Defeat for Loons despite putting in a strong performance

Rangers captain Lee McCulloch is left on the deck as Chris Templeman and rise for the ball.
Rangers captain Lee McCulloch is left on the deck as Chris Templeman and rise for the ball.

Forfar Athletic were unfortunate to fail to take at least a point against Rangers on Monday night after a strong performance.

The Ibrox side took a 2-0 win to move 20 points clear at the top of the SPFL League One table with both goals coming late in the second half.

Dick Campbell’s side had their fair share of chances throughout the game but failed to find the back of the net though they remain fifth in the table.

With both teams failing to find a good rhythm in the opening minutes of the game Rangers had the first real chance with an excellent shot by Nicky Law just being tipped over the bar by home ‘keeper Rab Douglas.

A Forfar free kick taken by Stuart Malcolm a few minutes later looked like it might have been dangerous for the visitors but it was nodded clear by Bilel Mohsni.

Just before the quarter hour mark a magnificent run by Dale Hilson down the wing went unrewarded when he failed to meet the mark. Moments later a Martyn Fotheringham corner was just headed over the bar by Chris Templeman. Another corner saw the ball fall to Gavin Swankie but it was cleared by Sebastian Faure.

In the 19th minute Fraser Aird had a prime opportunity to take the visitors into the lead but saw his shot go high and wide. Minutes later a strong Aird corner was sent straight into Douglas’s arms.

Just before the half hour mark a Faure foul on Fotheringham saw a free kick awarded to the home side. Taken by Iain Campbell it fell to Hilson who sent the ball whistling past the post.

Another free kick was awarded to the home side on 30 minutes after Rangers captain Lee McCulloch saw yellow but it was cleared to safety by Jon Daly.

Two minutes later a Rangers corner whistled straight past the goalmouth before being headed away by Odmar Faeroe.

With 10 minutes of the first half left to go, a strong Fotheringham strike deflected off Faure but was caught well by visiting ‘keeper Steve Simonsen.

Rangers picked up their third booking of the game when Bilel Mohsni was shown yellow for unsporting behaviour. I. Campbell stepped up to take the free kick which was met by Templeman but the weak shot bounced into the ‘keeper’s arms.

Forfar continued to push to break the deadlock in the closing minutes of the first half but good work from Hilson to find Swankie saw the shot saved well by Simonsen.

Half-time: Forfar Athletic 0, Rangers 0

Into the second half frustrations were growing as Gary Fusco was booked five minutes in for a reckless foul on Lee Wallace while Swankie and I. Campbell were also shown the yellow card early in the half.

With Fusco going in for another hard tackle on Lewis MacLeod he was soon subbed off to be replaced by Mark Baxter returning from injury after a few weeks on the sidelines.

On the hour mark a strong shot by McCulloch was saved well by Douglas. A minute later Rangers looked dangerous again when a Faure shot came close but was blocked by Faeroe.

The visitors picked up a fourth yellow when Lee Wallace was booked for dissent.

Fraser Aird tried his luck again but was blocked by veteran defender Darren Dods and a Nicky Law attempt soon after also failed to hit the mark.

Rangers made their first substitution when Dean Shiels was replaced by David Templeton.

A Daly shot with 20 minutes left to go was cleared well by the home side.

Campbell made his first substitution when Omar Kader was replaced by Gavin Malin.

The deadlock was eventually broken with 15 minutes to go but unfortunately for the Loons it was the visitors who took the lead when Mohsni did well to meet an Aird corner and headed in straight past Douglas.

Forfar came back on the attack but a Hilson shot was blocked by Richard Foster. Another Templeman attempt moments later was saved well by Simonsen.

Substitute Mark Baxter was the next to be booked in a game littered with yellow cards but the subsequent free kick taken by Wallace failed to make an impact.

Campbell made his second and final substitution when Fotheringham was replaced by Ross Campbell.

With two minutes to go Swankie had a superb chance but time was running out for the home side.

Then in the 90th minute Rangers sub Templeton sent a stunning shot high into the net to secure the three points for the Ibrox side.

Nicky Law picked up the last booking of the game for dissent in the closing stages.

Forfar Athletic: Rab Douglas, Gary Fusco (Mark Baxter 58), Iain Campbell, Darren Dods, Stuart Malcolm, Odmar Faeroe, Omar Kader (Gavin Malin 68), Martyn Fotheringham (Ross Campbell 86), Chris Templeman, Gavin Swankie, Dale Hilson. Subs: Marvin Andrews, Neil McCabe, James Dale, Darren Hill.

Rangers: Steve Simonsen, Richard Foster, Bilel Mohsni, Sebastian Faure, Lee Wallace, Lee McCulloch, Fraser Aird, Dean Shiels (David Templeton 70), Jon Daly, Lewis Malcolm, Nicky Law. Subs not used: Andrew Little, Emilson Cribari, Robbie Crawford, Andrew Murdoch, Charlie Telfer, Scott Gallacher.