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BBC Scotland's Gordon Smith
With a round up of the action
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Rangers boss Dick Advocaat
"I don't think we had any real problems"
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Motherwell boss Billy Davies
"We'll keep working and turn it around"
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Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Rangers battle to victory
Michael Mols gets the only goal of the game
Michael Mols gets the only goal of the game
Motherwell 0-1 Rangers

Rangers were made to fight all the way for the three points by a Motherwell side who battled until the final whistle.

It was a far from impressive performance by Rangers, but their much-criticised defence kept another clean sheet.

In the end it was Michael Mols' deflected effort which gave Rangers the three points.

But Motherwell can take consolation from a solid display which lacked only a finishing touch.

Reyna and Kemble battle it out
Reyna and Kemble battle it out
Fresh from their Champions League exploits in the millionaire's playground of Monaco, Rangers arrived at Fir Park with only one change from Wednesday.

With Tugay retaining his place in the side at sweeper, Billy Dodds came in to replace Ronald de Boer who was rested.

The visitors should have taken the lead as early as the first minute when Lorenzo Amoruso rose unchallenged to head a corner kick over the bar from only a few yards out.

Amoruso again came close after six minutes with a long-range free kick which Andy Goram did well to tip round his left-hand post.

Two minutes later, Motherwell's Kevin Twaddle was incensed when Tugay, the last man in the Rangers defence, appeared to catch him as he latched onto a through ball.

Danger cleared

Tugay's challenge certainly merited a free kick, if not a sending off, but referee Stuart Dougal waved play on.

Twaddle threatened again in 11 minutes when he turned Tugay inside out and fired in a shot from a tight angle.

But Stefan Klos got down well to block the shot and the danger was cleared.

Minutes later, a move made in Holland gave Rangers the lead.

Arthur Numan, in an advanced position, back-heeled the ball into the path of Giovanni van Bronckhorst whose pass found Michael Mols.

Mols found some room in the Motherwell box before his shot took a nasty deflection off Greg Strong and looped over the helpless Goram into the net.

Downward header

Despite finding themselves a goal down in rather unfortunate circumstances, Motherwell were refusing to lie down to Rangers and were threatening themselves with Lee McCulloch and Kevin Twaddle both active up front.

But it was Rangers who came closest to scoring again when Amoruso saw Goram get down well to keep out his downward header from another corner.

Twaddle almost got Motherwell back on level terms after 25 minutes when a cross from the right almost crept in at the front post, Klos only just getting down to punch the ball clear.

Strong almost made amends for his part in the Rangers goal when he just failed to keep down an effort from the edge of the penalty area following a Rangers corner.

Mols celebrates his winner
Mols celebrates his winner
Amoruso had yet another headed effort on the half-hour mark, but again he was unable to direct the ball goalwards.

Tugay was booked shortly afterwards for an incident spotted by the assistant referee, with the Turk offering little argument.

With five minutes left in the half, Scott Leitch joined him in the book for a late lunge on Allan Johnston.

Almost immediately, Kevin Twaddle was also booked for a tackle from behind on Reyna.

Every ball was being closely contested as half-time approached and Rangers certainly knew they were in a game.

Little inventiveness

Peter Lovenkrands replaced Michael Mols at half-time for Rangers, while Stuart Elliott came on in place of Derek Adams for Motherwell.

The second half continued as the first half had ended, with Motherwell giving Rangers no time to settle and posing a few problems of their own.

Rangers, as has been the case so often in the SPL this season, showed little inventiveness which would allow them to break the Motherwell defence down.

Reyna tried a speculative left-foot effort from the edge of the penalty area on the hour-mark which had Goram scrambling to touch it round the post.

Motherwell's defence was standing strong in the face of sustained Rangers pressure, with Hammell and McMillan particularly impressive.

Kenny Miller replaced Johnston as Rangers searched for the second goal which would kill the game.

Glorious chance

Oueifio made a good run into the Rangers box to get onto the end of a Scott Leitch pass, but no Motherwell player was following the play in to meet his cutback.

Tony Vidmar replaced Reyna with just under 20 minutes to go and almost immediately headed Rangers' second goal, but Goram collected the ball comfortably enough.

Klos was at full stretch minutes later to fist away a free kick as Motherwell brought on Don Goodman and John Spencer as they pressed for an equaliser.

With a matter of minutes left, McCulloch had a glorious chance to get that equaliser.

A deep cross into the Rangers box found Don Goodman whose header found McCulloch unmarked five yards out.

But the big striker could only direct his header into the arms of the grateful Stefan Klos.

Rangers survived another late scare in injury time when Numan was forced to clear off the line from Goodman's effort, but the referee had already blown for an infringement against Klos.

Motherwell: Goram, Oueifio, Kemble, Strong, Hammell, Adams, Brannan, Leitch, McMillan, Twaddle, McCulloch.

Subs: Woods, Spencer, Elliott, Wood, Goodman.

Rangers: Klos, Reyna, Konterman, Amoruso, Numan, Tugay, Ferguson, van Bronckhorst, Johnston, Mols, Dodds.

Subs: Brown, McCann, Miller, Vidmar, Lovenkrands.

Referee: Stuart Dougal

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23 Sep 00 |  Scot Prem
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23 Sep 00 |  Scot Prem
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