Football: McCoist seizes his Main chance

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The Independent Online
Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Dundee United. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

RANGERS continued to be the old predictables of Scottish football last night having secured their 19th League win of the season in their 30th consecutive unbeaten match. Although United exposed a chink or two in their armour after Richard Gough retired hurt, the trusty partnership of Ally McCoist and Mark Hateley again supplied the goals which stretch the champions' lead to seven points.

With eight minutes gone Rangers struck with a ruthless incisive move which saw the ball travel from McCoist to Trevor Steven to David Robertson with Hateley well placed to score with a powerful header from the full-back's cross.

Their superior vision and variety of attacking options continued to give Rangers the upper hand and it took a fine save by Alan Main to prevent Hateley adding a second.

Instead it was an altogether more bizarre sequence of events that led to goal No 2. McCoist who had passed a late fitness test, fell on his back as he stretched for a through ball but even in his prone position retained enough awareness to lob Main. The ball came down off the crossbar and bounced delightfully head-high for the inrushing Stuart McCall.

The loss of Gough, who failed to appear after the interval, proved debilitating to a Rangers' defence which lost two goals in a five-minute period.

Nine minutes into the second half Billy McKinlay crossed for Brian Welsh to head past Andy Goram, then Mark Perry provided a scoring header from a John O'Neil cross. At that stage Rangers confidence had been severely dented.

However that man McCoist was again Rangers saviour scoring his 35th goal of the season in the 69th minute when he rounded Main and scored a simple goal.

With minutes remaining Rangers were denied the most blatant of penalties after McCoist was clearly fouled by Welsh.

Rangers: Goram; McCall, D Robertson, Gough (Huistra, h/t), McPherson, Brown, Steven, I Ferguson, McCoist, Hateley, Mikhailichenko. Substitute not used: McSwegan.

Dundee United: Main; Krivokapic (Clark, 59), Cleland, McInally, van der Hoorn, Welsh, McKinlay, J O'Neil, Crabbe, D Ferguson, Perry. Substitute not used: M O'Neill.

Referee: D Hope (Erskine).

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