Although our season will not be judged on results against the Old Firm we can take no comfort at the woeful displays that the team have delivered in Govan in the last few seasons. There is a sad inevitability about the feckless performances that the small band of travelling supporters have to endure. Will it ever change?
The manager choose to leave both Humphrey and Daley on the bench at kick off and Clancy was added to bolster our defensive strength especially at set pieces. That tactic had some success but we managed to concede three from open play. The fact that Jelavic was omitted from the Rangers' team sheet and that Lafferty was carried from the pitch in five minutes offered little respite to our back line.
Hutchison was forced into a defensive clearance over his own goal inside thirty seconds and that established the pattern. Wave after wave of attacks fell on our packed defence and we were reduced to last gasp tackles and heroic blocks to keep them out. Any hopeful punts in the direction of lone target man Higdon were soon returned.
We came within ten minutes of the break before conceding the opener. Some slack play on our left flank gave allowed a cross that Healy managed to flick beyond Randolph. That spurred us into a five minute spell when Lasley came close, Law had an effort blocked and Higdon had a clear sight from the far post. McGregor had no need to worry.
We reversed the plan at half time and Murphy and Hughes were rested in favour of the aforementioned Daley and Humphrey. They gave us a moment's hope with a brisk move down the right wing but normal service was soon restored. After a few scares the home side scored number two in 55 minutes. Aluko finished well from outside the box.
Rangers were now in easy street and Randolph was kept busy but the third came with 20 minutes remaining and it was the unfortunate Craigan who got his name on the sheet when he turned in a ball across the goalmouth.
McCall expressed his "huge disappointment" at the performance and he admitted that "our big players did not perform".
Bring on Queen's Park and let us get back to winning ways.