Motherwell 1-2 Rangers: Graham Dorrans double hands Gers opening-day win
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 07/08/17 12:12pm
Graham Dorrans scored twice on his debut as Rangers opened the new Scottish Premiership season with a 2-1 win at Motherwell on Sunday.
Dorrans made the breakthrough after just four minutes as the midfielder - signed from Norwich City in July - slotted home on his competitive debut for the club.
However, the home side levelled matters just before half-time when defender Ben Heneghan headed home Craig Tanner's free kick for his first-ever Motherwell goal.
The visitors claimed a deserved win, though, when Dorrans converted a 58th-minute penalty after a foul in the area by Louis Moult on Fabio Cardoso.
Rangers brought in nine new players during the summer and six of those were in from the off at Fir Park, with Pedro Caixinha's new-look side making a perfect start to the contest.
The visitors won a free kick near the right-hand touchline that was swung in towards the unmarked Bruno Alves at the far post. The Portuguese headed the ball back across goal where Kenny Miller laid it off for the waiting Dorrans.
And the Rangers fan then drilled a low shot through a posse of Motherwell players in the box and into the back of the net.
Rangers could have doubled their lead when the impressive Josh Windass went on a powerful run that began in his own half and ended with the midfielder curling an effort against the outside of the far post.
Despite dominating possession and territory for most of the first half, the visitors went in on level terms at the break after switching off at the back five minutes before half-time.
Tanner curled an inviting free kick to the far post and when Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham decided to stay on his line, Heneghan found himself in the right place to head home an unlikely equaliser.
Rangers almost went back in front immediately as Windass was again denied by the woodwork, although that close shave was soon forgotten as the visitors retook the lead just before the hour-mark.
For some reason, Motherwell striker Moult decided to elbow Cardoso in the face as a free kick came into in the box, with referee Bobby Madden given no choice but to point to the spot.
And Dorrans stepped up to place his penalty into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, despite Trevor Carson diving the right way.
Motherwell were unfortunate, however, not to get something out of the game after first Ryan Bowman's volley struck the outside of the post, before fellow substitute Alex Fisher was denied by Foderingham's brilliant late save.
Man of the match: Josh Windass
The midfielder was a constant threat throughout the match, but particularly in the first half when the 23-year-old twice hit the woodwork with well-struck efforts.
And while the player was not quite as threatening after the break, the visitors were able to use his pace down the left flank as an attacking outlet.
Rangers face Dunfermline at Ibrox in the Scottish League Cup, while Motherwell travel to Ross County in the same competition, with both ties taking place on Wednesday night.