Graham Murty set Rangers up for the visit to Dens Park by making three changes to the side who knocked Greenock Morton out of the Scottish Cup. Lee Hodson stepped in at left back to cover for Captain Lee Wallace. Rob Kiernan was described as training like “a beast” and came in for Philippe Senderos and Joe Garner started up front in place of Jason Holt. It looked like a change of the familiar shape and a move towards one forward leading the line with the attacking trio behind offering support.
The game started as a scrappy affair with Rangers winning a couple of corner which ultimately amounted to nothing. Soon after Rangers gave away possession Dundee scored with their first meaningful break. Wighton released Henrik Ojamaa down the left hand side, who in turn put in a fine cross into the box finding O’Hara poised to strike with little around him in terms of defenders. His shot was hit on the half volley and nestled into the back of the net via the post. Kiernan had been sucked out of the box towards the ball and found himself miles out of position and pointing to others to try and stop the gap.
Rangers immediately tried to get a foothold in the game by forcing forward and winning another couple of corners. It looked as though they had been practicing some different ideas, but they amounted to nothing. Dundee came forward with a corner of their own and put the ball right on top of Foderingham who obliged in dropping the ball, resulting in another corner to no avail.
Rangers were forced into a change on the half hour as Clint Hill couldn’t continue. Danny Wilson came on to make his first appearance since the Old Firm match on Hogmanay.
Rangers’ clearest chance of the first half came in the 37th minute. Tavernier fashioned himself some space down the right and whipped in a terrific ball right on to Joe Garner’s head. His glancing effort trickled by the post when he really should have done much better. The ball gave him time and space but it seemed as though his lack of action may hindered his finishing ability.
O’Hara cut inside the right flank on 40 minutes and managed to evade two Rangers players. The second was a foul committed by Danny Wilson and set up a free kick. The Rangers players lined up across the box and a simple ball across the goal was all that was required to evade the ever floundering Foderingham. He can have no complaints about obscured vision or deflections as the replay clearly showed. This was simply the latest in a long line of evidence to show that Wes Foderingham is not a goalkeeper fit for the Rangers jersey.
Rangers got the game underway for the second half and the scrappy nature continued. Hyndman was fouled on the 50th minute and Tavernier produced a good free kick which Bain was equal to in the Dundee goal. The resulting corner nearly produced a goal but for a fine block to stop Joe Garner tapping in.
On the 60th minute Rangers finally sparked into life. The ball fell to Joe Garner who dipped a shoulder twice and found a window of space. He didn’t delay and unleashed a fine strike from 22 yards which flew past Bain in the Dundee goal leaving him no chance. Two minutes later Garner picked up a needless booking which ruled him out of the upcoming Old Firm match.
As Rangers increased the tempo and started to see more of the ball a short corner resulted in Kenny Miller unleashing an effort which was deflected off the Dundee post. It was a nice idea which nearly resulted in the equaliser.
Two changes in quick succession around the 78th Minute saw Harry Forrester replace Andy Halliday and Jason Holt come on for Barry McKay. Forrester immediately found himself in the thick of it as Miller played in Waghorn in the box. He turned the ball high across the six yard box and after a tussle the ball fell to Forrester. He completely fluffed his lines with a wild swipe from 4 yards when he really should have scored and the ball sailed over the bar.
As the game entered the final ten minutes it looked like Dundee would be the more likely to add a third goal to their tally. There were no clear chances fashioned and the match really petered out. The same problems which have dogged Rangers all season were shown up in abundance. Lack of leadership, organisation, ideas and commitment were the most glaring faults to be laid, but lack of quality throughout the entire side has to be the biggest concern to the board and any incoming Head Coach who can be identified going forward.
Foderingham – 4
Hodson – 5
Kiernan – 5
Hill – 5 (Wilson – 5)
Tavernier – 6
Halliday – 5 ( Forrester – 2)
Hyndman – 5
Miller – 6
McKay – 5 ( Holt – 3)
Waghorn – 4
Garner – 6