Law salvages point for Rangers

Date published: Saturday 25th April 2015 5:47

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Two goals on rare outing

John Baird put Peter Houston’s Scottish Cup finalists ahead after 57 minutes and Tom Taiwo doubled their lead four minutes later courtesy of a gaffe from Lee McCulloch which led to boos for the home captain.

But the Bairns were denied their first win over Gers in Glasgow since August 1994 as Haris Vuckic and then Law netted during a dramatic late rally. However, the result allowed Hibernian – 4-1 winners over Alloa – to leapfrog Stuart McCall’s side into second place.

And, with only next weekend’s clash with Hearts still to be played, it looks like Rangers will have to settle for third place and a play-off quarter-final against Queen of the South, who killed off Falkirk’s hopes with victory over Dumbarton.

Yet Rangers started brightly. Marius Zaliukas blazed an early chance over while Jamie MacDonald was forced to palm away another close-range chance from Ryan Hardie.

The goalkeeper’s block with his foot moments later from the Ibrox youngster was just as important after Zaliukas came up with a surprising burst of pace to take him past three flimsy tackles before slotting Hardie through.

Tom Walsh saw his deflected strike drop just over MacDonald’s crossbar but not for the first time this season, Rangers failed to maintain their early pace and allowed Falkirk to grab a foothold.

There was a scare when Luke Leahy stroked a low cross into Baird’s path after 20 minutes, but the striker’s first-time shot was brilliantly pushed away by Ranger goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Walsh sent a low ball across the face of goal but only found Leahy well placed to boot clear, and then the winger curled a decent effort just wide.

But carelessness crept in again as Darren McGregor had to backtrack quickly to block Will Vaulks after the Gers defender’s loose pass on halfway put his side in trouble.

Lee Wallace then had to dart back in stop Taiwo scoring as Vaulks sent a lovely ball into the box for the former Hibs midfielder as the Rangers defence stepped up.

But those warning signs were not heeded and, from the corner that followed, Baird found a yard of space to turn Craig Sibbald’s delivery into the net from five yards out.

Four minutes later Falkirk scored again; a Leahy ball down the right should have been dealt with by McCulloch, but the Gers skipper allowed Baird to nick possession. Once in behind the home defence, the little striker kept his cool as he squared for Taiwo, who slotted underneath Bell.

The home fans’ jeers did little to help McCulloch’s flagging confidence, as another slip-up let Taiwo in again. This time, though, Bell came up with the save.

Walsh struck a post before MacDonald tipped away McGregor’s goal-bound header soon after as Rangers pressed for a lifeline and a goal did come on 83 minutes as Vuckic nodded home from Law’s corner.

Falkirk were clinging on and saw MacDonald deny McCulloch with another fabulous save, but there was nothing the keeper could do as Law found space in the final minute to calmly stroke home the equaliser.

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