If it was bad enough for 'Well fans who watched the torture on television then it was even worse for the biggest travelling support that we have taken to Ibrox for years. Naturally, the home support had a great evening and they were quite entitled to relish their chant of "SPL, yer having a laugh".
McCall sent out the same eleven that earned lots of praise for the performance at Pittodrie but it was clear within seconds that we were not prepared for the onslaught that faced us. Kerr dallied on the ball looking for the luxury of time to clearl but he lost the ball in the pressing challenge and we suffered an early scare.
These fans suffered!
The warning was obvious. The young Rangers team were under instructions to fly at us, give no time for any pretty passing and flood upfield when the chance arose. We steadied the ship and the game continued at 100 miles an hour. Neither team carved out a clear cut chance apart from Law who had a chance to round the ‘keeper. Hutchinson and Sandaza clashed heads in the Motherwell box and everyone had a breather while they received attention. Sandaza left the field on a stretcher and Hutchison was escorted up the tunnel with a bloodied head wound. He needed a couple of spare shirts before the relief of half time.
We were overwhelmed at the start of the second half. Humphrey lost the ball in an advanced position and it was soon in our box. A fine challenge from Lasley conceded a corner. McCulloch headed home from the six yard line and the roof almost came off the stadium. Ten minutes after the restart we lost the second. Shiels was unmarked in the box and his low sweep beat Randolph. Our heads were down and it simply looked impossible that we could recover.
Our substitutions started on the hour and soon Hateley, Hammell and Humphrey were replaced by Murphy, Francis-Angol and Daley but there was to be no fantastic fightback far less a consolation goal.
The screw was turned on the travelling support as the police choose to keep the exit gates closed for 15 minutes so that the celebrations would not be missed. We were beaten by a team full of fight and urgency and all will have to do some soul searching before Saturday.
It was a bad, bad night and one that should serve as a reminder to anyone who puts too much store in an early league position that there’s a long way to go before we can call this a good season.