Annan Athletic 1-3 Rangers: Templeton & Crawford continue visitors’ title charge

Ally McCoist’s side continue their march towards the Third Division title, claiming their 11th league victory in a row with a comfortable victory over Annan Athletic
Rangers continued their impressive promotion push as a double David Templeton and a Robbie Crawford strike claimed victory at Annan Athletic.

A first half strike from Ally Love had looked to have given the managerless club life after Templeton’s opener, but the Ibrox men soon found top gear to secure yet another win.

The home side made two changes from the side that put an end to their six-game winless run with a victory at home to Elgin on Saturday, as Andrew Donley and Graeme Ramage replaced by Steven Sloan and Michael Daly.

Ally McCoist lost the services of skipper Lee McCulloch, Emilson Cribari and Barrie McKay for the trip to the south of Scotland, with Darren Cole, Andy Little and Francisco Sandaza all coming into the starting line-up  for the league leaders.

The first real chance came when Andrew Little received the ball on the edge of the area after a throw-in, with the Northern Ireland turning and firing a dipping volley towards goal, which Alex Mitchell done well to save.

It wasn’t all one way traffic in the early stages, as Annan threatened going forward, after a superb passing move from the back saw Daly gain possession on the right hand side of the box, but his strike was deflected away for a corner by Rangers keeper Neil Alexander.

Midway through the first half the league leaders gained the advantage after Annan had failed to properly clear after a Sandaza effort and the ball eventually found Templeton wide on the left wing, he ran into the box, then his mishit cross drifted past Mitchell and into the net.

The visitors then started to pile on the pressure, with Templeton taking a corner from the left, which found the head of Sandaza inside the six yard box, but unfortunately for the Spanish strike his effort cannoned off the bar.

With just under 10 minutes left in the half, Annan equalised with a goal that was near identical to the one scored by Templeton, as Love burst down the left hand side, beating Cole for pace, before trying a cross which caught up in the wind and went beyond the outstretched arms of Alexander in the Rangers goal.

Rangers started the second half looking to regain the advantage, with Ian Black getting onto the end of a cross at the back post after the home side had failed to clear, he the cut inside and had an effort which Mitchell was able to smother.

Just after the hour mark the visitors did regain the lead as Annan failed to clear a Templeton cross from the left hand side and that allowed Crawford to gain possession and from close range drive the ball past Mitchell in the home goal.

The victory was secured by the Ibrox side late on as Crawford played the ball to Templeton 25 yards out and the midfielder attempted an effort towards goal, which took a wicked deflection and found the back of the net to secure the leaders 11th win in a row.