Hibernian 0 Rangers 0: Frustrated Rangers face fixture congestion

Rangers are facing further fixture congestion after the Scottish Football Association refused to allow their Scottish Cup replay against Hibernian to take place on Wednesday.

Their manager Walter Smith wants the game to go ahead this midweek, maintaining that it is the only free slot for several weeks because of Rangers' participation in the Uefa Cup this month and a backlog of other matches.

Both clubs are happy for the tie at Ibrox to be played then, after yesterday's fifth-round game ended in a goalless stalemate at Easter Road. However, the SFA have rejected Rangers' request because several players have international commitments. Smith believes finding a suitable date will prove problematic.

"I'm a wee bit bemused because we have offered to play it on Wednesday and they have told us we can't and I don't know why," he said. "With us having a busy schedule and having one week available to us, it's a bit of a mystery why we can't play it because it's really the only Wednesday we have to play unless they are going to cancel a Uefa Cup tie or a league game."

It proved to be a busy afternoon for the goalkeepers yesterday, both sides creating chances but lacking the cutting edge required to decide the tie. There was even an unexpected debut for new Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander after Allan McGregor was sent off with a few minutes left.

Rangers claimed a penalty within seconds of kick-off when Steven Naismith went to ground under pressure from Kevin McCann, but there appeared to be little contact and referee Craig Thomson signalled for play to continue. Merouane Zemmama gave Hibs hope of an early opener when he embarked on an impressive run down the left flank but he was halted by Kirk Broadfoot.

Hibs should have taken the lead shortly before half-time. Dean Shiels' firm shot was deflected inches wide before Steven Fletcher's header was hooked off the line by Naismith.

Lee McCulloch saw his point-blank header held by Yves Ma-Kalambay shortly after half-time. Rankin then whipped a great ball across the goalmouth with Zemmama sliding in at the back post – but the little Moroccan could not quite make the connection.

Barry Ferguson was not too far away with a right-footed volley which swerved just wide, before McGregor produced a superb save to deny Fletcher's shot.

A controversial opener almost followed. Shiels controlled the ball with his hand before finding Fletcher in space. The striker rounded McGregor and looked certain to score – but Sasa Papac nodded the ball to safety.

Charlie Adam could have been the hero for the visitors when Broadfoot was felled on the edge of the box and he stepped up for the free-kick. His curling effort was well struck but Ma-Kalambay punched clear.

McGregor was shown a straight red card with three minutes to go for racing off his line and clattering into Shiels as he bore down on goal.

Hibernian: Ma-Kalambay, McCann, Hogg, Jones, Hanlon, Shiels, Kerr, Murray, Rankin, Fletcher (Donaldson, 90), Zemmama (O'Brien, 74). Substitutes not used: McNeil, Chisholm, Gathuessi.

Rangers: McGregor, Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Papac, Hemdani (Alexander, 88), Ferguson (Boyd, 76), Adam, Burke, McCulloch, Naismith (Darcheville, 65). Substitutes not used: Dailly, Fleck.

Booked: Hibernian: Fletcher, Murray Rangers: Broadfoot:

Sent off: Rangers: McGregor (88)

Referee: C Thomson (Scotland)

Attendance: 11,513

Quarter-final draw: Aberdeen v Celtic; Queen of the South v Motherwell or Dundee; Ross County or St Johnstone v St Mirren or Dundee United; Hibernian or Rangers v Livingston or Partick Thistle. To be played on the weekend of 8 March.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory