SPL - Rangers avoid scare at Arbroath

Sun, 08 Jan 14:41:00 2012

Rangers avoided any giant-killing drama at Gayfield Park, as they beat Second Division side Arbroath 4-0 in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

David Healy - 0

The Gers were knocked out of the League Cup by Falkirk earlier in the season, but after coming through a tricky opening 15 minutes, they never looked like crashing in similar fashion in the fishing port town.

David Healy's calm finish put the Old Firm giants in front after 17 minutes and an own goal from Craig Wedderburn before the half-hour mark calmed their nerves further.

Second-half goals from Nikica Jelavic and Salim Kerkar padded the scoreline and ensured Rangers' place in Monday's fifth-round draw.

Arbroath did look lively and dangerous in the opening stages of the game. After just six minutes Steven Doris flashed a shot across the goal and then two minutes later Allan McGregor had to tip over Josh Falkingham's deflected volley.

At the other end, Healy made a mess of two early chances himself but it was third-time lucky for the Northern Irish striker in the 17th minute, as he scored the goal that changed the complexion of the game.

Healy, who made a scoring return to the Rangers first-team against Motherwell last week, calmly slotted home after nice one-touch play from Maurice Edu and Jelavic unlocked the Arbroath defence; the underdogs appealed for offside but left-back Kieran McAnespie never stepped up.

Rangers then made it two on 22 minutes when Wedderburn bundled a Jelavic cross into his own net after the Croat was sent clear thanks to a one-two with the lively Sone Aluko, with the Nigeria international's first-time return ball cutting through the Arbroath defence.

From then on, Rangers relaxed and started to dominate proceedings without ever having to step out of second gear. The closest they came to a third in the first-half came in the 37th minute when Darren Hill had to rush out and save with his legs from Aluko, who had a clear sight at goal.

Aluko was the bright spark for Rangers throughout and it was no surprise that he was involved again when Rangers made it three just before the hour mark.

The former Aberdeen man picked up the ball on the edge of the area and then dinked a beautifully disguised pass to his blind side and into the path of Jelavic, who blasted a low drive into the corner of the net for a goal on his return to the first team after recovering from a groin strain.

As the clocked ticked on Arbroath started to tire and the match became an exercise in keeping the score down.

Rangers ultimately would only score one more, but the goal was perhaps the one Ally McCoist celebrated the most as he watched Kerkar net his first for the club off the bench, with a fine side-footed volley into the roof of the net from Healy's stood up cross in the 77th minute.

The game then meandered to its inevitable conclusion, with Rangers content to play out time after a job well done.

Seán Fay / Eurosport

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