Dunfermline Athletic 1-4 Rangers
Reborn striker Lee McCulloch inspired Rangers as they came from behind to ease aside basement side Dunfermline.
The Pars had already struck the post and had a penalty claim denied by the time Andy Kirk slid in to open the scoring after 16 minutes.
But David Healy slotted in the equaliser eight minutes later.
McCulloch's powerful finish six minutes from half time, Sone Aluko's 70th-minute thunderbolt and Salim Kerkar's late drive secured Rangers' victory.
It ensured that Ally McCoist's side bounced back from the disappointment of exiting the Scottish Cup last weekend to keep the pressure on Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic.
Dunfermline, who remain bottom of the table and without a home win this season, had been forced to reshuffle, with Gary Mason being drafted in to replace ineligible on-loan Rangers midfielder Kyle Hutton.
Rangers' only change was to prove significant, with McCulloch replacing recent signing Mervan Celik, so disappointing against Dundee United last weekend.
McCulloch, who started his career up front before moving into midfield, was employed as an emergency striker to partner David Healy.
The veteran's Scots' presence helped Rangers put early pressure on Chris Smith, the goalkeeper whose recent performances have been peppered with mistakes and nerves but who was called on again in the absence of the injured Iain Turner.
However, the Pars were unfortunate not to go ahead with their first venture forward on the break.
David Graham intercepted a pass intended for Kyle Bartley, the central defender again looking uncomfortable as stand-in right back, before cracking an 18-yard drive off the face of the far post.
Kirk's shot on the rebound was blocked in front of goal and Liam Buchanan appeared to be nudged from behind by Bartley before the ball was eventually cleared.
Referee Brian Winter failed to blow for a penalty but was soon signalling for a goal to the home side.
Recent signing from Rangers Jordan McMillan's superb crossfield pass found Paddy Boyle and, when Sasa Papac failed to clear the ball across the face of goal, Kirk swept it home at the back post.
Rangers responded and were level within eight minutes, although there was a touch of fortune when Alex Keddie's attempt to clear in front of his own goal struck Maurice Edu and rebounded straight to Healy for a simple tap-in from 10 yards.
The Pars were being pegged back and a McCulloch flick set up Steven Davis for a 10-yard volley off the top of the crossbar from a tight angle.
McCulloch was becoming increasingly influential and, when Carlos Bocanegra headed a Davis free-kick back across the penalty area, the poorly marked former Scotland international hammered the ball into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
The former Motherwell and Wigan Athletic man was first to threaten after the break with a header over the crossbar as he sought to add to his 50th goal in Scottish football.
Dunfermline lost their creative force in midfield, Mark Kerr, to injury after 64 minutes and soon suffered a killer blow when Aluko's dipping and swerving 25-yard drive appeared to deceive Smith.
The goalscorer prevented the Pars almost immediately restoring the one-goal deficit by clearing a Keddie's powerful downward header off the line.
Smith was unfortunate five minutes from full-time when he produced a fine reaction stop on the line to deny substitute Celik's close-range header, but Kerkar slotted in the rebound from 14 yards.
- 20 Smith
- 05 Rutkiewicz
- 06 Keddie Booked
- 13 Boyle
- 26 McMillan
- 02 Kerr (Hardie - 65' )
- 04 Mason (Cardle - 76' Booked )
- 17 Burns
- 10 Kirk
- 11 Graham
- 19 Buchanan (Thomson - 74' )
- 30 Goodfellow
- 15 Dowie
- 07 Cardle
- 08 Hardie
- 22 Willis
- 23 Thomson
- 34 Byrne
- 01 McGregor
- 02 Goian
- 05 Papac (Kerkar - 84' )
- 12 Wallace
- 18 Bocanegra
- 22 Bartley (Broadfoot - 63' )
- 06 McCulloch
- 07 Edu
- 08 Davis Booked
- 19 Aluko
- 15 Healy (Celik - 63' )
- 25 Alexander
- 04 Broadfoot
- 20 McKay
- 24 Celik
- 27 Wylde
- 28 Kerkar
- 38 Hemmings
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +2:37
The free kick is swung in left-footed by Steven Davis, save by Chris Smith.90:00 +2:37 Booking
Booking Booking for Joe Cardle.90:00 +2:18
Joe Cardle gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Salim Kerkar.88:03
Steven Davis has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Chris Smith makes a brilliant save.86:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mervan Celik by Kevin Rutkiewicz. Lee Wallace takes the direct free kick.85:55
The official flags Martin Hardie offside. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.84:28
The assist for the goal came from Mervan Celik.84:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Salim Kerkar - Dunf'mline 1 - 4 Rangers Salim Kerkar finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dunfermline 1-4 Rangers.82:45
Direct free kick taken by Kirk Broadfoot.82:45 Substitution
Substitution Salim Kerkar replaces Sasa Papac.82:45 Booking
Booking Alex Keddie is cautioned by the ref for dissent.82:22
Paul Burns gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Davis.80:45
Unfair challenge on Steven Davis by Kevin Rutkiewicz results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.80:18
Corner taken right-footed by Joe Cardle.76:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lee McCulloch on Jordan McMillan. Kevin Rutkiewicz takes the free kick.75:28 Substitution
Substitution (Dunfermline) makes a substitution, with Joe Cardle coming on for Gary Mason.75:12
Mervan Celik takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.73:44 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Thomson comes on in place of Liam Buchanan.72:02
Corner taken by Paul Burns, Alex Keddie takes a shot. Blocked by Sone Aluko.
