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Healy on target again for Rangers

By Ronnie Esplin

Arbroath 0 Rangers 4: David Healy scored for the second game in a row as Rangers cruised to victory over Arbroath in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer — who netted in the midweek win against Motherwell — set the Gers on their way at Gayfield Park ahead of Craig Wedderburn’s own goal and further strikes from Nikica Jelavic and Salim Kerkar.

Boss Ally McCoist paid trubute to Kerkar, who joined Rangers in 2010, after scoring his first goal for the club.

“I was delighted for him. He is a smashing lad and has waited long enough for his chance,” said McCoist.

“It's wonderful to see the relationship he has got with the fans.

“I think they really appreciate the fact that he's a solid citizen and he is always very reliable.

“He was just waiting for his chance and he got it and I was absolutely delighted for him.”

Rangers tried to pile the pressure on straight away and Healy tried his luck with a shot that fell tamely over the crossbar.

Arbroath had a decent chance when skipper for the day Carlos Bocanegra slipped, allowing Steven Doris to burst through on goal only to drag his shot wide.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was then called into action to produce an impressive save to from Josh Falkingham.

However, it was Rangers who opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Maurice Edu's pass was collected by Jelavic and he slipped through to Healy who fired past goalkeeper Darren Hill.

Hopes of an Arbroath comeback were dealt a blow when Rangers doubled their lead after 22 minutes; Jelavic exchanging a one-two with Edu before whipping a dangerous ball into the box that was turned into his own net by Wedderburn.

Rangers threatened again when John Fleck released Lee Wallace down the left and he squared for Jelavic who blasted wide.

The tie could have been over as a contest within a minute of the restart had Fleck been on target but he sent his diving header past the upright.

At the other end, Lee Sibanda claimed he was fouled in the box by Dorin Goian but there was no penalty award for the home side from referee Calum Murray. Instead, it was Rangers who had the net bulging again after 59 minutes when Aluko threaded into the path of Jelavic and the striker's effort smashed off the inside of the post and over the line.

There was concern for Rangers when Kyle Bartley collapsed to the turf clutching his leg and, although he appeared to be fine after receiving treatment, he was swiftly replaced by Jordan McMillan.

Kerkar had already been thrown into action for Wallace and he added his name to the scoresheet after 77 minutes.

Sasa Papac picked out Healy at the back post and he swept into the path of Kerkar to rifle high into the net and put the gloss on the win.

Meanwhile, McCoist has issued a hands-off warning after goalkeeper Allan McGregor was linked with a move to Malaga.

McCoist is keen to retain the services of all his top players this month and has no plans to part company with his number one.

He said: “Thankfully the weather here wasn't too bad or maybe we would all be heading to Malaga. Allan is a massive, massive part of our plans for the future and I can tell you right now that I certainly would not welcome any bids for Allan.”

McCoist has not hidden the fact he is keen to recruit a striker this month, especially following injury to Kyle Lafferty which is set to sideline the Kesh for up to seven weeks.

And the Rangers boss says St Johnstone's Francisco Sandaza is a player on his radar after Saints boss Steve Lomas confirmed the champions' interest.

McCoist said: “I'll have a chat with (owner) Craig (Whyte) and see where we are on that one.”

Belfast Telegraph


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