Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Little makes big splash in Rangers Cup rout

Rangers 3 Falkirk 0: Northern Ireland striker Andy Little scored his eighth goal of the season as Rangers eased past Falkirk to progress into the third round of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Lee McCulloch also claimed a double with a goal either side of Little’s strike, in front of a crowd of 26,450 at Ibrox.

The victory proved to be more comfortable than last week's Ramsdens Cup clash between the two sides, which saw Rangers scrape through thanks to another Little goal at the Falkirk Stadium.

Falkirk gave their hosts an early fright when they rattled the woodwork after Jay Fulton's cross found David Weatherston and his effort smacked off the post.

The home side should have been ahead when Northern Ireland’s Dean Shiels fed McCulloch with a lovely through ball only for the veteran to rifle inches wide from just inside the box.

McCulloch made amends for the miss when he opened the scoring after 18 minutes, rising above everyone else in the packed goalmouth to send a bullet header into the back of the net from an Ian Black corner.

Only a great save from goalkeeper Michael McGovern prevented Rangers from doubling their lead when Faure unleashed a ferocious shot from distance that appeared net-bound.

The Bairns ‘keeper was called into action again as Rangers cranked up the pressure, this time tipping just over the crossbar from Little's header.

Little had the net bulging with 32 minutes gone when he latched on to a wonderful pass from Shiels and burst through on goal before lashing past his fellow Fermanagh-man McGovern.

Falkirk had the chance to pull a goal back shortly after the restart when they were handed a free-kick 30 yards out and Lyle Taylor managed to curl his effort past the wall but was off-target.

There appeared to be no way back for the First Division side when McCulloch claimed Rangers' third — and his second — of the night after 52 minutes.

He pounced after a defensive mix-up between Chris Smith and McGovern and produced a composed finish to claim his sixth goal of the campaign.

Rangers threw Barrie McKay into the action with just over an hour gone replacing Shiels, who had performed well after his return from injury.

With the tie all but over as a contest, there were also appearances for youngster Robbie Crawford and Kevin Kyle.

Little should have grabbed his second when he met a back-header from Kyle only to balloon well over with the gaping net at his mercy.

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