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Queens of the South hand Stuart McCall his first Rangers loss

Queen of the South 3-0 Rangers

By Andy Newport

Stuart McCall's unbeaten start to his Rangers reign was brought to a crashing halt as Queen of the South claimed a stunning 3-0 win at Palmerston last night.

Gers were looking to confirm their place in the promotion play-offs after the ex-Motherwell boss' first month in charge saw him pick up two draws and three successive victories.

But that resurgence ended when Derek Lyle and Gavin Reilly scored either side of Lewis Kidd's strike that went in off stand-in Ibrox skipper Lee Wallace just 16 seconds after the half-time break.

McCall should have known his side could not afford to take Queens lightly.

Their last visit in December - which came just hours after it emerged former boss Ally McCoist was quitting - saw a day of drama end in humiliation as the Doonhamers won 2-0.

And this Dumfries defeat was a repeat performance of that poor display.

Gers lacked tempo and were a mess at the back, making it easy for Queens to outnumber them in attack.

The defeat means the Ibrox side miss the chance to reclaim second place in the Scottish Championship table from Hibernian, though they do have a game in hand.

Rangers started in their bright red away kit but it was home keeper Alexander Clark whose face nearly turned crimson when he had to back-peddle to tip over a wayward Andy Murdoch cross.

Queens had a shot stopped soon after, but found nothing blocking the way as they took the lead after 33 minutes.

Danny Carmichael floated the ball wide for Kidd, who clipped it back inside for Lyle.

The former Hamilton striker set himself with his first touch before firing his second past Lee Robinson. Kenny Miller could only head against the bar after Andy Dowie failed to clear Haris Vuckic's corner as Rangers stepped up their response.

But Queens went straight for the Gers defence after the interval as Reilly swept a low ball across goal. It found Kidd racing in at the back post but while his shot was creeping wide, Wallace could not sort his feet and watched in horror as the ball clipped his heel and trickled over the line.

McCall swapped the ineffectual David Templeton for Robbie Crawford but the midfielder soon handed Queens their clincher.

He dawdled on the ball as Kevin Holt raced in. The defender played a one-two with Reilly before sliding the striker in behind the Gers defence. Robinson raced from his line but could do nothing as Reilly calmly beat him at his near post.

Sub Kris Boyd headed wide in the final stages but Rangers were well beaten.

Belfast Telegraph


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