Football: Scottish Cup Semi-Final: History is an ally for Rangers: Hampden resumes search for finalists this week as Kilmarnock misfire and Dundee United are saved at the bell

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Kilmarnock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Rangers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

FOR the second time in as many days Hampden hosted a Tennents Scottish Cup semi-final which failed to produce a winner and it will require replays tomorrow and on Wednesday at the same ground to determine this year's Scottish Cup finalists. Kilmarnock and Rangers battled out a stalemate against each other in a game where underlying tensions resulted in six bookings, while Gordon Durie, the Rangers striker, was lucky to escape punishment when he appeared to aim a kick at Ray Montgomerie, the Kilmarnock captain.

History suggests that clubs fare badly against Rangers or Celtic in replayed cup-ties, although Tommy Burns, the Kilmarnock manager, said: 'I don't believe we have lost our chance and we will prepare for the replay in the same way as we did for this game.'

Burns and Kilmarnock's supporters will look back on two second-half chances which might have sent them into the final on 21 May. Shaun McSkimming broke free down the left after 62 minutes but his angled shot was well saved by Ally Maxwell, and two minutes later Ally Mitchell shot straight at Maxwell from a Tom Brown cut-back.

Rangers had probed for weaknesses in the Kilmarnock defence and, finding none, changed their formation. Duncan Ferguson and Ally McCoist were sent on as extra forwards for the last 15 minutes. But all their attacks foundered on the rocks of Kilmarnock's defence.

The power and height of Mark Hateley, the subtlety of McCoist and the aerial threat of Duncan Ferguson were nullified by sterling performances from Craig Paterson, the former Rangers player, Montgomerie and Andy Millen.

This trio restricted the Ibrox club to a smattering of chances, although there was always a latent threat about Rangers, given the firepower at their disposal. However, the closest they came to scoring was from a powerful 30-yard free-kick by their central defender John Brown, which was dealt with acrobatically by Bobby Geddes.

It took 19 minutes for Rangers to produce the first scoring opportunity. Richard Gough aimed a high ball to Hateley, whose downward header was volleyed over the bar by Durie. Such opportunities were severely restricted thereafter and as time ran out there was an increased sense of desperation about the Rangers attacks, with a replay becoming inevitable after Geddes beat down a final shot from Hateley with two minutes remaining.

Kilmarnock (4-4-2): Geddes; MacPherson, Paterson, Millen, Montgomerie; Mitchell (McCluskey, 79), Reilly, McSkimming, Black; Williamson, Brown (McInally, 85).

Rangers (4-4-2): Maxwell; McPherson, Gough, Brown, Robertson; Murray (McCoist, 75), I Ferguson, McCall, Mikhailichenko (D Ferguson, 58); Durie, Hateley.

Referee: L Mottram (Wilsontown).