Raith Rovers beat Rangers to lift Ramsdens Cup
Anyone who has already foreseen Rangers’ rise back to the top may not have accounted for the weekend's hiccup which saw Raith Rovers beat them to the silverware.
April 7th, 2014
The Scottish Challenge Cup Final was settled yesterday by a single goal four minutes from the end of extra time.
Rangers were lively throughout the first 90 – with headers missed in both periods by Bilel Mohsni and the width of a post preventing midfielder Nicky Law from adding to his season’s tally.
Rovers were themselves more than capable of the odd goal – and as John Baird pounced on Rangers keeper Cammy Bell’s block inside the box, he was able to roll it home, sparking wild celebrations and an extremely nervy final four minutes of extra-time.
Rangers may have wrapped up the League One title with eight games to spare, but their loss to a side in the division above – in name if not in spirit – shows that manager Ally McCoist may yet be feeling some pressure.
With the dream of a domestic treble over, Rangers must now prepare for a Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United having failed at what some would consider was a more coolly-contested match against Raith Rovers.
With the Ramsdens Cup closed to SPL teams, Rangers will have relished the chance to pick up more silverware in their rise back to the big league.
But that defeat is bound to sting despite their many chances to take the glory – McCoist places it “up there with all the major disappointments that I’ve had” as a player and manager.
Even if they are expected to rejoin the ranks of the SPL sooner rather than later, McCoist will no doubt hope he’s the one to get them there – which means that losses like this must be avoided in future.
This is to take nothing away from a spirited Raith Rovers side, however – a side who previously made their name on the European stage by taking the lead at Bayern Munich in a 1995 UEFA Cup tie. Those European nights are now the stuff of folklore; we expect John Baird will soon have his name in there too.