By Doug Ward

12th Mar, 2023 | 1:44pm

Stephen Craigan slams 'sloppy' Connor Goldson in first half of Rangers v Raith Rovers at Ibrox

Stephen Craigan slammed Connor Goldson’s “sloppy” play after a loose pass by the Rangers defender allowed Raith Rovers the chance to take a shock lead at Ibrox on Sunday.

The Scottish Championship side almost went ahead in incredible circumstances in the third minute of the Scottish Cup quarter-final on 12 March when Esmael Goncalves saw a shot from his own half sail wide of Allan McGregor’s goal.

Goncalves intercepted a poor pass by Goldson and shot towards the goal after noticing McGregor was outside of his penalty box.

It would have been an astonishing goal but it went wide, much to the relief of Goldson and McGregor.

In the 41st minute, Goldson headed in the first goal of the game to give the Light Blues a 1-0 lead.

Viaplay pundit Craigan was less than impressed by Goldson’s slack play, however.

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Speaking on Viaplay on Sunday (12 March, 01:02pm), Craigan said: “We witnessed Hearts centre-forward Stephen Humphrys score an incredible goal against Dundee United recently.

“That would have totally eclipsed that.

“Allan McGregor was standing way outside his box.

“It was a little bit sloppy from Connor Goldson.

“Something Michael Beale will have drilled into the players is that you can’t just expect to turn up and go through the motions, you’ve got to work hard and make it happen.

“It was a bit let-off.”

Heart in mouth moment

Goldson’s been largely solid this season but that would have been a shocker if Raith had scored that goal.

It would have no doubt gone down in infamy because of how poor Goldson’s pass was – he clearly wasn’t switched on at all in the opening few minutes.

Goncalves’ shot did look as though it was heading for the goal too with McGregor absolutely nowhere near the goal. You can’t blame McGregor, mind. The Ibrox glovesman didn’t expect Goldson to be so nonchalant with the ball in possession.

We cannot afford to make mistakes like that.

Beale named a strong team for a reason, it wasn’t for players to have a jolly and chill out against a team in the division below.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of players in the starting line-up who need to up their game.

We didn’t think Goldson was one of them but it’s worrying that he has the potential to switch off the way he did in those opening minutes.

A more technically-gifted player could have scored.

In other Rangers news, this Ibrox ace has been tipped to join a “big club in England” after what Beale said.