The assist for the goal came from Lee McCulloch.70:01 Goal scored
Goal! - Sone Aluko - Dunf'mline 1 - 3 Rangers Sone Aluko fires in a goal from a long way out to the top right corner of the goal. Dunfermline 1-3 Rangers.66:59
Corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis from the left by-line, clearance by Martin Hardie.64:23 Substitution
Substitution Martin Hardie on for Mark Kerr.62:30
Alex Keddie takes the free kick.62:30 Substitution
Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Mervan Celik coming on for David Healy.62:30 Substitution
Substitution Kyle Bartley goes off and Kirk Broadfoot comes on.62:30 Booking
Booking Steven Davis booked for unsporting behaviour.62:21
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Davis on Mark Kerr.57:28
Dorin Goian gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Buchanan. Strike on goal comes in from Andy Kirk from the free kick.55:16
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Maurice Edu by Mark Kerr. Direct free kick taken by Dorin Goian.54:27
Unfair challenge on Patrick Boyle by Sone Aluko results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alex Keddie.52:31
Patrick Boyle has a drilled shot. Save by Allan McGregor.50:10
Corner taken by Sone Aluko, clearance by Patrick Boyle.49:33
David Graham challenges Sone Aluko unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kyle Bartley takes the free kick.46:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sasa Papac by Gary Mason. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Steven Davis from left channel.46:06
Header on goal by Lee McCulloch from just inside the area goes over the target.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:00 +0:15 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.39:05
David Healy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mark Kerr. Alex Keddie takes the direct free kick.38:11
Carlos Bocanegra provided the assist for the goal.38:11 Goal scored
Goal! - Lee McCulloch - Dunf'mline 1 - 2 Rangers Lee McCulloch finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Dunfermline 1-2 Rangers.37:23
Foul by Mark Kerr on Lee McCulloch, free kick awarded. Steven Davis takes the direct free kick.34:57
Sone Aluko fouled by David Graham, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Lee Wallace.33:44
Effort on goal by Carlos Bocanegra from just inside the area clears the bar.33:16
Corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis from the left by-line, clearance by Mark Kerr.31:39
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Steven Davis.31:08
Corner taken by Sone Aluko from the right by-line, clearance by Patrick Boyle.30:34
Mark Kerr concedes a free kick for a foul on David Healy. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.28:32
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Davis from the left by-line to the near post, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Carlos Bocanegra goes harmlessly over the crossbar.28:18
Sasa Papac takes a shot. Blocked by Jordan McMillan.27:37
Steven Davis takes a shot.26:22
Foul by David Graham on David Healy, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Sone Aluko from the free kick, Chris Smith makes a comfortable save.25:21
Corner taken right-footed by Paul Burns from the right by-line, Lee McCulloch manages to make a clearance.23:32
The assist for the goal came from Maurice Edu.23:32 Goal scored
Goal! - David Healy - Dunf'mline 1 - 1 Rangers David Healy finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Dunfermline 1-1 Rangers.22:44
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.19:59
Sasa Papac produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.17:57
The assistant referee flags for offside against Liam Buchanan. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.16:52
Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Buchanan on Sasa Papac. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.15:08
The assist for the goal came from Patrick Boyle.15:08 Goal scored
Goal! - Andy Kirk - Dunf'mline 1 - 0 Rangers Andy Kirk fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dunfermline 1-0 Rangers.13:52
Andy Kirk produces a drilled right-footed shot from 12 yards. Blocked by Carlos Bocanegra.13:35
Effort from just inside the penalty area by David Graham strikes the post.11:30 +0:39
Inswinging corner taken by Sone Aluko from the left by-line.11:25
Inswinging corner taken by Sone Aluko from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Paul Burns.8:38
Sone Aluko takes the inswinging corner, Liam Buchanan manages to make a clearance.7:55
Sone Aluko challenges David Graham unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Liam Buchanan.4:08
The official flags David Healy offside. Chris Smith takes the free kick.3:02
Maurice Edu concedes a free kick for a foul on David Graham. Free kick taken by Chris Smith.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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