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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007, 16:51 GMT
Motherwell 0-1 Rangers
By Clive Lindsay

Kris Boyd celebrates scoring from the penalty spot
Kris Boyd (centre) scored the winning goal
Kris Boyd's penalty gave Rangers a win over Motherwell in a stormy game without dropped captain Barry Ferguson as both sides ended up with 10 men.

Well defender Marc Fitzpatrick was sent off for a kick at goalkeeper Allan McGregor and Dado Prso followed after the heated exchanges that resulted.

McGregor's fine saves denied Scott McDonald and David Clarkson, while Brahim Hemdani cleared off the line.

But Boyd fired home after Prso was felled by goalkeeper Graeme Smith.

It was a fortunate three points for Paul Le Guen that eased pressure on the Rangers manager after he controversially axed Ferguson and stripped the Scotland midfielder of the captaincy.

Ferguson's place was taken by new captain Gavin Rae, with Ian Murray, Dado Prso and Chris Burke also coming in at the expense of Sasa Papac, Charlie Adam and Nacho Novo.

Boyd almost set up Rae inside the box within seconds of the kick-off as Rangers started brightly.

But a Motherwell side unchanged from the one that drew with Celtic at the weekend were quickly looking the more dangerous side and Richie Foran nodded wide.

Rangers ground their way back into the game but lost Libor Sionko to injury after 26 minutes, the winger being replaced with Novo.

The substitute's cross found Prso six yards out, but Martin Corrigan did just enough to deflect the Croatian striker's header a foot wide of the post.

Prso had the first glimpse at goal after the break, but his powerful, 10-yard effort was fired straight into the midriff of goalkeeper Smith from a difficult angle.

David Clarkson was wrongly flagged offside after a lovely cross from McDonald, but the unmarked Motherwell striker headed wide from just six yards in any case.

Gavin Rae (left) in action against Motherwell
Gavin Rae (left) was Rangers' new captain

Novo fired a goalbound effort off strike partner Boyd after clever play from Prso.

And, as play flowed from end to end, McDonald had a snap shot trapped under the body of goalkeeper McGregor.

McGregor did superbly to turn a 20-yard curling McDonald drive over the bar.

And, from the resulting corner, McGregor palmed a Clarkson volley up in the air and Hemdani cleared Richie Foran's header off the line.

Prso ran clear at the other end but fired into the side netting.

However, when Smith needlessly felled the striker inside the box, Boyd sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Motherwell almost equalised when McGregor could only parry an effort from substitute Trevor Molloy and a goalmouth scramble ensued as Jeremy Clement attempted to clear off Rangers' line.

Fitzpatrick appeared to kick at the goalkeeper's head.

And that led to a tussle with Novo that Prso seemed to be attempting to break up before joining the Motherwell man in being shown a red card.

Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Corrigan, Craigan, Reynolds, Paterson (Murphy 46), McGarry (Molloy 71), Kerr, Fitzpatrick, Foran, Clarkson (Keegan 82), McDonald.
Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Quinn, Darren Lee Smith, Connolly.

Sent Off: Fitzpatrick (73).

Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Svensson, Hemdani, Murray, Sionko (Novo 26), Clement, Rae, Burke (Sebo 87), Kris Boyd (Rodriguez 81), Prso.
Subs Not Used: Klos, Adam, Stanger, Lowing.

Sent Off: Prso (73).

Goal: Kris Boyd 70 pen.

Att: 10,338

Ref: M McCurry

Le Guen points blame at Ferguson
02 Jan 07 |  Rangers
Malpas says Prso conned referee
02 Jan 07 |  Motherwell


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