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First top-flight win for Rangers in League Cup victory over Inverness

Rangers 1-0 Inverness CT

By Andy Newport

Lewis Macleod's deflected winner handed Rangers a morale-boosting League Cup victory over Inverness at Ibrox.

John Hughes' side had topped the Scottish Premiership until the weekend but the Light Blues secured their first victory over top-flight opposition since beating Motherwell in September 2012 when Macleod fired home with 12 minutes left.

The rest of his team-mates had been appealing for a handball against Greg Tansey but the Scotland Under-21 international stayed alert to smash the loose ball past Dean Brill – albeit with a helpful nick off Josh Meekings' outstretched leg.

This past week has been another which has left the Ibrox support narrowing their suspicious gaze on the club's unpopular board, with many making their feelings clear by staying away.

So with just 15,208 in the stadium, it was an unusually muted Ibrox atmosphere that greeted the teams.

The groans of Kris Boyd could be heard loud and clear though. The striker was left frustratingly looking to the heavens last Friday after missing four chances in the 4-0 romp over Raith.

And he looked just as fed up after wasting the best chance of the first half against Caley Thistle when he smashed an early opening straight at visiting keeper Brill.

Boyd will admit himself he is nothing without good service but a succession of long balls cannoned down his throat did little to brighten his mood before he was replaced by Jon Daly with 18 minutes left.

Rangers had lived dangerously themselves after Bilel Mohsni gave the ball away just outside his own box after 57 minutes – but it was Macleod who proved to be the matchwinner, with his goal now teeing up a third-round trip to Falkirk.

The teenager nearly had a second after a surging run soon after but failed to capitalise.

But there were real moments of concern in stoppage time as a Ryan Christie header was blocked on the line by Ian Black, before an offside flag came to Rangers' rescue as Gary Warren's last-gasp header flew past Steve Simonsen, but the Light Blues march on.

Belfast Telegraph


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