Rangers Win On The Road As Steven Davis Praises Captain Tavernier’s Goalscoring And Leadership Qualities

Rangers Win On The Road As Steven Davis Praises Captain Tavernier’s Goalscoring And Leadership Qualities

St Mirren 0-3 Rangers

By Callum McFadden at the SMiSA stadium

Rangers interim manager Steven Davis and his side put midweek European disappointment behind them as the Northern Irishman won his first SPFL game in charge of Rangers with a three-goal victory over ten-man St Mirren at the SMiSA stadium.

The Rangers players were told exactly what their fans thought of their start to the season as the away support unfurled a banner referring to them as ‘heartless, passionless and leaderless’.

The way the game started did little to change the mood of the Rangers fans as it was an open encounter, particularly in the opening twenty minutes, with both sides getting forward at every given opportunity.

That being said, the Rangers players responded to that criticism by gradually taking more control of the game which led to them taking the lead in the 30th minute.

Highly rated Rangers youngster Zak Lovelace fired a cross into the St Mirren box towards

an unmarked Abdallah Sima who was in place for a tap-in, only for St Mirren midfielder Ryan Strain to touch the ball with his hand and knock it away from the forward.

That movement from the hand of Strain led to a VAR check which saw referee Nick Walsh subsequently award Rangers a penalty kick and send off Strain for his handball, deeming it deliberate and denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Rangers captain James Tavernier duly converted the spot kick to give the Glasgow side the lead and doubly punish St Mirren who were now down to ten men.

Nicolas Raskin could have added to Rangers lead in first-half stoppage time, but he missed from close range following good wing play from substitute Ross McCausland.

St Mirren defended resolutely after the halftime interval and frustrated Rangers for large parts of the second half.

James Tavernier saw a header fly past the post on the hour mark before Stephen Robinson introduced forwards Alex Greive and Mikael Mandron to proceedings in the 65th minute as his side chased an equaliser.

Unfortunately for Robinson and St Mirren, hope of an equaliser was extinguished in the 71st minute as Abdallah Sima fired a fine finish past Zach Hemming in the Buddies’ goal after good link-up play between James Tavernier and Nicolas Raskin on Rangers right-hand side.

Moments later, Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers had a glorious opportunity to add a third goal to the scoresheet when he was sent clean through on goal only by Raskin to fire his shot straight at Zach Hemming.

As the game petered out towards full time, a third Rangers goal was added by captain James Tavernier in sublime fashion. The skipper smashed a shot from range into the top right-hand corner of Zach Hemming’s net. It was a fantastic strike which the St Mirren goalkeeper could do nothing about.

Victory today puts Rangers second in the Scottish Premiership, seven points behind leaders Celtic, after eight games played.

WFi Player of the Match

James Tavernier

Two goals from the Rangers captain were crucial to his side sealing all three points in Paisley.

Rangers interim manager Steven Davis

“The number of goals that James [Tavernier] posts season after season is incredible. He is a top player, a leader within the dressing room. His character is really good and he has come in for unfair criticism at times.

“I hope this lifts the whole dressing room, everyone around the club needed it so we just have to make sure this is the first step in building something.”

St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson

“There is no denying it is a penalty and a sending-off. The game turns on its head after that.

“I thought we started really brightly, we were the better side, passed the ball really well. We tried to stay in the game for 65 minutes then I made attack-minded changes. Maybe I should have waited another 10-15 minutes, but that is not our style.”

St Mirren: Hemming, Strain (sent off, 29), Fraser, Taylor, Gogic, Tanser, McMenamin (Nahmani, 81), O’Hara, Baccus (Boyd-Munce, 68), Kiltie (Greive, 68), Olusanya (Mandron, 68).

Substitutes: Urminsky, Bolton, Flynn, Mandron, Boyd-Munce, Small, Dunne, Nahmani, Greive.

Rangers: Butland, Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barisic, Raskin, Cifuentes (Rice, 89), Lundstrum, Lovelace (McCausland, 42), Roofe (Dessers, 61) Sima (Lammers, 89).

Substitutes: McCrorie, Yilmaz, Dessers, Lammers, Sterling, Davies, McCausland, Rice, McKinnon.