Shire defeated but not disgraced as Gers hit six

Shire battled all the way against Rangers (Picture: Gary Hutchison)
Shire battled all the way against Rangers (Picture: Gary Hutchison)

East Stirlingshire suffered a second mauling at the hands of Rangers this season but can still hold their heads high.

John Coughlin’s men hung on to the coat tails of their illustrious visitors for most of the match, despite having Philipp Zufle sent off after only 32 minutes.

It was only midway through the second half that Rangers’ numerical superiority really began to tell and the Shire players tired.

The Glasgow side started off strongly and took the lead after 11 minutes when Dean Shiels was felled by Sean Kelly and Lee McCulloch hammered home from the spot.

When referee George Salmond flashed a red card at Zufle following a wild challenge on Kevin Kyle then Andy Little doubled Rangers’ advantage on 39 minutes, it looked all over for Shire.

However, on the verge of half-time, a pin-point cross by Nathan Shepherd was headed home by Kevin Turner to given them renewed hope.

Three minutes into the second half, Lee Wallace was allowed to waltz through the Shire defence to make it 3-1, but still the home side wouldn’t give up.

A clumsy challenge by McCulloch gifted them a penalty after 58 minutes which Paul Quinn expertly rammed home.

When a sizzling long-range shot from Ian Black beat keeper Grant Hay only to come back off the post barely 60 seconds later, the Shire supporters began to believe an upset might be on the cards.

However, it wasn’t to last and, after Little failed to connect with a Wallace cross, Kyle found himself unmarked at the far post and stabbed the ball home from two yards.

That finally opened the floodgates with Kal Naismith converting Barrie McKay’s pass after 70 minutes and McCulloch converting a late penalty to see the game end in a 6-2 victory for Rangers.