Scottish League One
Rangers3Airdrieonians0

Rangers 3-0 Airdrieonians

Rangers showed the authority of champions as they swept Airdrie aside to secure the League One title.

Lee McCulloch's first-half hat-trick, which included two penalty kicks, established a lead that allowed the home fans to revel in the occasion.

Visiting keeper Grant Adam conceded a spot-kick after just 100 seconds and a second award followed for a Gregor Buchanan trip on David Templeton.

McCulloch's third came with a low drive just before the interval.

And when the final whistle confirmed unbeaten Rangers as champions with eight games to spare, the home crowd indulged in a sense of triumph.

Rangers had not allowed any anxiety to settle upon the home fans. If there was discontent following Sunday's 1-1 draw with Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup, it was abruptly dispelled.

The home players sought to redeem themselves by being adventurous on the ball and tireless in their pursuit of it.

Airdrie might have been left in disarray by Rangers' sense of purpose. Certainly, Adam was rash as he charged from his goal and bundled into Andy Little. There were enough defenders in attendance to save the goalkeeper from being sent off, but McCulloch showed no mercy with the spot kick.

The Airdrie back line was left perplexed as Little's powerful running opened up spaces, while Templeton was particularly prominent. The winger showed quick feet and ingenuity, with one run into the penalty area ending with Buchanan clumsily tripping him.

McCulloch, again, drilled the penalty kick past Adam.

The Rangers captain was mostly untroubled in defence - only a Caolan McAleer effort from long range caused Cammy Bell, the Rangers goalkeeper, to be briefly anxious - and he completed his hat-trick with a bundled effort from just inside the penalty area.

The only concern for Rangers were the first-half injuries that forced off Little and Templeton, but setbacks could be endured.

The rewards of a long season were all but confirmed by half-time, and Rangers were less intense after the break.

Bilel Mohsni thought he had scored with one effort, only for the ball to bounce back off the upright. The defender celebrated anyway, leaping high into the air as he jogged back into defence, and the gleefulness was in keeping with the home crowd's mood.

Airdrie remained committed, but that was merely the backdrop to the occasion.

The Rangers fans sang about being champions, about "going up" and in celebration of manager Ally McCoist.

This was a cathartic display, but also a fitting way to secure the title. The players and staff celebrated afterwards, a moment free of any of the other anxieties that still crowd round the club.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Bell
  • 2FosterBooked at 79mins
  • 5Wallace
  • 8Black
  • 6McCulloch
  • 3Mohsni
  • 4Aird
  • 11Law
  • 9Daly
  • 7LittleSubstituted forClarkat 45+1'minutes
  • 10TempletonSubstituted forPeralta Sosaat 45+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Clark
  • 14Shiels
  • 15Peralta Sosa
  • 16Simonsen
  • 17Faure
  • 18Crawford
  • 19Smith

Airdrieonians

  • 1AdamBooked at 3mins
  • 2BarrSubstituted forStewartat 62'minutes
  • 11Boyle
  • 8McCormack
  • 5BuchananBooked at 69mins
  • 6Milojevic Bjekovic
  • 7McAleerBooked at 90mins
  • 4Watt
  • 9ListerSubstituted forCaddenat 75'minutes
  • 10ParkerSubstituted forCoogansat 80'minutes
  • 3Bain

Substitutes

  • 12Cadden
  • 14Coogans
  • 15Stewart
  • 16Coult
  • 17McCluskey
  • 18Evans
  • 19Ward
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
41,343

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamAirdrieonians
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home21
Away6
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home12
Away1
Fouls
Home8
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 3, Airdrieonians 0.
Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Scott Stewart (Airdrieonians).

Booking

Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians) is shown the yellow card.
Fraser Aird (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Caolan McAleer (Airdrieonians).
Attempt missed. Nicky Clark (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Fraser Aird (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Airdrieonians. Liam Coogans replaces Keigan Parker.

Booking

Richard Foster (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Richard Foster (Rangers).
Nicky Cadden (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Airdrieonians. Conceded by Ian Black.

Substitution

Substitution, Airdrieonians. Nicky Cadden replaces James Lister.
Foul by Fraser Aird (Rangers).
Patrick Boyle (Airdrieonians) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Arnold Peralta (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Liam Watt (Airdrieonians).

Booking

Gregor Buchanan (Airdrieonians) is shown the yellow card.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Rangers2826207380
2Dunfermline2817381754
3Stranraer281369545
4Ayr2811611-539
5Forfar2810612236
6Stenhousemuir2881010-1034
7Brechin289514-1132
8Airdrieonians286715-2125
9East Fife287417-2925
10Arbroath287318-2124
View full Scottish League One table

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