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Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Forfar 0-4 Rangers

By David Sharp

Rangers midfielder Aaron Niguez
Spanish youngster Aaron Niguez scored Rangers' third goal

Holders Rangers eased into the last eight of the Scottish Cup with a comfortable win over 10-man Forfar.

Sasa Papac grabbed an early opener and two terrific saves from home goalkeeper Ally Brown thwarted first DaMarcus Beasley and then Kenny Miller.

Miller's crisp volley doubled Rangers lead on 54 minutes following a mishit clearance by Stephen McNally.

Elliot Smith was sent off for a reckless tackle on Beasley before Aaron Niguez and Miller applied late gloss.

In the third minute Rangers right-back Steven Whittaker won the first corner of the match.

Beasley's set-piece was cleared to the edge of the box and it was the former Hibernian defender who slammed a left-footed shot a yard wide off the target.

Forfar launched a series of high and hopeful balls which failed to trouble the visitors' defence.

And Rangers took the lead in the eighth minute through the unlikely figure of Papac, with only his third ever goal for the Glasgow club.

As the Forfar defence retreated, Miller weaved his way menacingly towards goal, feeding the Bosnian defender who quickly slotted the ball past Loons keeper Brown from 12 yards.

Minutes later Forfar defender Smith had to throw himself in front of Naismith to block his goalbound shot.

Then Miller scuffed an angled shot as the visitors pressed further.

The Ibrox side looked comfortable in their lead but there were occasional moments of unease in their defence which offered the Third Division side a glimmer of hope.

On the half-hour mark Miller broke with pace and teed up Beasley on the edge of the Forfar box but Brown made a super stop from his powerful volley.


Whittaker did well to block a shot from Tod for a corner as the home side rallied.

From the resulting corner, the ball fell again to the former Pars stopper who drove wide from just inside the penalty area.

In the 40th minute Brown pulled off a remarkable save from Miller's perfectly executed over-head kick.

Boyd drove wide from the same distance as the visitors finished the half strongly.

Rangers looked in no mood to offer any succour when the game restarted.

Brown again had to be at his best to smother an angled shot from Beasley.

But in the 54th minute Miller doubled the visitors' lead when Loons defender McNally hoofed his attempted clearance straight into the striker's path.

Miller flicked the ball over a defender's leg before lashing it high past Brown from 16 yards.

To make matters worse for the home side Smith was shown a straight red card with 20 minutes to go for a dreadful challenge on Beasley.

In the 84th minute substitute Kyle Lafferty threaded a lovely pass through for Niguez to bound onto and finish with aplomb.

It was Lafferty again who set up Miller in the dying moments for the striker to head home and confirm Rangers' passage through to meet Hamilton in the next round.

Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell:
"The finishes were high-class (by Rangers), you would expect that.

"But if you defend like that an amateur team will beat you.

"Not to hang young Macca (Stephen McNally) out to dry - he's been a very good player for us this year - but he's apportioned the blame for three of the goals and you just can't do that against that level of opposition.

"I'm not too unhappy but I just thought they didn't deserve to get beat by four."

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist:

"I was a little bit disappointed in the first-half. We got off to a good start with the early goal, but we overplayed at times.

"Sometimes we were trying to be too intricate with our passing.

"A long ball isn't necessarily a bad ball and I wanted some long passes to turn the Forfar defence.

"I felt that in the second-half we did that a lot more. But I'm delighted with the result and the clean sheet.

"We're in the hat again, so that's great."

Forfar Athletic: Brown, McNally, Tod, Tulloch, Elliot Smith, Gordon (Donachie 87), Winter (Fotheringham 74), Brady (McGuigan 74), Graham Gibson, Lilley, Campbell. Subs Not Used: John Gibson, Sean Kilgannon.

Sent Off: Elliot Smith (70).

Booked: Tulloch, Brady, McGuigan.

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Papac, Weir, Bougherra, Edu, Beasley (Niguez 72), McCulloch (Davis 80), Naismith, Miller, Boyd (Lafferty 65). Subs Not Used: Alexander, Dailly.

Booked: Papac, Niguez.

Goals: Papac 8, Miller 54, Niguez 84, Miller 90.

Att: 4,718

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Rangers' Aaron Niguez 7.92 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Scottish Cup as it happened
18 Feb 09 |  Scottish Cups
Scottish Cup photo gallery
18 Feb 09 |  Scotland

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