Costly for McCoist

Rangers 3 McCoist 5, Gough 80, Bo Andersen 82 Dunfermline 1 Moore 89 Attendance: 45,878
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Rangers spent a mundane day at the office juggling the profit and loss accounts: on one hand moving nine points clear in the title race, but on the other sweating over the talismanic Ally McCoist's next involvement.

The Scotland striker, who scored the fourth-minute goal which took the sting out of this match, was carried off 15 minutes from the end with an ankle injury. Their new pounds 3m Chilean signing, Sebastian Rozental, will be arriving soon, but the Rangers' manager, Walter Smith, will not want to do without McCoist over the forthcoming holiday period.

"Ally is getting treatment but we will have to wait until tomorrow to get a clear indication of the injury," said Smith.

This was simply a game Rangers were never going to lose, not when you consider the weight of history: Dunfermline have not won at Ibrox for 24 years and this season alone, the Fife club have conceded 11 goals to Rangers in their two meetings.

The Dunfermline manager, Bert Paton, plumped for a cautious approach and Smith was not surprised: "When you have lost that many goals, they were always going to play it tight. It took us a while to settle but we have experienced that kind of frustration before at Ibrox."

The 76 minutes which elapsed between McCoist's predatory goal, diverting in a driven cross by Ian Ferguson with a flick of his head, and a goal from Richard Gough, were unappetising for most of the 45,878 spectators. Dunfermline sat deep, content to limit the scope of the defeat, as Paton admitted later: "That is my fault, but I set out to frustrate Rangers - I was fed up with getting hammered by them."

What did illuminate the match was the craft of Trevor Steven. The veteran midfielder, back after yet another injury, created Gough's 80th-minute header with a perfect cross from the right.

Then, two minutes later, Dunfermline fell to a Danish concoction as Erik Bo Andersen, McCoist's replacement, drilled in a pass from Brian Laudrup.

The Dunfermline substitute, Allan Moore, maintained his record of scoring in every game against Rangers this season, with a last-minute consolation goal.