McDonald sending off the turning point as Gers beat ’Well

Motherwell's Scott McDonald puts his hands on his head after being sent off during the 2-0 Scottish Premiership defeat against Rangers (Pic by Alan Watson)
Motherwell's Scott McDonald puts his hands on his head after being sent off during the 2-0 Scottish Premiership defeat against Rangers (Pic by Alan Watson)
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Motherwell lost to Rangers for the second time in a week with a 2-0 league reverse at Fir Park on Saturday.

The game started off in explosive fashion after just four minutes when Rangers’ Michael O’Halloran - ironically a loan signing target for Motherwell - got a straight red card for a shocking high challenge on Carl McHugh.

McHugh was able to play on after receiving treatment.

Craig Clay shot just wide for the hosts before a powerful run and cross by ’Well’s Chris Cadden saw the ball just missed by the lunging Scott McDonald in the middle.

McHugh and McDonald both had efforts saved by Gers keeper Wes Foderingham before another Cadden surge saw McDonald again just fail to connect.

Another major incident on 26 minutes saw McDonald receive a straight red card from Willie Collum for a lunge at Kenny Miller in front of the dugouts, to even the teams up at 10 men each.

Suddenly Motherwell’s early supremacy was disipated as Rangers began to boss proceedings.

Emerson Hyndman had a shot saved by Motherwell keeper Craig Samson, before Barrie McKay and Hyndman had efforts blocked.

Miller – a thorn in Motherwell’s side with two late goals in the Scottish Cup match the previous week – then played a one-two with Hyndman before having a shot saved by Samson.

The pattern of play towards Samson’s goal continued in the second half with Miller playing Lee Wallace in for a shot which beat Samson but which was miraculously cleared off the line by Stevie Hammell.

A rare break in Gers’ pressure saw Louis Moult shoot just over after Hammell’s free-kick into the box had been partially cleared.

Andy Halliday and John Toral both had shots saved by Samson before Miller deservedly broke the deadlock for Rangers when he tapped in after Wallace’s cross had been missed by Rangers sub Martyn Waghorn.

Moult shot just off target before Wallace missed narrowly at the other end.

Harry Forrester’s drive was stopped by Samson but the killer second goal arrived on 86 minutes when Hyndman shot powerfully home from a Josh Windass pass.

Waghorn then missed a great opportunity to score Rangers’ third when he fired wide in stoppage time.

A poor second half for Motherwell saw new signing Elliott Frear have little time to make any impact after replacing Cadden as a 75th minute substitute.