Andrews' belief puts Rangers on road to salvation

Dundee 0 Rangers 2
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The Independent Football

Marvin Andrews was the answer to Rangers' prayers yesterday, because the Scottish Premier League leaders were staring at another costly stumble until the born-again Christian rescued them at Dens Park.

Marvin Andrews was the answer to Rangers' prayers yesterday, because the Scottish Premier League leaders were staring at another costly stumble until the born-again Christian rescued them at Dens Park.

Alex McLeish admitted that his side were edgy after their previous indiscretion against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and they rode their luck until Andrews struck nine minutes from time.

Though Fernando Ricksen quickly added another goal, even Andrews admitted that he feared his team were about to drop more points in the title duel with Celtic. "Because of last week's result I did think we would drop points again," he said. "However, that is where belief comes in - now I'm going to church to pray."

The success allowed Rangers to restore their four-point lead over Celtic, but the champions have two games in hand. "It's not cut and dried that either of us will not drop points again," said McLeish.

However, it would be hard to paint a positive picture about this scrappy performance. Rangers could not even summon up one shot on target in a dreadful first half, when struggling Dundee won the midfield battle and prompted a sense of anxiety in their visitors.

The second period offered greater excitement, if not quality. Fabian Caballero ought to have scored for Dundee while Nacho Novo and Gregory Vignal went close at the other end.

Steve Lovell was Dundee's most potent threat and his searing 60-yard run just after the hour deserved better reward. Then Garry Brady replicated that threat with a surge of his own that needed Andrews to hook the ball away to prevent Neil Barrett from scoring.

Just as Rangers looked to have struck rock bottom, Andrews stepped into the breach. The towering defender met Ricksen's 81st minute corner and powered a fierce header beyond Soutar to scenes of relief from the travelling support. Two minutes later, Ricksen inflicted a cruel second.

Dundee (4-5-1): Soutar; Macdonald, Mann, Wilkie, Kitamirike; McManus (Robertson, 75), Smith, Barrett (Sutton, 85), Brady, Lovell (Conway, 90); Caballero. Substitutes not used: Dubourdeau (gk), Sancho, Cerdeira.

Rangers (4-4-2): Waterreus; Ross, Andrews (Thompson, 88), Kyrgiakos, Ball; Ricksen, Ferguson, Malcolm (Bufel, 60), Vignal; Novo (McCormack, 90), Prso. Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Rae, Burke, Namouchi.

Referee: I Brines.

Booked: Rangers Prso, Kyrgiakos.

Man of the match: Brady.

Attendance: 9,876.

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