ALLY McCoist is not slow to defend Rangers whenever he believes the Ibrox club has been the victim of an injustice.

But the Light Blues manager much prefers for his side to do their talking where it matters most - on the field of play.

So he was a contented man after seeing his players do exactly that and successfully negotiate their third away game in just six days at Ochilview.

The nine points his players have taken from their meetings with Dunfermline, Airdrie and Stenhousemuir on the road will be crucial to their long-term objective.

Rangers are now 17 points clear of their nearest rivals in SPFL League One after their 2-0 triumph yesterday and have effectively sewn up the third-tier title.

Yes, McCoist was unhappy about the run of matches the SPFL had made the Glasgow giants play last week and had no qualms in voicing his feelings.

He was heavily criticised by many over the weekend - including by Stenhousemuir striker John Gemmell who took to Twitter to make his opinion clear - for his comments.

But the Rangers manager's main concern had been the inconvenience and expense to his club's fans at a time of year when money is decidedly tight for so many.

And the performance of his side, who were reduced to 10 men when Arnold Peralta was sent off in the first half, yesterday underlined that there was no lack of focus.

Two fine goals from Nicky Law on an artificial surface that Rangers at no stage looked comfortable on rounded off a highly-satisfactory week's work.

McCoist made three changes - two of which were enforced due to injury and suspension - to the side that had started against Airdrie three days previously.

With Bilel Mohsni absent having been ordered off after the final whistle at the Excelsior Stadium in midweek, Seb Faure moved to his favoured centre-half slot.

That meant Ricky Foster, who Faure had successfully kept out of the team in recent weeks, came into the starting line-up at right-back.

Elsewhere, Lewis Macleod had failed to recover from the calf injury he sustained against Airdrie and Peralta came back in to the side. He went to the right of midfield while Fraser Aird started on the left.

There was, too, a first start in two months for Andy Little. The striker, who had been out with a broken cheekbone and jaw, was preferred up front to Nicky Clark.

A slack pass back by Faure, who was under no pressure from any opposing player, allowed Sean Higgins to burst clean through on goal in 17 minutes.

Faure had his goalkeeper Cammy Bell to thank for ensuring that his sloppy error did not allow the home team to claim an early lead as Bell raced off his line and produced a fine double save.

Stenhousemuir enjoyed by far the better of the opening exchanges. The new-look Rangers side could not, try as they might, find any way through them.

It took a well-worked move by two of the Ibrox club's most experienced players, Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace, in 32 minutes to carve out a goalscoring chance. Centre-half McCulloch shelled the ball upfield to left-back Wallace who controlled it well on his chest and advanced into the box.

His ferocious left-foot shot left Chris Smith, the former St Mirren keeper, with no chance. He was, though, denied by the crossbar.

The visitors took the lead shortly after that. Foster floated a cross to Jon Daly on the edge of the area and he nodded the ball down to Law who buried the ball in the bottom left corner.

Yet Rangers suffered a serious setback six minutes later when Peralta received a straight red card for a late challenge on Eddie Malone.

Referee Bobby Madden was perfectly positioned to see the incident and had no hesitation ordering the Honduran international off the park.

The 24-year-old has not featured in the team of late and had a great chance to stake a claim for regular inclusion. He squandered it due to his rashness.

Wallace tested Smith with a free kick at the start of the second half. His attempt was powerful but was straight at the keeper who held it well.

That was, possibly due to being a man down, one of the few opportunities to increase their lead that Rangers had in the second 45 minutes of the game.

Stenhousemuir pushed hard for an equaliser and Wallace did well to clear the ball to safety in 82 minutes after Bell had been cruelly exposed.

However, Law struck again in injury-time with a superb finish to wrap up three hard-fought points that will go a long way towards securing the League One trophy.