London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2004-05--> All for 20050507
<-Page <-Team Sat 07 May 2005 Rangers 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Times ------ Report Type-> Srce->
John Robertson <-auth Douglas Alexander auth-> Charlie Richmond
[T Buffel 9] ;[M Andrews 42]
5 of 019 Marvin Anthony Andrews og 84 L SPL A

Rangers hold their nerve to leapfrog rivals

Douglas Alexander at Ibrox
THE test of nerve continues. Rangers reclaimed the leadership of the Premierleague by a point with this victory and if goal difference comes into play, they are ahead on that score by four. Celtic are still favourites to retain the title but may be required to close out the championship with victories in their three remaining fixtures, starting at home to Aberdeen today.

The closing 10 minutes were far more anxious than they needed to be for manager Alex McLeish after Marvin Andrews deflected a Michael Stewart free kick into his own net to offer Hearts the chance to pursue a point that their performance barely merited.

Stephen Simmons did swipe one left-foot shot over after another Stewart free kick but Rangers came closer to extending their advantage when Steven Thompson twanged the Hearts crossbar, which Thomas Buffel had already struck before Hearts pulled a goal back.

The visitors’ preparations had hardly been ideal, with their board equivocal on the future of John Robertson, their manager, after a meeting on Friday night and then their bus delayed en route to Ibrox, requiring a police escort to make it on time.

An unusually cautious line-up, featuring five players strung across midfield, perhaps reflected Robertson’s glum mood. The line of bodies provided little protection, though, as Rangers made a purposeful start which saw them take the lead in the ninth minute. The goal was scored by Buffel, who headed home after Andy Webster had cleared from the line, but owed much to Nacho Novo.

The Spaniard had swept past Steven Pressley, then nipped round Robbie Neilson before sending in a shot that Craig Gordon could only half-save. The game then entered a grumpy phase with various feuds springing up and Buffel claiming penalties for perceived nudges in the Hearts box. The little Belgian then saw a shot blocked by Pressley before playing a part in Rangers’ second when his shot was deflected home by Andrews. McLeish is looking for sharper Rangers finishing in their remaining two games, at home to Motherwell and away to Hibernian.

He said: “I would have loved more goals but we won the game and that was the objective at the start.

“It was nervy when it went to 2-1. A team can play well for just five minutes and still go away with something.”

STAR MAN: Nacho Novo (Rangers)

Player ratings. Rangers: Waterreus 6, Ricksen 6, Andrews 7, Kyrgiakos 7, Vignal 6, Buffel 8 (Burke 79min, 6), Rae 7, Ferguson 7, Lovenkrands 4 (Arveladze (59min, 5), Novo 8, Prso 7 (Thompson 73min, 6)

Hearts: Gordon 5, Neilson 5, Pressley 5, Webster 5, Wallace 5, Stewart 5, Hartley 6, MacFarlane 6, Mikoliunas 5 (Simmons 73min), Hamill 4, Miller 6 (Wyness 46min)

Scorers: Rangers: Buffel 9, Andrews 42

Hearts: Andrews og 84

Referee: C Richmond

Attendance: 49,342



Taken from

<-Page <-Team Sat 07 May 2005 Rangers 2 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2005 |