Rangers move two points clear

Skipper Lee McCulloch proved to be unstoppable in front of goal as he netted for the 17th time this season in a 2-0 victory over Peterhead.

Last Updated: 10/11/12 at 19:12

Lee McCulloch: Netted for 17th time this season

Lee McCulloch: Netted for 17th time this season

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The utility man was moved back to the heart of defence for the clash at Ibrox but still managed to add to his tally, with Lee Wallace also on the scoresheet.

This encounter proved to be more comfortable for the Light Blues than the 2-2 draw they scraped at Peterhead on the opening day of the league campaign.

Rangers made two changes from the side which thrashed Alloa 7-0 in the Scottish Cup last week as boss Ally McCoist was forced to shuffle his pack through injury.

Wallace recovered from a dead leg to take his place in the side, while youngster Robbie Crawford also started.

But defensive duo Emilson Cribari and Ross Perry were both missing from the squad, with Cribari carrying a knock and Perry presumably also injured.

As a result, McCulloch was asked to move to centre-half and shore up the defence in their absence.

Representatives from each of the armed forces and veterans led out the teams before a minute's silence was observed against the back-drop of a poppy card display in the stands.

Once the action was under way, Peterhead had an early chance when Rory McAllister rattled the crossbar in the opening minutes, albeit the offside flag was raised.

The home fans then screamed for handball against Scott Ross but there was no penalty award from referee Craig Charleston.

Rangers gradually began to impose themselves upon the game and Andy Little's volley from the edge of the box flashed just wide.

McCulloch then burst forward before having a go with a shot from distance that dipped over the crossbar.

Rangers cranked up the pressure and goalkeeper Mark McCallum was called into action to tip past the post from a swerving Ian Black free-kick.

At the other end, the visitors hit the woodwork again, with Ryan Strachan smacking the crossbar straight from a corner-kick on this occasion.

Rangers broke the deadlock two minutes before the interval when McCulloch added to his impressive tally for the season.

Barrie McKay delivered an inviting corner into the box and the skipper rose above everyone else to power a header into the back of the net.

McCulloch was hungry for more goals and saw a double shot blocked by the Peterhead defence shortly after the restart.

Little was then off-target with a left-foot strike that slid just past the upright as the home side pressed for a second goal.

The honours went to Wallace after 66 minutes when he collected from Black's free-kick and unleashed a low shot past McCallum to deliver a blow to the Blue Toon's hopes of a comeback.

Rangers were looking to put the gloss on what looked set to be a comfortable win and Dean Shiels rifled inches wide after combining well with McKay, before McCallum smothered a tame effort from substitute Kal Naismith.

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