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The BBC's Andy Gillies
"Driving rain and wind wrecked the game as a spectacle"
 real 28k

Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 19:59 GMT
Double Dutch for Rangers

St Johnstone 0-2 Rangers

Dutchmen Arthur Numan and Giovanni Bronckhorst scored either side of half-time as Rangers began their Scottish Cup defence in comfortable fashion.

Numan had never previously scored for the Ibrox club until last week's win over Aberdeen.

But his 20-yard strike four minutes from the break showed he has got the taste for finding the back of the net.

Fourth round draw
Greenock Morton or Brechin City v Rangers
Arbroath or Motherwell v Dundee or Ayr Utd
Hibernian v Clydebank
Clyde v Hearts
Celtic or Inverness CT v St Mirren or Aberdeen
Berwick v Falkirk
Kilmarnock or Alloa v Dundee Utd
Partick v Livingston
Van Bronckhorst eased any fears the cup holders had on a blustery wet night in Perth with a strike every bit as good in the 65th minute.

Rangers were without suspended Billy Dodds, leaving veteran Gordon Durie to partner Rod Wallace up front as new signing Tugay started on the bench.

Nathan Lowndes won his fitness fight to lead the home front line, as they tried to avenge two cup defeats by the Gers last season.

Lowndes hits post

Saints started the game with the strong wind and driving rain at their backs and were the brighter in the opening stages without making any real impact.

Lowndes almost broke the deadlock after 14 minutes when he hit the post after being teed up by Graeme Jones from Gary Bollan's throw.

But too often during the opening period the hosts tried to play intricate football in conditions which demanded a direct approach.

Rangers tried their luck from distance on more than one occasion, with Jorg Albertz, Van Bronckhorst, Andrei Kanchelskis and Wallace shooting on sight without success.

And when the goal came it was from a more unlikely source as Numan cut in from the left to arrow his shot past Saints keeper Alan Main, who was left clutching at thin air.

The second half saw the wind at the holders' backs, and they emerged in confident mood.

But Saints actually looked far more productive against the wind.

Craig Moore's mistake gave John O'Neil a chance to release Lowndes before the Australian defender redeemed himself with a saving tackle.

Main finally beaten

Nevertheless the other goal still looked more under threat, as Main produced a stunning fingertip save to deny an Albertz piledriver and twice blocked shots from Kanchelskis.

But the Saints keeper could not prevent Van Bronckhorst making it two after a neat pass from Tony Vidmar and a one-two with Kanchelskis.

The Dutchman's shot crashed into the net to give the visitors a decisive advantage.

It might have been more but for Main's tremendous save from a point-blank Durie header.

Neil McCann also fired wide after fellow substitute Tugay's pass, and Saints' fans were left to simply hope that they are denied a cup draw with the Glasgow giants next season.


St Johnstone: Main, Weir, O'Neil, Kane, Lowndes, Bollan, Griffin, O'Halloran, McBride, Dods, Jones. Subs: Simao, McCluskey, McAnespie.

Rangers: Klos, Moore, Amoruso, Numan, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Van Bronckhorst, Wallace, Albertz, Vidmar, Durie. Subs: Reyna, McCann, Kerimoglu.

Referee: J Rowbothan (Scotland)

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Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.