Rangers recorded their second Premiership win of the campaign with a straightforward victory over Ross County in Dingwall.

Kemar Roofe marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening goal midway through the first half before captain James Tavernier doubled the lead four minutes later.

Michael Beale’s side will now travel to Holland for the second leg of their Champions League play-off round fixture with PSV Eindhoven.


One down, two to go. It could be argued that this is the most significant week of Beale’s managerial career thus far. He got it off to a winning start.

This trip to Dingwall had all the hallmarks of a potentially tricky afternoon for Rangers, even more so given events at Rugby Park just a couple of weeks ago. It was a test that Beale’s side passed impressively, though, as they showed their quality and their character to ease to victory.

With the first Old Firm fixture of the season coming up next weekend, Rangers simply couldn't afford to drop more Premiership points here. If they had, the pressure on the Celtic clash would have been huge and a defeat at Ibrox could have been disastrous.

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That situation was avoided thanks to this fine victory. It was a result that should give Beale’s side another timely boost as attentions turn to PSV and their shot at Champions League glory.

That is a challenge that Rangers can approach with a free mind on the back of their 2-2 draw on Tuesday evening. The tie is there to be won and they only need to think back 12 months to know what is possible in the Philips Stadion.

If Rangers could end this week with two Premiership wins and European progression, it would be quite the statement of intent and give supporters belief in what Beale has built this season. The dream scenario is still a live chance.


Beale had seen his side concede the first goal in three of their six fixtures so far this term. That wasn’t a huge issue at this stage, but it was something that wasn’t sustainable in the longer run.

Rangers never looked like making the same mistake here. The start was full of purpose and they were well worth their lead at the break as Roofe and Tavernier scored within four minutes of each other.

Cyriel Dessers should have found the net with a header from a Roofe cross early on before a second effort was diverted over. A couple of minutes later, Sam Lammers nodded straight at Ross Laidlaw.

The opener from Roofe was followed by a stunning Tavernier strike. The captain nipped in ahead of George Harmon, advanced through the County half and produced an effort that was curling and dipping and destined for the top corner from the moment it left his foot.

A strike from Lammers on the stroke of half-time was heading in the same direction but Laidlaw was equal to it with a fine stop. Had Rangers been three goals to the good, it wouldn’t have flattered them.

The second half was all about control for Rangers. Chances were still carved out, though, as Rabbi Matondo saw his strike tipped over and Laidlaw saved from fellow substitute Abdallah Sima.

It was evident early on that Rangers had done enough to win. It was two goals, three points and down the road.


The options that Beale has in the attacking areas vary in terms of style and substance. There is only one striker that has the attributes of Roofe, though, and this performance - on his first start in 16 months – was a reminder of just what he can bring to the team.

There was no sign of a lack of fitness or sharpness in the opening stages. Roofe has had to wait some time for this moment and it was an opportunity he was almost destined to make the most of.

Run outs against Kilmarnock and Morton came in difficult circumstances for the Jamaican but this was a chance to silence his critics and win over his doubters. Thankfully for Roofe, those tags do not apply to his manager and he can now repay the faith that Beale has shown in him.

He showed strength and determination to hold off James Brown and connect with a Borna Barisic cross. From close range, he diverted the ball beyond Laidlaw and scored his first goal since February.

Roofe’s afternoon ended before the hour mark as he made way alongside Lammers and Beale introduced Matondo and Sima. It was job done for Roofe.

He will have to sit out the second leg of the Eindhoven clash after being omitted from the European squad. As it stands, he is not robust enough to cope with three matches in a week.

But this was a reminder that Roofe can play a significant role for Rangers over the course of a campaign. If Beale can keep him fit, Roofe will keep firing.


A goal, a clean sheet and three points. That is almost the perfect weekend for Tavernier and this was another pleasing and impressive afternoon for the Ibrox captain.

His wonder goal midway through the first half took his tally to 104 for Rangers. When you add in his assists, he now has 221 goal contributions from 408 games for the club.

The statistics have always told so much of the story of Tavernier’s Rangers career. The numbers are never enough to win over his doubters, while those who cherish his presence use them to add weight to their opinion.

When it comes the figures, there was another important tally mark for Rangers here. This was their second clean sheet of the season and that had to be a positive to take back to Glasgow.

Livingston were the only side not to score against Rangers heading into this fixture. For all the questions relating to Rangers from middle to front, that record was one that had to be addressed.

Keeper Jack Butland was again a commanding presence between the sticks. He is growing in stature with every outing and the shut-out was deserved.

All of the back four played their part. When it comes to Tavernier, his influence extended up and down the park once again.


The Staggies have shown that they can give the Old Firm a game when they make the trip up the A9 and they were impressive performers against Celtic earlier in the season. That will make this one all the more frustrating for Malky Mackay.

County never really got going. It was Rangers that started the brightest and that took the sting out of the hosts on a day when they had to ask early questions of Beale’s side.

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The tussle between Connor Goldson and Simon Murray was an intriguing one to keep an eye on but chances were hard to come by as Rangers dominated the first half.

Mackay introduced Will Nightingale at the interval and saw Jordan White head wide just seconds after the restart as County spurned their best chance of the afternoon.

There were a couple of moments thereafter. As the clock ticked on, County’s chances of a comeback faded and they ended the outing with nothing to show for their efforts.