brechin defence.

    Robert Thomson and Greg Cameron celebrate Brechin's goal Former Dundee United and Dunfermline Athletic striker Robert Thomson (left) equalised for Brechin.
  44. 14:29: 

    It's Rangers who are now looking the more dangerous and Lee McCulloch heads over as he rises to meet a free-kick. However, this has been another workmanlike performance by the Ibrox side rather than one that shows the gulf in class and finances between themselves and their part-time opponents.

  45. 14:34: 

    Interest from the Rangers fans has obviously fallen off slightly and perhaps understandably since they clinched the title. Today's attendance of 3,070 is 200 less than the corresponding fixture in October.

  46. 14:39: 
    FULL-TIME - Brechin City 1-2 Rangers
  47. 14:45: 

    Rangers secure a fourth straight victory and their dream of ending the League One season unbeaten is still alive. That's an impressive 34 games in all competitions without defeat and Ally McCoist's side, having already secured the title, stretch their lead over second-placed Dunfermline Athletic to 32 points.

  48. 14:50: 

    Brechin remain in seventh, their hopes of finishing in the promotion play-offs now effectively over, being 13 adrift of Ayr United. Ray McKinnon's side are now looking below them and are only four ahead of East Fife. The side in the relegation play-off spot beat Dunfermline Athletic yesterday and it is a battle between those two, Airdrieonians and bottom-placed Arbroath for the relegation spots.

  49. 14:54: 

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist has admitted on BT Sport that the game was not "the easiest on the eye". He pointed out that there is no excuse for his players not to perform as they are fighting for places in that Scottish Cup semi-final line-up. McCoist says they also have the incentive of finishing the league season unbeaten, which would be a "fantastic achievement at any level".

    Nicky Clark celebrates for Rangers Nicky Clark scored the winner the last time Rangers won at Brechin and he did it again today.
  51. 15:01: 

    Good news for Rangers fans if they would like them to bring Kris Boyd back to Ibrox once the Scotland striker's contract with Kilmarnock ends in the summer. Boyd was a pundit on BT Sport and, asked on if he will be signing the man standing beside him, McCoist said: "I hope so." That could, of course, depend on how chief executive Graham Wallace's current examination of Rangers' finances pans out.

  52. 15:03: 

    Thanks for your company today. Join us again for some more Scottish Premiership action in midweek. Meantime, have a read at Andrew Southwick's match report of the match at Glebe Park.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 23 Mar 2014 UK

Scottish League One summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Rangers 30 76 86
No movement 2 Dunfermline 30 14 54
No movement 3 Stranraer 30 4 46
No movement 4 Ayr 30 1 45
No movement 5 Forfar 30 -1 39
No movement 6 Stenhousemuir 30 -8 38
No movement 7 Brechin 30 -14 32
No movement 8 Airdrieonians 30 -16 31
No movement 9 East Fife 30 -33 28
No movement 10 Arbroath 30 -23 24