East Stirling 2 Rangers 6
Northern Ireland striker Andy Little ended a personal goal famine in Rangers 6-2 hammering of East Stirling and then targeted a long run in the team.
Despite missing the disastrous World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in midweek, which Michael O’Neill’s team were fortunate to draw 1-1 thanks to an injury-time goal, Little returned to the goalscoring form that saw him net eight goals before the end of August.
He got his name onto the scoresheet again as the Ibrox side netted four times in the second half at Ochilview to extend their lead at the top of Irn-Bru Division Three to five points.
Lee McCulloch opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 12 minutes before East Stirling were reduced to 10 men when Phillipp Zufle was sent off just after the half-hour for a poorly-timed challenge on Kevin Kyle.
Little doubled Rangers' lead soon after, although the hosts reduced the deficit almost immediately when Kevin Turner headed home Nathan Shepherd's corner.
Lee Wallace re-established Rangers' two-goal advantage four minutes after the break but their lead was cut for the second time when Paul Quinn slotted home from the penalty spot.
Rangers were rewarded for their dominance throughout much of the second half when Kyle and Kai Naismith both netted to put the game well out of the reach of their opponents before McCulloch added a sixth goal late on.
“I missed a good few games which was disappointing and I’ve been a little bit annoyed I’ve not got on the scoresheet in the last few games,” said Little.
“From that point of view, I was just relieved to find the net and hopefully I can kick on again now.
“As I’ve said from the start of the season is I want to play as much as I can and get 30 or 40 games under my belt, but it’s good to get a few goals as well and that was a good thing today.
“My foot has been a bit of an issue for me but I wore a padded sock in the game which helped.
“I’ve had a few scans and although my foot isn’t completely okay, the bad injury we feared might be there isn’t and I’m able to play on so hopefully I’ll get stronger.”
Manager Ally McCoist was thrilled with the win, but also felt there were things his side could have improved on.
“I was delighted to score six goals and equally delighted to take all three points,'' he said.
“That being said, I was disappointed to have lost two goals, I can't remember Neil Alexander having a save to make but we conceded two goals.
“I felt overall the attitude of the players was first-class.''