Boyd at double to seal Rangers' date with Inverness

A KRIS Boyd double set up a tantalising League Cup clash with SPFL Premiership leaders Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Ibrox next month for Rangers.

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Kris Boyd powers in a header to open the scoring against Queen's Park at the Excelsior Stadium
Kris Boyd powers in a header to open the scoring against Queen's Park at the Excelsior Stadium

The striker took his tally for the last seven days to five with a headed goal in each half against Queen's Park at the Excelsior Stadium last night. But League Two club Queen's drew level in the first half with a goal from defender Tony Quinn and made their city rivals work hard for a narrow victory.

Ally McCoist made one change to the team that thrashed Dumbarton 4-1 in an SPFL Championship match at Ibrox on Saturday before kick-off.

David Templeton, who failed to impress wide on the right against the Sons, was dropped to the bench and Arnold Peralta took his place.

Many doubted that Honduran internationalist Peralta would return to Scotland this season after it was reported in his homeland that he was keen to move on.

But the 25-year-old looked bright and eager to impress when he came on as a substitute at the weekend and was given a chance from the start in Airdrie as a result.

The visitors should have taken the lead as early as the third minute when Nicky Clark picked out his captain Lee McCulloch with a cross from the left flank.

McCulloch, who was once again deployed to fine effect in central midfield, powered a downward header at goal and keeper Willie Muir did well to palm it over the crossbar.

Peralta tried his luck from fully 30 yards out in the seventh minute - only to see his ambitious attempt sail well wide of the left post.

But the travelling support did not have long to wait to celebrate the opener as their team edged in front just a minute later through Boyd.

Nicky Law curled a superb ball to the edge of the six yard box and the hit man outjumped his markers and headed beyond Muir and into the net from close range.

Law had, despite netting in the games against both Hibs and Hearts at Ibrox, struggled to find his best form in the opening games of this season However, the Englishman looked far livelier and sharper than he had - possibly as a result of having a calming older figure like McCulloch alongside him.

The Rangers players thought they had gone two ahead in the ninth minute after a fine attacking move involving Clark and Peralta. The latter picked out Lewis Macleod in space in the opposition area and the young midfielder headed the ball beyond the helpless keeper.

However, assistant referee Alan MacFadyen ruled that Macleod, who was this week recalled to the Scotland Under-21 set-up, was offside and the goal was disallowed.

Gus MacPherson's side offered little in response and Paul Woods was booked for diving in a rare foray into the visitors' box in the 15th minute.

But Rangers were made to pay for their failure to convert pressure into goals when Queen's Park equalised against the run of play in the 31st minute.

Darren Miller whipped a free kick into their box and Quinn rose and nodded it over keeper Steve Simonsen and into the net to draw his side level.

Bad Rangers defending, though, was as much responsible as clinical finishing by Queen's Park. The defence, and Simonsen especially, will not enjoy watching the incident again.

Not surprisingly, seeing a bottom tier team draw level with their side angered the Rangers fans who remembered their team crashing out of this competition to Forfar last term.

Some of the players, too, were visibly rattled at the turn of events and Law was booked for a bad challenge on Ross McPherson by referee Alan Muir shortly before half-time.

The League One champions, though got off to the perfect start early in the second half as they reclaimed the lead in the 53rd minute.

A spell of sustained pressure drew the Queen's Park defenders out of position, allowing Peralta to advance and square the ball across goal to that man Boyd who had the simplest of tasks to stoop and head the ball into an empty net for his second of the evening.

But the Spiders nearly got back on level terms after winning a corner in the 61st minute. Miller delivered the ball into the box and McPherson managed to get a head to it. On this occasion, however, Simonsen was well positioned and he blocked the attempt.

Macleod nearly built on his side's tally twice just after that while Bilel Mohsni was also unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet in 77 minutes with an angled shot that beat Muir but was cleared on the goal-line by Vincent Berry.

It was a good night all round for the Rangers fans and the news that Celtic had lost to Maribor at the end of the 90 minutes got a bigger cheer than either of their goals had.


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