Prso header puts Rangers back on track for meeting of Old Firm

Dunfermline Athletic 0 - Rangers 1
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The Independent Football

Dado Prso atoned for his miss of the season that contributed to Rangers' downfall last week against Dundee United by earning the victory at East End Park yesterday that prevented Alex McLeish's side from spilling any more points.

Dado Prso atoned for his miss of the season that contributed to Rangers' downfall last week against Dundee United by earning the victory at East End Park yesterday that prevented Alex McLeish's side from spilling any more points.

The Croatian struck with a sixth-minute header to defeat a spirited Dunfermline side and ensure no further twists in the race for the Scottish Premier League before Sunday's Old Firm collision at Ibrox with Celtic, who are two points clear.

"I could not bear to look at the newspapers after that Dundee United game," said Prso. "Every game is vital for us now, not just the one against Celtic. But it was tough starting the day five points behind them."

McLeish said later that he thought Prso's goal, when he earned space to head Fernando Ricksen's cross beyond the goalkeeper Derek Stillie after Gregory Vignal's original corner, had given Rangers a "dream start".

However, they failed to build on their lead. Nacho Novo was guilty of a dreadful miss after 24 minutes, stabbing the ball wide when faced only by Stillie and Dunfermline would have equalised had the post not come to Ronald Waterreus's rescue just before the interval when Darren Young controlled the ball on his chest and thumped a 20-yard shot off the inside of the goal frame. NoelHunt thrashed the rebound over.

In the second half, Stillie had to make another fine save to prevent Prso scoring again with a clever flick, but Dunfermline were never killed off and Rangers were forced to endure a tense final period.

"If that shot of mine had gone in, things might have been different," said Darren Young. "But that sums up our season."

Dunfermline Athletic (4-4-2): Stillie; Skerla, Wilson, Thomson, Campbell; Hunt, Derek Young, Darren Young, Mason; Donnelly (Mehmet, 63), Hristov (Christiansen, 75). Substitutes not used: Langfield (gk), McKeown, Wilson, Scullion, Ross.

Rangers (4-4-2): Waterreus; Ross, Malcolm, Kyrgiakos, Ball; Buffel (Namouchi, 79), Ricksen, Ferguson, Vignal; Novo (Arveladze 60), Prso. Substitutes not used: McGregor (gk), Thompson, Khizanishvili, Burke, McCormack.

Referee: K Clark.

Booked: Dunfermline Stillie, Skerla, Dk Young, Campbell; Rangers Buffel, Ferguson, Prso.

Man of the match: Prso.

Attendance: 8,266.

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