RANGERS caretaker boss Graeme Murty had mixed emotions after his side came back from two goals down at the interval to earn a 2-2 draw against Motherwell at Fir Park this afternoon.
The Ibrox side, following successive losses against Celtic and Kilmarnock, looked to be heading for an unhappy hat-trick as the home outfit went two goals up in only 16 minutes.
Referee Nick Walsh awarded a penalty-kick in the ninth minute after a sloppy challenge from Russell Martin had flattened Chris Cadden. Curtis Main slotted the spot-kick to Wes Foderingham’s left as the keeper took off for the opposite corner. And it got even worse for Murty’s men when Stephen Robinson’s team doubled their advantage shortly afterwards.
Main shrugged off a feeble challenge from James Tavernier to set up Allan Campbell and he stroked the ball low into the net from 12 yards.
On the half-hour mark, Cadden clipped the crossbar with an angled rive that left Foderingham flapping at fresh air and the Rangers No.1 was motionless five minutes before the interval as a chip from Main travelled just wide of his far post.
The Ibrox side came to life after the interval and the match official made the first of a series of bewildering decisions when he awarded the visitors a penalty-kick in the 51st minute.
Defender Elliott Frear clearly got the ball with a well-timed tackle, but Tavernier went down in a heap. The ref pointed to the spot and the right-back got back to his feet, composed himself and swept an unstoppable effort high past Trevor Carson.
Two minutes later, Rangers remarkably levelled when Campbell allowed Jamie Murphy to drift in from the left before rifling a low right-foot shot into the keeper’s right-hand corner.
Well were out of luck when Main hit the bar in the 55th minute and both teams had to settle for a point in a hard-fought encounter.
Murty said: “I want to praise my players, but part of me wants to be really angry with them, as well.
“At half-time, I didn’t change anything structurally, but they had to to step up and take some responsibility. Fair play to them, they did, started to play and were braver on the ball.
“But we shouldn’t have been two goals down and scrambling the way we were.”
Man of the Match Main added: “We totally dominated the first-half. We knew they were going to come at us in the second period, but we weren’t switched on quickly enough and we paid for it.”
Read more Scottish football news from Scotzine …