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Thursday, 26 December, 2002, 16:50 GMT
Well stun Rangers
Jamie McFadden (left) sends the ball into the Rangers net
Rangers' festive season fell flat at Fir Park
Motherwell 1-0 Rangers

Scotland starlet Jamie McFadden rose to the big occasion by scoring the winner as leaders Rangers lost their eight-month unbeaten Scottish Premier League record.

Motherwell defeated champions Celtic earlier in the season only to suffer a slump that sent them to the bottom of the table.

But boss Terry Butcher has steadied the ship in recent weeks and McFadden's 65th-minute goal was the least they deserved after giving Rangers a torrid time.

Shaun Fagan was missing through suspension, but Butcher had been able to bring back Stephen Pearson and David Partridge from their bans, while youngster David Cowan returned from injury.

Jamie McFadden is congratulated by Chic Pearson and Scott Leitch
Jamie McFadden (left) scored the winner
Rangers boss Alex McLeish also made changes after struggling to victory over Partick Thistle on Sunday.

Fernando Ricksen, Claudio Caniggia and Bob Malcolm came in for Alan Hutton, Russell Latapy and Stephen Hughes.

Motherwell had a great chance to take an early lead when a Steven Hammell cross found Dirk Lehmann, but the German could not get enough purchase on his shot to evade the clutches of goalkeeper Stefan Klos.

McFadden then dispossessed Malcolm and drove into the Rangers box only to slice his shot wide under pressure.

Rangers came close after 14 minutes when Ricksen's drive from the edge of the box forced a one-handed save from Francois Dubourdeau.

The Well goalkeeper also did well to turn away a powerful drive from Kevin Muscat.

In between those attempts by Rangers, a Hammell volley was heading for the visitors' net until it struck a blue-jerseyed shoulder.

Rangers captain Barry Ferguson was lucky to stay on the park when he appeared to elbow Derek Adams in the face.

Ricksen was also fortunate not to connect with a boot aimed at McFadden in an incident that nevertheless led to both players being shown the yellow card.

Scott Leitch holds off Rangers' Kevin Muscat
Scott Leitch (left) captained Well to victory
McFadden came close to giving Motherwell a half-time lead when his shot on the turn flew just wide from 15 yards.

The end-to-end action continued in the second half and Dubourdeau denied Claudio Caniggia from point-blank range.

But Motherwell took the lead after 65 minutes, when panic in the Rangers defence allowed Pearson to head the ball into the path of McFadden and the Scotland winger poked the ball beyond Klos.

Dubourdeau did well to hold a powerful Lorenzo Amoruso drive and then superbly turned a header from substitute Billy Dodds round the post.

A Peter Lovenkrands effort was deflected just wide as Rangers pounded the Motherwell defence in vain in the dying seconds.

Motherwell: Dubourdeau, Kinniburgh, Corrigan, Partridge, Hammell, Adams, Cowan, Leitch, Pearson, McFadden, Lehmann.
Subs Not Used: Woods, Ramsey, Ferguson, McDonald, Clarkson.

Booked: McFadden, Adams.

Goals: McFadden 65.

Rangers: Klos, Malcolm, Moore, Amoruso, Muscat, Ricksen, Ferguson, Lovenkrands, de Boer, Mols, Caniggia (Dodds 72).
Subs Not Used: McGregor, Nerlinger, McLean, Reid.

Booked: Ricksen, Moore, Mols.

Attendance: 11,234

Referee: W Young.

BBC Scotland's David Begg
"Motherwell off the bottom, Celtic close on Rangers"
Motherwell manager Terry Butcher
"Every one of my players was outstanding"
Rangers manager Alex McLeish
"A below-par performance"
The SPL season gets under way

Weekend games


Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

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