Rangers eased past Raith Rovers to join Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, as Michael Beale targets his first trophy as manager.
Goals either side of the half from first Connor Goldson, and then a chaotic OG from Ryan Nolan set Rangers on course for another trip to Hampden. Scott Arfield then added a third after coming off the bench to round off a convincing afternoon in Govan.
It was matters in the stands that caught the eye however, with members of the ‘Union Bears’ section of the stadium choosing to boycott the game. In a statement released by Rangers this was allegedly due to a refusal by the club to permit ‘an offensive anti-police banner display.’
Gers boss Beale signalled his intent in his hunt for silverware by naming ten of the same XI that faced Hibs midweek, with only Ryan Jack dropping out of the side for John Lundstram.
Esmael Goncalves almost gave Raith Rovers a stunning early lead however. The forward clipped the ball over Allan McGregor from his own half after a sloppy pass was given away by Connor Goldson, the strike floated just wide of the post though as the host’s blushes were spared.
James Tavernier forced a excellent save from Jamie MacDonald after 10 minutes and the Raith keeper was be kept busy in the first period as Rangers piled the pressure on the Championship side.
The home side finally made the break-through with three minutes left of the half through Goldson. Borna Barisic’s delivery had been a stand out weapon in the light blues arsenal and it was his out-swinging corner that was met with a bullet header from the centre back.
Rangers then added a second minutes before the hour mark, with a moment to forget for Raith defender Ryan Nolan. James Tavernier swept a ball across the box before Nolan sliced his clearance over the helpless MacDonald to put through his own net.
Scott Arfield came off the bench to put the gloss on the Rangers victory with a third before the end. The substitute was picked out in the box by Todd Cantwell before placing a composed finish in to the bottom corner to send his side to Hampden.