Ian Broadfoot reporting from Ibrox as the pressure lifts off Craig Dargo as he gets his first goal for the club in this 1-1 draw with reigning SPL champions Rangers at Ibrox, and he did it in style with a spectacular effort.
|Saturday 29th October 2005||Ibrox Park, Glasgow|
|RANGERS (Alex McLeish)||1 (Thomson 54)|
Team: Waterreus, Hutton, Malcolm, Andrews, Bernard, Burke (Thompson 46), Ricksen, Hemdani, Ferguson, Lovenkrands, Prso
Subs - Rae, Murray, Namouchi, Smith, McCormack & Klos
|INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE||1 (Dargo 26)|
Team: Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Proctor, Black, Duncan, Morgan, Bayne, Dargo (Wyness 85)
Subs - McCaffrey, Hart, Juanjo, Parratt, Fox & Fraser
|Man of the Match||Ian Black (ICT)|
If Wednesday was a night to forget then this most certainly was a day to remember. For the third time in five SPL meetings Caley Thistle held Rangers to a 1-1 draw. It was also the second time that this has been achieved at Ibrox. For Craig Dargo it was also a special day as he scored what Rangers' manager Alex McLeish called a 'wonder goal' in 26 minutes - the striker's first top team goal since his summer arrival. Graham Bayne may see the day rather differently as he received a second yellow card in 82 minutes following a foul on Peter Lovenkrands.
Craig Brewster made many changes following the Falkirk defeat including resting himself. An injury to Barry Wilson created an opening for Richard Hastings in the revamped starting line-up and Richie Hart made way for David Proctor. Ian Black, Craig Dargo and Graham Bayne returned and Dennis Wyness started on the bench. Long-term injury victims Stuart McCaffrey and Juanjo made the bench for the first time this season. Rangers most high-profile absentee was Jose-Karl Pierre-Fanfan with Bob Malcolm taking his place. Alan Hutton came back into the Rangers defence for the first time following a leg-break.
Rangers pressurised the Caley Thistle defence from the start with Lovenkrands shooting across the face of the goal and Alan Hutton heading over the bar. The home fans were stunned in 26 minutes when Dargo collected a long kick-out from Mark Brown and scored with a dipping volley from 25 yards plus. The visitors could have added to this soon after but Alan Morgan hit wide from the edge of the box then Ronald Waterreus saved bravely at the feet of Bayne. The closest Rangers came to an equaliser before half time was a Fernando Ricksen header which came off the crossbar.
Half Time: 0-1
Chris Burke made way for Steven Thompson in the home team at the interval and he joined Dado Prso up front. It was the substitute who saved the day for Rangers in 54 minutes. The goal came after sustained Rangers pressure when Mark Brown rose to collect a Hutton cross, clashed with Fernando Ricksen and the ball broke free - Thompson had an easy task to score from a few yards out. From then on Rangers did everything but score. They came very close when Peter Lovenkrands back-heeled a Ricksen corner but Morgan cleared off the line. A minute later Lovenkrands ran from his own penalty box to the opposing one before ending on the ground following a Grant Munro tackle. Penalty claims were denied. Thompson and Marvin Andrews came close before Bayne's dismissal eight minutes from time gave Rangers what should have been a vital man advantage. They could still not break down a resolute Caley Thistle defence. Four minutes into added time Mark Brown brought off a classic save when he pushed over a Thompson header.
Full Time: 1-1
A fine afternoon's work by Caley Thistle and a valuable point which retains eighth place with 14 points from 13 games. Dundee United and Falkirk are closing fast and Dunfermline now share last place with Livingston on 5 points.