Towards the end of a comfortable victory for the visitors, the Stair Park announcer broadcast his wish that all the fans return for Stranraer's next home game. "It's no laughing matter," he chuckled when a cheer rippled around the ground. "We'd like to see you all."
There was a mood of cheerfulness, which reflected the way the game unfolded. Rangers established a carefree dominance in the first half, although the Stranraer players might have bridled as each of the three goals were scored, but they were brighter themselves after the interval. Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, was annoyed that his team did not maintain their tempo and ambition in the second half, but this was the kind of fixture that brought angst last season, so the overall feeling was of satisfaction.
Stephen Aitken, his Stranraer counterpart, was irked by the poor defending that contributed to the visitors wracking up a commanding lead, then the two bookings his brother, Chris, earned in the second half. The home side could not match the aplomb in the Rangers team, but they were game and did not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by the 3-0 half-time lead.
"I played three games against Rangers last season," said Jamie Longworth, the former Queen's Park striker. "Although last season [Rangers] struggled at times on tight parks, I still thought they had levels to go up. When you add to that the cracking players they've signed this season then by the time September comes around they'll be 10 times as good as they were last season.
"I don't think they'll roll everyone over in every game but they'll win games, some convincingly. But it's just about hopefully keeping their scoring to a minimum."
Only Nicky Law and Jon Daly of Rangers' signings played last Saturday. Both have brought a different dimension to the side, and it is telling that Ian Black and Lewis MacLeod, in particular, have responded by looking more confident and accomplished. Black was an influential figure throughout, and is much more adventurous. It was his shot that opened the scoring, although it deflected off Andy Little, who also claimed the goal.
MacLeod added the second with an assured finish at the back post and Lee McCulloch headed the third, from Law's corner. Aitken briefly troubled Rangers before the interval, with a well-struck free kick, but Scott Gallacher did well to reach the ball and tip it over.
"The experienced boys such as Lee have been a big help to me coming in, but they are also a big help to the team," said Gallacher. "They have been at the top of the game and they know what's needed. It's very good to have people like that at the club.
"From a personal point of view, I was happy with my save from the free kick. You have to keep your concentration when our lads had so much of the ball up at the other end. That is a big part of goalkeeping now. I felt the whole team did really well."
Gallacher may yet leave for a loan spell, at a club where he will be more likely to play every week and so continue his development. Steve Simonsen, the experienced former Everton goalkeeper, is due to return for another week's trial at Rangers, and could take the role of Cammy Bell's understudy this season.
"Cammy is a great guy and a great goalkeeper," said Gallacher. "I am really impressed with him. I didn't realise how good he actually was until I started training with him. I hope I have given the gaffer a decision to make come September 1, but it will be down to him and we'll take it from there. Every minute of game time is precious to me to show what I can do because I want to play as many minutes as I can for the club. I've just got to do my best. Hopefully, my best is good enough. If it's not then fair enough and we'll see what happens in September."