Rangers humbled by Crawford strike

Dunfermline 2 Rangers 0

Last may, Dunfermline were accused of lying down to Rangers by Chris Sutton as Celtic's title hopes disappeared beneath a flood of goals at Ibrox, but the striker may wish to send a bottle of champagne to East End Park after this result.

Jimmy Calderwood's side influenced the Scottish Premier League championship in an entirely different fashion to their 6-1 defeat that so upset Sutton, inflicting their first league defeat on Rangers in 31 years.

Alex McLeish is now looking at an eight-point gap to Celtic and the manager admitted that retaining that title is now a huge task. "It is going to be hard for us but we will keep fighting," the Rangers manager said. But not many of his players show a similar resolve.

It was a bad end to a bad week for Rangers, after being eliminated from Europe completely by that midweek defeat against Panathinaikos in the Champions' League. Rangers have always had Dunfermline in their back pocket, but the worm finally turned for the Fife side.

Steve Crawford put Dunfermline in front after just four minutes with his 11th goal of the season, gathering Craig Brewster's flick on from a deep freekick and eluding Henning Berg before lobbing Stefan Klos from the edge of the box.

Crawford and Brewster both had chances to score before half-time but Rangers finally showed some hunger in the second half with substitute Shota Arveladze setting up Peter Lovenkrands and Robert Malcolm, but both failed to find the target.

However, Rangers' ignominy was complete in the 83rd minute when Vanoli scored an an own goal, panicking after he looked to handle Andy Tod's header and then stabbing the ball past Stefan Klos.

Goals: Crawford 5 (1-0); Vanoli (og) 85 (2-0).

Dunfermline Athletic (4-4-2): D Stillie; A Skerla, A Tod, S Wilson, L Bullen; B Nicholson, G Mason, Darren Young, Derek Young (G Dempsey,65); C Brewster (N Hunt, 76), S Crawford 6. Substitutes not used: M Ruitenbeek (gk), S MacNicol, A McDermott.

Rangers (4-4-2): S Klos; F Ricksen, H Berg, M Ball, P Vanoli; C Burke, S Hughes, R Malcolm, P Lovenkrands; N Capucho (E Ostenstad, 46), M Mols (S Arveladze, 72). Substitutes not used: A McGregor (gk), M Ross, B Gibson.

Referee: A Freeland.

Bookings: Ricksen, Malcolm (Rangers).

Man of the match: Scott Wilson.

Attendance: 8,592.