Ayr Utd v Rangers. Culture Comments. 19th August, 2015.

Wes Foderingham

A relatively quiet night for Wes between the sticks. Ayr’s shooting was erratic and only managed one shot on target – meaning Foderingham wasn’t called upon to often.  He did have a slight moment of madness in the first half, charging out from his box fortunately the Ayr striker was forced too wide. His distribution is improving with every game, although he did opt to go long more often last night. He held every cross into the box well and despite Ayr not having any corners, looked assertive when called upon.

Lee Wallace

Another excellent display from the newly appointed skipper. He spoke with class and confidence in the build up to last night and brought these characteristics onto the park. Effectively a winger at times, Wallace was up and down the park throughout the 90 minutes and had a good relationship with both McKay and Walsh on the flank. Looks to be thriving under the Warburton regime and seems to have been given a much needed boost in being given the captaincy.

Dominic Ball

The on Loan Spurs defender gave an assured performance on his Rangers debut.  Replacing Rob Kiernan in the side, Ball looked to possess the traits needed to be a top class centre half. His distribution was poor at times in the first half but improved after the interval. He made a terrific challenge to stop Ayr pulling one back after Dean Shiels lost possession in the midfield. It’s unknown what Darren McGregor’s situation at present but hopefully Ball can prove to be an able back up.

Danny Wilson

Distribution from the back first class again. Will be disappointed with the amount of openings in front of goal Ayr were creating in the second half. Always showing for the ball and looking to move the ball into midfield quickly. Strong in the air and aggressive when defending in the box. Looks to be continuing his impressive form from Hearts last season. Will be a central figure in the coming years.

James Tavernier

The incredibly high standard James has set for himself means that he may be disappointed with his performance last night. Was never in any trouble defensively but gave away possession cheaply in the Rangers half and failed to get forward as often as Wallace on the other wing. Still strong and never hides. Always willing to get on the ball and make things happen. Has been playing at such a frantic page recently it was understandable why the manager gave him a brief rest – replacing him with Fraser Aird with 10 minutes remaining.

Jason Holt

What a bargain this signing is proving to be. Eyebrows were raised at the time when we were initially linked. “He couldn’t even get a game for Hearts?” was a popular line being thrown around. Still only 22, Holt can only get better. His intelligence of the game is excellent for a player his age. Set up Nicky Clark’s opener with a neat cut back following an interchange with Tom Walsh. This takes his assist total to 5, in only 4 starts for the club.

Dean Shiels

Handed his second start under Warburton, Shiels gave an energetic and gritty performance – showing great enthusiasm to get forward but also to get back and help the defence. Was strong in the tackle and committed to his role in the starting eleven. Scorer against St Mirren, Shiels will be hoping he’s done enough for a start against Hibs at Ibrox on Sunday.

Nathan Oduwa

Operating behind the striker in what appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 system, the 19-year-old made an impressive debut. Despite fading in and out the match, he always looked dangerous on the ball and gave the Ayr defenders a hard time. He was denied a stonewall penalty in the second half – the defender barging Oduwa out the way – an outrageous decision by Stephen Finnie who was awful all night. It’ll be interesting to see the young man in front of a packed Ibrox.

Tom Walsh

After being given a start in the league opener against St Mirren, Mark Warburton has placed great faith in young Tom Walsh, and that faith was repaid with a very effective and refined performance. Involved in both goals (an assist for the second) Walsh looked a threat throughout and was comfortable in possession, not fazed by Ayr’s bullish approach to the game.  The build up to the game was focused mainly on Oduwa but Walsh looks every bit the part. Another who’ll be pushing for a start on Sunday.

Barrie McKay

The Man of the Match looked lively from the first whistle. Twisting and turning all night, McKay was a nightmare for the opposition. One area we have seen drastic improvement under Warburton is his ball retention. No longer sloppy in possession, McKay now looks like a regular fixture in the Rangers team. He fully deserved his goal which he finished sublimely. Brilliant all round display.

Nicky Clark

Handed his first start under Warburton, Nicky Clark was looking to impress and did just that, opening the scoring with a neat right foot flick into the bottom corner. He was always a willing runner, as he has been throughout his Rangers career. Again though, Clark lacks that final piece of quality to beat his man and get the shot away. Will be a useful squad player the season.

Subs:

Nicky Law

Replaced Tom Walsh on the hour mark and struggled to find his way into the game although set up a chance for Jason Holt which should have ended in a goal. Now faces completion from Shiels for place in the midfield.

Martyn Waghorn

Was unlucky not to score after going on a great run through the middle. Again the finishing was just lacking. Was Stong in the air when he came on. Always looks to get on the ball and turn. Hopefully see him out wide against Hibs.

Fraser Aird

A player somewhat out in the wilderness after being a regular during the past 3 seasons. Came on as a full back but didn’t manage to have much of an impact on the game as it drew to a conclusion.

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