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"A six goal thriller"
 real 28k

Saturday, 5 August, 2000, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Gers fight back to beat Killie
Kilmarnock's Kevin McGowne protests as he is sent off
Kilmarnock's Kevin McGowne protests as he is sent off
Kilmarnock 2-4 Rangers

Rangers overcame an early two-goal deficit to defeat 10-man Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock wasted no time in seizing the initiative at Rugby Park as Andy McLaren converted a fourth minute penalty to stun out-of-form Rangers.

McLaren won the spot-kick himself, forcing Bert Konterman into a rash lunge just inside the area and then sent Stefan Klos the wrong way to offer Kilmarnock the ideal start.

Christophe Cocard almost doubled the home side's tally after seven minutes with a fierce low volley following a McLaren corner, but the ball flashed just wide of the mark.

Kilmarnock were without former Rangers midfielder Ian Durrant because of a hamstring injury, though Ally McCoist, who has agreed a new one-year deal, did make the bench.

In the 10th minute he watched Rangers fall two behind, the rejuvenated McLaren again the scorer.

A Jerome Vareille pass was chested down by the winger, who raced clear before slotting calmly under Klos.

Rangers had an almost instant chance to reply when Neil McCann burst clear on the left, but the Scotland international fired into the side-netting.

Kilmarnock were playing above themselves and could have gone 3-0 up after 16 minutes when Martin Baker found time and space at the far post only to drag his effort wide.

Rising tempers

Tempers began to rise when first Kilmarnock's Kevin McGowne booked for tripping Rod Wallace before Lorenzo Amoruso received a yellow card for a late challenge on Cocard.

The visitors should have pulled a goal back on the half-hour but from Giovanni van Bronckhorst's deflected cross, Wallace headed badly over from point-blank range.

McGowne's earlier caution was to cost him on 34 minutes when he dragged back Wallace as he looked to break clear and he was duly given a second booking and sent off by referee Tom Brown.

Circumstances were suddenly conspiring against Kilmarnock. Just two minutes later when makeshift centre-half Gary Holt's needless foul on McCann saw Rangers awarded a penalty.

Cocard was booked for his protests before Billy Dodds stepped up to convert from the spot for his fifth goal of the season in only his fourth match to make it 2-1.

Rangers were in control for the first time in the game and a clever change of feet on the edge of the area by van Bronckhorst culminated in a powerful drive just over the bar.

Rangers pressure

Rangers made a positive half-time substitution, replacing defender Fernando Ricksen with winger Andrei Kanchelskis in a bid to assert their one-man advantage.

Rangers continued to press, first McCann beating two men before firing straight at Gordon Marshall, then the Kilmarnock keeper saving at the second attempt from a Barry Ferguson shot.

Amoruso flicked a header wide before Rangers brought off Porrini and Wallace for youngster Kenny Miller and Turkish international Tugay with 25 minutes remaining.

Kilmarnock were defending in numbers now, Gus MacPherson flinging himself at a van Bronckhorst shot, but their luck ran out after 75 minutes as Rangers finally levelled.

Van Bronckhorst's corner from the left was met firmly by the head of the prolific Dodds who, not for the first time this season, secured his side an unlikely reprieve.

It was the break Rangers needed and a mere two minutes later they were ahead.

After Ferguson's weaving run was halted, Miller pounced to drill in his first goal since his move from Hibernian.

Fellow substitute Tugay then rounded Marshall and had time to compose himself before smashing the ball into an empty net to put a rather flattering shine on the scoreline.

Kilmarnock: Marshall, MacPherson, McGowne, Dindeleux, Baker, Holt, Mahood, Canero, Cocard, Vareille, McLaren.

Subs: Meldrum, Wright, McCoist, Hay, Di Giacomo.

Rangers: Klos, Amoruso, Konterman, Ricksen, Porrini, Ferguson, Reyna, van Bronckhorst, McCann, Dodds, Wallace.
Subs: Brown, Kanchelskis, Tugay, Miller, Malcolm.

Referee: Tom Brown (Scotland)

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See also:

04 Aug 00 |  Rangers
Rozental to go on loan
03 Aug 00 |  Kilmarnock
McCoist signs up at Killie
29 Jul 00 |  Scot Prem
Killie spoil Buddies' big day
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