Football: Woods' gaffe saves Rangers

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The Independent Online
Motherwell 2

Coyne 19, Gough og 77

Rangers 2

Negri 26, Durie 83

Attendance: 12,602

MANAGERLESS Motherwell came within seven minutes of pulling off a cup coup before their goalkeeper Stevie Woods returned the earlier generosity of Richard Gough and handed Rangers a face-saving equaliser at Fir Park.

Motherwell, without a manager since Alex McLeish's departure to Hibernian, were heading for the quarter-finals of the Tennent's Scottish Cup after Gough's own goal put them in front for a second time. Then in the 83rd minute Brian Martin rolled a back-pass to Woods but he scuffed his clearance into the path of Durie, who found the open net.

It was a devastating but Motherwell, who put up a spirited performance under the assistant manager Andy Watson, could have snatched a winner with two minutes to go when the Rangers keeper Andy Goram did well to turn away a shot from the edge of the area by Willie Falconer. That save ensured Rangers would have a second chance to find some inspiration when the fourth-round tie is replayed at Ibrox on Tuesday.

They were without Brian Laudrup, who they expect to join Chelsea in spite of Ruud Gullit's departure, and Paul Gascoigne, back after international duty in midweek, was anonymous. Motherwell might be struggling in the Premier Division but they could have been 3-0 ahead at the break. Owen Coyle headed over from Tommy Coyne's cross and then dragged a shot wide after Coyne had again set up the opening.

Eventually Coyne put Motherwell ahead in the 19th minute after Dougie Arnott and Coyle had linked up, but Rangers drew level in the 26th minute when Marco Negri scored his 34th goal of the season after Durie's header had been knocked off the line by Steve MacMillan, and keeper Woods had beaten away a shot by Jorg Albertz.

Macmillan help put Well back in front when his free-kick was deflected home by the Rangers captain Gough, who was under pressure from Falconer.

Motherwell then looked in command until Woods suffered his miserable moment and they were left to try again on Tuesday.