Another defeat for Rangers

GRAEME McLAREN  - scored Rangers' goal against Beith.
GRAEME McLAREN - scored Rangers' goal against Beith.
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Another defeat for Rangers in what was always going to be a very difficult game and survival in the Super League is now looking like being very unlikely as they enter the second half of their league programme.

It is not a lack of effort, or even skill, that is the problem, they matched Beith in every aspect for the first 45 minutes, but without adequate back-up when key players are missing they have little hope of turning things around.

Rangers had the advantage of playing down the slope of Bellesdale Park for the first half and soon took advantage. After only five minutes Dolan put over an inch perfect cross for McLaren to shoot home.

Kelly was also causing more than a few problems to the home defence with some sparkling runs which might have brought another score.

Beith’s efforts at the other end were a bit less frequent and mostly off target with Duke rarely troubled.

Then in 20 Kelly made a great run through the centre of the home defence only to be pulled fown by Donnelly right on the edge of the penalty box. After some delay and consultation with his assistant the referee awarded a free-kick and only dealt out a yellow card to the defender for what was clearly a last man foul.

Nothing came of the free-kick but it was a real let-off for Beith. It was becoming a more even contest but Rangers were still making the better chances and Beith’s efforts were still poor until well into added time at the end of the half Gibson put over a good cross for McGowan to head an equaliser past Duke.

When the teams came out for the second half Rangers were without their most effective player, Francis Kelly, and his place had been taken by Derek Sinclair who last appeared in a Rangers jersey around the turn of the century.

Now playing down their favoured slope it was Beith making all the running.

Their efforts on goal were still pretty poor though and in one sustained attack they had multiple shots on goal which were either blocked or cannoned off Rangers’ defenders with the result that three of them were down in the box at one time although the goal somehow survived intact.

It could not last, however, and midway through the half Reid picked up a loose ball and ran through to shoot Beith into the lead. Five minutes later Bradley added a third with a great drive from around 25 yards.

Beith turned on the style for the remainder of the match without adding to their total but Rangers kept plugging away although with little hope of saving even a point.

Dolan was also now clearly struggling with an injury but without any options on the bench he had to see out the match. This was Rangers’ last league visit to Ayrshire this season and it may be some time before they have to make another.

KILSYTH: Duke, Duncan, McPeake, Doyle, Whiteford, Kerr, Dolan, Desmond, McLaren, Eeles, Kelly. Subs: Sinclair, Hogg, Smith.

BEITH: Strain, Ryan, Wilson, Donnelly, McShane, McDonald, Gibson, McGowan, McKay, Reid, Bradley. Subs: Sheridan, McLean, Docherty, Wilde, Greenwood.

Rangers play host to Yoker Athletic in a league match this Saturday. Kick-off at Duncansfield is 1.45 p.m.