Rangers hoping to avoid mechanical fault
Soccer:Rangers face another trip into the unknown on their journey through the lower levels of the game after being drawn against Highland League champions Forres Mechanics in the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Talks will be held tomorrow over the venue for the contest but Forres hope to host the game at their Mosset Park ground, which has a capacity of 1,476. Rangers have struggled in every away game so far this season, winning by one goal against Brechin and Falkirk in the Ramsdens Cup and drawing against Peterhead and Berwick Rangers in the Irn-Bru Third Division.
Berwick dominated the second half of yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Shielfield Park and were denied an injury-time winner when Chris Townsley’s headed goal was controversially ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Neil Alexander.
And former Rangers midfielder Trevor Steven knows they have to start getting their head around the challenge posed by some of Scotland’s smallest senior clubs.
“They are not finding any away game easy,” Steven said. “It’s difficult for Rangers to get mentally tuned in to the opposition they are coming across, but they have got to learn quickly. It’s going to be a really big challenge at Forres.
“The smaller grounds, the fact that every game is like a cup tie; teams and supporters are excited about Rangers coming to their ground. They are lifting their games. They have nothing to lose and Rangers have to take the game by the scruff of the neck on their travels.
“They haven’t done that yet. Players need to show their ability, you have to win your personal battles and then show your skills. The away performances have been very disappointing and the first person to acknowledge that is Ally McCoist.”
The town of Forres, which is 25 miles east of Inverness, and the club in particular, were coming to terms with the draw. Club secretary David Macdonald said: “I’m delighted and still in a state of shock. I looked at the draw on the William Hill website and I had to look twice when I saw Forres Mechanics v Rangers.
“Obviously Rangers are still a very strong team but anything is possible in the cup.” Talks will take place tomorrow between the club, police and local authority and other agencies over whether they can host the game at Mosset Park. Macdonald said: “I think it would be every club’s dream to play at their own ground, especially against a club of Rangers’ stature.”