THE infamous 1-0 defeat that Rangers suffered at the hands of Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park in the Scottish Cup in 1967 is widely and probably quite rightly regarded as the worst result the Ibrox club have ever suffered in their 150 year history.

But losing by the same scoreline to Stirling Albion in a Third Division game at Forthbank Stadium back in 2012 is not far behind.

Yes, the Ibrox club were playing in the fourth tier at the time as a result of their cataclysmic financial implosion earlier that year and were very much a diminished force.

Ally McCoist, though, still had a £7m annual wage bill to work with and still named no fewer than six internationalists, Neil Alexander, Lee Wallace, Lee McCulloch, Ian Black, Dean Shiels and Kevin Kyle, in his squad that day.

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Albion, meanwhile, were rooted to the bottom of the division after five straight defeats, were missing their manager as Greig McDonald was getting married and lost their goalkeeper Sam Filler to injury at the start of the second-half.

However, a ninth minute Brian Allison goal, bundled over the line from a few yards out after a Mark Ferry corner, ultimately secured a famous victory for “The Binos” and delighted the majority of the 3,751-strong crowd.

Rangers would recover from the ignominious loss and, despite being held to two further draws by Stirling that term, win the Third Division and secure the first promotion of a process that became known as “The Journey” with four games to spare.

Jordan White, the Ross County striker who started up front for the part-time hosts, felt the loss which the visitors, who had already been held to draws on the road by Peterhead, Berwick Rangers and Annan, suffered early in the 2012/13 campaign finally drove home to them they could not take the title for granted. 

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White has faced the Glasgow giants many times since, but he still has fond memories of the major upset that Stirling, who will play a fourth round Scottish Cup tie in Govan this evening, caused 10 years ago. 

“Rangers dropping into the Third Division was completely unexpected,” he said. “It gave every team in the league a real buzz. I was just 20 at the time and had just joined Stirling on loan from Falkirk. It was great to be a part of something like that.

“Albion didn’t get very big crowds. None of the teams in that division did. But against Rangers the ground was packed out. There was an entirely different feeling to the day to normal and we fed off the energy from the stands.

“Rangers were not a Third Division team. They had some big names and established players. They probably thought they were going to win every game. I think that perhaps they took their foot off the gas against us and paid the price for it. Having said that, we played well.

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“The manager wasn’t there. He was at his wedding and gave his team talk after training on Thursday night. But we were a part-time club so I think he could be excused. Shaun Fagan and Mark McCulloch took the team on the day. We set up with a 4-5-1 formation and just tried to make it as difficult as we possible could for them.

“I remember the game well. When we took the lead we knew they were going to come at us. When you score early on against a team like Rangers it invariably provokes a reaction. You almost have to score two goals to get a result. But that day we defended really well as a team and rode our luck a bit. It was a great day for the club.

“They obviously weren’t too happy at the end of the game. I don’t recall any of them hanging around on the park to congratulate us too much.”

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Rangers captain McCulloch, who hit the post with a header in the first-half and then had a shot cleared off the line in the second, felt the Glasgow side suffered because of poor communication. McCoist fielded Greek right back Anestis Argyriou and Brazilian centre half Emilson Cribari in defence.

The skipper admitted that a wholesale reappraisal of their approach was required. "There are a lot of new players, a lot of foreign players who don't speak English and a lot of young players,” he said afterwards. “But those are just excuses. It's a reality check for everybody."

White, who helped Stirling to draw 1-1 with Rangers at Forthbank the following February at and 0-0 at Ibrox in March, believes the reverse was, while embarrassing for their opponents, invaluable to McCoist’s men in the long-run.

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“I think that result showed Rangers they were going to have to work to get out of that division,” he said. “That’s a given in football. You have to work hard to win a league even if you’re the best team with the best players. If you don’t have the right attitude and mindset to go with your ability then things can go wrong.

“They were obviously the heavy favourites to win the league and went on to do that. But when they fell behind that day I don’t think they reacted to it well enough. They had never been in that position before. It ended any complacency they might have had.

“Playing against a side like that was a new experience for me personally as well. It was good for me to play against Rangers at Ibrox in a full house. I think it helped me to develop as a player. We did well against them that season and recorded another two draws. But the win at Forthbank was a special result that I will always cherish.”

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