Rangers blow two-goal lead as Kaiyne Woolery stars for Motherwell



Posted Monday, February 28, 2022 by PA

Rangers blow two-goal lead as Kaiyne Woolery stars for Motherwell

Kaiyne Woolery inspired an unlikely Motherwell comeback as Rangers failed to capitalise on Celtic’s earlier slip-up in the cinch Premiership title race.

Woolery scuffed a shot inside Allan McGregor’s near post with 14 minutes left at Ibrox to seal a 2-2 draw.

Rangers had scored twice in 90 seconds midway through a first half which they dominated.

Alfredo Morelos claimed the opener after he and Bevis Mugabi competed for a cross and Fashion Sakala netted his ninth goal for Rangers and fifth against Motherwell.

But Woolery set up substitute Jordan Roberts to net just after the break and scored himself before Motherwell held out amid some intense late pressure.

Rangers had looked set to cut the gap on leaders Celtic following the leaders’ goalless draw with Hibernian but they finished the weekend as they started it – three points adrift.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was again without Aaron Ramsey while Ryan Jack dropped out on his 30th birthday. Glen Kamara came into midfield and John Lundstram started in central defence.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander, who had to watch the game from the stand amid his touchline ban, made five changes. Kevin van Veen was among those dropping out as he nurses a shoulder injury while captain Stephen O’Donnell earned a recall in Motherwell’s back four.

Motherwell struggled to get to grips with the hosts in a one-sided opening and Morelos hit the bar inside 90 seconds.

Liam Kelly made excellent diving stops from James Tavernier and Lundstram, who also headed wide from eight yards, and Rangers regularly threatened with balls from the right towards Morelos.

It was from this source that Rangers took the lead in the 22nd minute. Ryan Kent drilled in a cross towards the Colombian, who had his back to goal and was closely marked by Mugabi. As the pair challenged, the ball flew inside Kelly’s near post.

Kent had a major hand in the second goal when he drove into the box. The ball broke for Sakala in space and the Zambia international drilled first time into the far corner from 14 yards.

The chances dried up but matters could have been worse for Motherwell going into half-time after Joe Efford escaped with a yellow card from Don Robertson after catching Connor Goldson with his studs when the pair were on the ground.

Efford was one of three Motherwell players who made way at half-time, with Roberts coming on along with on-loan Celtic midfielder Liam Shaw and Justin Amaluzor.

Kelly soon made a good stop from Tavernier but Motherwell got back in the game in the 52nd minute. Kaiyne Woolery emphatically beat Lundstram for pace to get round the outside and drill over a cross which Roberts tapped in.

Morelos was twice denied goals by the offside flag and Kelly stood up to Kent’s powerful strike to keep the Ibrox crowd on edge.

And the tension ramped up when Woolery made the most of a hopeful ball into the box in the 76th minute. The wide man made space under pressure and stabbed a shot inside the near post.

Motherwell brought on centre-back Sondre Solholm for winger Amaluzor as they defended their point.

Ricki Lamie, Dean Cornelius and Jake Carroll all produced excellent penalty-box blocks and Kelly denied substitute Kemar Roofe before gratefully gathering as Goldson failed to make the most of a loose ball.

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