Football: Rangers reap reward

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The Independent Online
Rangers. . .1

Celtic . . .0

A HEADER by Trevor Steven gave Rangers the points in a derby dominated by Celtic. However, Liam Brady could draw some satisfaction with the spirit and performance of his side, which offered hope for the future in spite of their third successive 1-0 defeat.

Celtic's dominance of the match began in the early stages and owed much to the efforts of Paul McStay and Stuart Slater, but it was the ineptitude of their team-mates in front of goal that kept the scores level.

Within the opening five minutes, a Tom Boyd run and shot and a Gerry Creaney shot, when put through by Slater, ought to have troubled Andy Goram but both failed to put their efforts on target.

Celtic could look back on two turning points early in the game which did nothing to help their cause. First the loss of Tony Mowbray after seven minutes, and then a dreadful miss by Andy Payton on the quarter-hour mark. Put through after a bad clearance by John Brown, Payton ran 20 yards before hitting a feeble effort off Goram's legs when passing to the onrushing Creaney would have been an easier, and potentially more rewarding, option.

Rangers got their first hint of space in the Celtic box when an unmarked Dale Gordon headed an Ian Durant free-kick over in the 24th minute. Ten minutes later two free-headers in the Celtic box gave Rangers their goal.

Ian Ferguson's free-kick was headed across goal by Mark Hateley for Steven to launch a whipping 12-yard header past Pat Bonner. This heralded Rangers' best spell, when their passing football was only denied by Celtic's offside trap.

The second half saw a procession of moves towards the Rangers goal, but again Celtic's pressure was not converted into goals. Chances fell to John Collins who shot wide, and then saw David Robertson clear his effort off the line six minutes from time, with Goram beaten.

The match's best move also produced its finest save, when McStay and Slater made a 64th-minute chance for Creaney whose shot was saved by Goram's legs - this was typical of a match in which Celtic's endeavour was surpassed by Rangers' determination.

Rangers: A Goram; S McCall, D Robertson, R Gough, D McPherson, J Brown, P Steven, I Ferguson, D Gordon, M Hateley, I Durrant (A Mikhailichenko, 72 min). Sub not used: P Huistra. Manager: W Smith.

Celtic: P Bonner; M McNally, T Boyd, M Galloway, T Mowbray (P Grant, 7 min), J Collins, J Miller, P McStay, A Payton (B O'Neill, 50 min), G Creaney, S Slater. Manager: L Brady.

Referee: L Mottram (Forth).

Goal: Steven (1-0, 34 min).