By a Newsnet reporter
Charles Green’s new Rangers team took to the field in Brechin and opened a whole new chapter in Scottish football.
The result of this cup game, Green’s men won 2-1 after extra time, was almost secondary in the tale of the Ibrox club resurrected under the banner ‘The Rangers’.
The two biggest beneficiaries, outwith Charles Green’s newco, are cup sponsors Ramsdens and the Gaelic language who have both been provided with a profile neither could have hoped for after BBC Alba won the rights to show the game.
The Gaelic commentary was provided against a backdrop of Union flags and the odd “The cry was no surrender” and “Rule Britannia” in a cultural mix that would have baffled a foreigner.
In an ironic twist, newco Rangers fans displayed a banner proclaiming that the SFA and the SPL were “corrupt to the core”. The Newco are themselves seeking to avoid penalties imposed on the previous Ibrox incarnation who were themselves a tad less than pure.
New Rangers are playing Division Three football this season and judging by this scrappy performance against Second Division Brechin City, Rangers fans will probably be relieved that Ally McCoist’s men weren’t allowed to remain in the SPL after all.
They looked like a Division Three team, and struggled to break down a very ordinary Brechin City. Brechin City ‘ahune’ Rangers ‘ahune’ told this non-Gaelic speaker that the score was one each for most of the second half and indeed remained so at the end of ninety minutes.
Lee McCulloch’s headed winner in the first period of extra time spared McCoist’s blushes and sent drenched Gers’ fans home happy. A dreadful game played in dreadful weather was over.
New Rangers had opened the scoring after just four minutes with a goal from Andrew Little making history – one for quiz teams in years to come. In a twist that future quizmasters will have some fun with, Little isn’t yet an official Rangers player, and played in this game as a trialist.
However plucky Brechin showed they weren’t there as bit part players with an equaliser late in the first half from Andy Jackson.
The second half saw Rangers dominate possession but create few clear cut chances in a game that got worse as time wore on. Passes went astray and cards were brandished by Mr Salmond (George Salmond) who handled the game pretty well.
Rangers were denied a strong penalty claim late in the second half and looked to be tiring as extra time loomed. However Brechin were denied their opportunity to travel to Ibrox for a replay when McCulloch headed a corner kick into the net.
Ally McCioist’s men are back, where they go from here remains to be seen. On Friday, notwithstanding disagreements over outstanding sanctions, oldco Rangers’ SPL share finally transfers to Dundee and Scottish league football can return to some semblance of order.