Rangers 4-0 East Fife: McCulloch double seals victory on emotional night at Ibrox

The Scottish giants made their first appearance in front of their own fans since the turmoil suffered during the summer and won in convincing fashion on a night to remember
Lee McCulloch scored twice to give Rangers a convincing 4-0 win over Second Division East Fife in the League Cup on what was an emotional night at Ibrox.

The Gers were playing at home for the first time since the club in its former guise was liquidated and the club re-formed as a Newco, which resulted in relegation to the fourth tier of the Scottish game.

A double from McCulloch - along with goals from impressive debutant Dean Shiels and Lee Wallace - handed Ally McCoist’s side a comfortable win in a match they dominated and enjoyed the rapturous acclaim of those inside the stadium.

The kick-off had to be delayed due to the huge number of fans who piled into the stadium and the whole Rangers squad all took to the centre circle prior to kick-off so that they could thank the fans for their support over the troubled recent months.

The Gers had signed three players on Wednesday, but strikers Francisco Sandaza and Kevin Kyle had to settle for a place in the bench while Emilson Cribari was not in the squad. Shiels, who signed last week, was given the chance to make his debut.

The visitors were denied the chance to hand a debut to much-travelled striker Collin Samuel, who is still waiting to secure a work permit.

On 11 minutes, the first chance of the game arrived for the hosts. After winning a corner himself, Shiels whipped in a delivery to McCulloch, who forced away goalkeeper Michael Brown into an impressive low save.

Three minutes later, McCulloch made no mistake. Shiels played a through-ball that caused chaos in the Fifers' defence and the experienced campaigner calmly slotted home.

An acrobatic effort from Dorin Goian was kept out by Brown and Andrew Little narrowly missed the target as Rangers continued to control proceedings.

On 33 minutes, they doubled their lead when Barrie McKay broke into the box and saw his shot saved, with the re-bound falling to Shiels, who found the net with a cool finish.

The away side created a couple of half chances on the brink of half-time, but Neil Alexander was not troubled by a Darren Smith free kick nor Gareth Wardlaw's effort.

The match was over as a contest immediately after half-time when Rangers netted a third. A powerful shot by the effervescent Shiels forced Brown to parry and Wallace converted the loose ball to make it 3-0.

The fourth goal did not take long to follow, when McCulloch scored his second of the night in the 62nd minute. It was McKay who got the assist, finding his team-mate in the area and the 34-year-old finished easily.

Sandaza was brought on in the 66th minute to a frenzied welcome from the home fans, who clearly hope the Spaniard will be their main source of goals in Division Three this season.

Wallace forced Brown into a save when he perhaps would have been better squaring to the new signing as Rangers tried to add more gloss to the scoreline.

Alexander had to make a sharp save from a Robert Sloan free kick up the other end, before Kyle came on to make it a trio of debutants on show.

The last 10 minutes passed without any further incident as Rangers celebrated a triumphant Ibrox return ahead of the start of the League season this weekend.