Scottish Football - Rangers condemn fans for 'inappropriate singing'

Scottish Third Division, Shielfield Park - Berwick Rangers 1 (Argyriou og 6) Rangers 3 (Shiels, 9 pen, Little 45+1, Faure 66)

Scottish Football - Rangers condemn fans for 'inappropriate singing'

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There were reports of inappropriate chanting by Rangers fans against Berwick

Rangers continued their march to the Scottish Third Division title with a 3-1 win at little Berwick Rangers - but only after falling behind to the plucky part-timers at Shielfield Park.

However the televised victory was marred by what was described as "inappropriate singing" from some Rangers fans, prompting the club to release a statement during the match. Manager Ally McCoist was also apologetic on behalf of the club afterwards.

"Our fans have been fantastic home and away this season," he said. "I came off the park to be told the club have issued a statement. I back the club's statement 100%.

"If there was some unsavoury chanting, they've probably let themselves down - and they've let us all down a little bit.

"I would be very hopeful it's an isolated incident and we can move on. I think we've all come a long way in recent years. There's no doubt about that.

"We have to continue the good work that's been done before. You will get one or two setbacks, steps back to move forward again, but I'm hopeful it's no more than that."

Rangers are 25 points clear of Glasgow neighbours Queen's Park at the top of Division Three and only six wins short of the title after a tough work-out against Ian Little's side, who failed to emulate their club's famous Scottish Cup win over Rangers in 1967.

A Dean Shiels penalty (9), an Andrew Little volley (45+1) and Sebastien Faure's strike from close range on 66 minutes were good enough to hand McCoist's side another three points on the road after Anestis Argyriou had scored a wretched own goal on six minutes.

It was far from a vintage performance from the Glasgow side with an element of their supporters also managing to tarnish the day.

A Rangers spokesman said: "The club is disappointed by certain outbursts of inappropriate singing by a section of the support at Berwick.

"Our fans have been excellent this season both home and away and we do not want to see this tarnished."

Berwick struck first when Argyriou turned his back on a corner from Dylan Easton. It hit off him before beating Neil Alexander in the visiting goal.

The home side were still celebrating that start to the match when Rangers equalised moments later. Dougie Brydon was deemed to have fouled Shiels, who went to ground under little or no contact.

It was a poor decision by referee Callum Murray to award the penalty, but Shiels picked himself up off the deck to slam the penalty down the middle of the goal and restore parity.

Argyriou was fortunate to escape conceding a penalty on 19 minutes after clearly fouling Easton in the box with a rash challenge, but the referee somehow did not want to know.

Rangers moved 2-1 clear a minute into time added on in the first half when Little swivelled to thump a lovely volley into the net with the impressive Berwick goalkeeper Marc McCallum left with no chance.

The visiting side put the match to bed when Faure, who replaced a bloodied Ross Perry on 51 minutes, scored his first goal in senior football as he drilled the ball into the net from eight yards out after fellow substitute Kai Naismith had headed David Templeton's corner back across the face of goal.

Berwick had their chances to grab a second late on and make life uncomfortable for their full-time visitors in the dying seconds, but Rangers clung on for the win as the snow tumbled down on the border town.

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