Football: Inspired Dykstra fends off Rangers

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The Independent Online
Motherwell . 2

Rangers. . . 1

MOTHERWELL'S second win of the season over Rangers may have delayed their title celebrations but after a raging, pulsating match with no little drama, Rangers will go into Saturday's match against Celtic at Ibrox with renewed determination.

They played well enough on a night when a sixth successive League title could have been virtually sealed but came up against an immense goalkeeper in Sieb Dykstra.

Rangers' success inspires greater efforts from the opposition and second-placed Motherwell had their sleeves rolled up. They dominated the opening stages and opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

It was not the prettiest goal of the season but the home support cared little for aesthetics as they acclaimed John Philliben's strike: no more than a toe-ender from eight yards.

Rangers responded with a powerful Stuart McCall shot pushed over by Dykstra. The Dutch keeper did well to push aside a Richard Gough header and then plucked the ball from the feet of Ally McCoist.

He was beaten after 27 minutes when a Trevor Steven throw-in was headed on by Duncan Ferguson to McCoist, who nodded the ball over the line from close range. Tommy Coyne regained the lead before half-time from the penalty spot after Paul Lambert had been barged off the ball by Steven.

The flow of the game edged ever closer to the Motherwell goal on the restart and again Dykstra produced a string of outstanding saves. He pushed over a Duncan Ferguson overhead kick and followed up by stopping a powerful drive by Ian Ferguson, then an overhead kick from the same player.

Motherwell (5-3-2): Dykstra; Shannon, Martin, Philliben, Krivokapic, McKinnon; Lambert, Dolan, O'Donnell (Davies, 85); Coyne, McGrillen (Kirk, 76). Substitute not used: Thomson (gk).

Rangers (4-4-2): Maxwell; Pressley, Gough, McPherson (Mikhailichenko, 74), Robertson; Durie, I Ferguson, McCall, Steven; McCoist, D Ferguson. Substitutes not used: Murray, Scott (gk).

Referee: D Hope (Erskine).