Rangers 4-1 Montrose

By Calum MacdonaldBBC Sport Scotland at Ibrox

Rangers gave manager Ally McCoist the perfect birthday present by cruising to victory over Montrose at Ibrox in Division Three.

Dean Shiels put Rangers ahead following some neat skill after 26 minutes.

Montrose were handed a life-line when Anestis Argyriou headed past his own goalkeeper eight minutes later.

But the hosts improved in the second half and Lewis McLeod put them ahead again before Lee McCulloch and Robbie Crawford put a gloss on proceedings.

The victory moves Rangers into second place in the Third Division, a point behind city rivals Queen's Park.

McCoist, who celebrates his 50th birthday on Monday, had seen his side go behind in every league match at Ibrox this season and they were lucky not to do so again.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when Emilson Cribari lost out in the middle of the park and the ball was worked forward to Leighton McIntosh, whose shot took a deflection and looped over the bar.

Rangers' first real effort came from Shiels, but after some neat skill, his effort didn't trouble the Montrose goalkeeper David Crawford.

The home side came closer after 15 minutes through McCulloch with a 20-yard-free-kick that slid just wide.

Shiels and McCulloch were soon involved again - the former was better placed to score but decided to tee-up the latter and the chance was gone.

Rangers took the lead midway through the half when Shiels, left one-on-one with Stephen McNally, surged past him and slotted the ball beyond Crawford into the bottom corner.

The hosts briefly looked like a side full of confidence, but 10 minutes later Montrose were level when a free-kick from the right was headed past his own goalkeeper by Argyriou under pressure from Gary Wood.

As the half drew to a close, Lee Wallace went close after a mazy run as Rangers struggled to reassert themselves.

The Ibrox side started with purpose in the second half and almost went ahead, but Barrie McKay's effort went agonisingly wide.

Rangers did regain the lead shortly after, McLeod driving home from about 10 yards out on the angle to register his first goal for the club.

With Montrose tiring, Rangers soon added a third. McLeod was fouled, but with the referee waving advantage, McCulloch poked the ball home.

Young midfielder Crawford then scored his first for the club after some fine work down the left by Lee Wallace.

Rangers: Alexander, Faure, Perry, Emilson Cribari, Wallace, Argyriou, Macleod, Black (Sandaza 64), McKay (Aird 55), Shiels (Crawford 79), McCulloch. Subs Not Used: Gallacher, Stella.

Goals: Shiels 27, Macleod 55, McCulloch 60, Crawford 82.

Montrose: David Crawford, McNalley, Lunan, Campbell, Ricky McIntosh (McGuire 69), Gray (Winter 78), Jonathan Crawford, Masson, Young, Leighton McIntosh (Johnston 69), Gary Wood. Subs Not Used: Sandy Wood, McLeish.

Booked: Masson, Lunan, Jonathan Crawford.

Goals: Argyriou 35 og.

Att: 45,081

Ref: Stephen Finnie

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