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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 21:34 GMT
Rangers 4-1 Dunfermline
Peter Lovenkrands
Lovenkrands scored Rangers' 2nd
A devastating first half performance from Rangers gave them all three points against Dunfermline.

Teenager Alan Hutton opened the scoring for the home side after only two minutes played.

Peter Lovenkrands, Ronald de Boer and Michael Mols also found the net as the match was ended as a contest after only 28 minutes.

Dunfermline's Andy Todd added to the first half goal spree after 21 minutes.

Dunfermline began the match hoping to achieve the rare feat of a double over Rangers, having beaten them on the East End Park plastic in December.

However, Rangers had other ideas as they got off to a whirlwind start winning a corner on their first attack.

Ronald de Boer supplied a second-minute corner that was gleefully headed into the net by youngster Alan Hutton from inside the six-yard box.

The youngster, who had been name-checked by Scotland manager Berti Vogts earlier in the day, celebrated in style.

Peter Lovenkrands made it two after the 11th minute with a goal of the season contender.

The Dane was a long way from goal on the left when he passed the ball to Gavin Rae before sprinting to meet the midfielder's flicked return with a thumping, low volley from just inside the box that whistled past Stillie in the Dunfermline goal.

The visitors had offered nothing by way of an attack until Andy Tod headed them back in the game in the 21st minute.

Former Ranger Barry Nicholson sent a diagonal cross from the right towards the big defender who headed the ball across goalkeeper Stefan Klos and into the net.

Rangers replied almost immediately with Ronald de Boer supplying the finish.

Lovenkrands made a run down the left, beating two men before cutting the ball back from the byline.

Alan Hutton (hidden) scored Rangers' first
Hutton heads the opener in a packed box

Stephen Hughes was the recipient and he laid the ball off for de Boer to produce a stunning, curling effort from a position on the left of the box that arced over the stranded Pars defence and into the top corner.

Mols made it 4-1 two minutes later when he slotted past Stillie having first made a trademark turn in the box to fool his marker.

Tod was replaced by Brewster in the 38th minute before Mols headed a Hutton cross across goal and inches wide.

Rangers replaced Ronald de Boer with Steven Thompson at the break, while Dunfermline replaced Aaron Labonte with Richie Byrne.

Darren Young was booked in the 46th minute for a foul on Hughes and Frank de Boer forced Stillie into a diving parry from the resulting free-kick.

Lovenkrands was first to the loose ball but fired into the side-netting.

Darren Young forced Klos into his first real save soon after with a deflected long-range effort.

A great cross on the turn from Mols at the other end presented a chance for Thompson but he headed over from 6 yards.

In the 62nd minute Lovenkrands was replaced by crowd favourite Chris Burke, who cut in from the left and forced Stillie into a save at his near post.

Dunfermline replied with a move that saw Brewster plant a header goalwards that was saved low down by Klos.

Dunfermline were now competing with Rangers but seemed to be let down by their passing in the final third.

Frank de Boer then hobbled off to leave his side a man short for the remaining seven minutes.


Rangers: Klos, Hutton, Khizanishvili, Frank de Boer, Ball, Rae, Malcolm, Hughes, Lovenkrands, Mols, Ronald de Boer. Subs: McGregor, Vanoli, Thompson, Burke, Fetai.

Dunfermline: Stillie, Tod, Skerla, Scott Wilson, Shields, Mason, Nicholson, Darren Young, Labonte, Derek Young, Crawford. Subs: Ruitenbeek, Brewster, Dempsey, Byrne, Mehmet.

Referee: D McDonald (Scotland)


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