Stenhousemuir took an early lead when Alan Cook’s driven cross was met by Colin McMenamin. The big target man rose well to meet it and looped a header over Robbie McCrorie in the Rangers goal.
Despite conceding an early opener Rangers controlled much of the early possession but struggled to do anything in the final third.
Rangers had their first real chance of the game in the 21st minute when Josh Jeffries fed Zak Rudden inside the full back. Rudden was fortunate to get the break of the ball before unleashing a strike that Stenny keeper Colin McCabe done well to keep out.
As the first half wore on Rangers began to dominate the play and created several half chances which had the Warriors defence on the ropes. Liam Burt and Josh Jeffries linked up well in midfield but couldn’t properly test McCabe.
With just over five minutes left of the first half the visitors extended their lead. After winning a free kick on the edge of the Rangers box, ex-Rangers kid Stephen Stirling laid off Alan Cook who fired a sweet left foot strike low into the corner of the net.
Cook added a third for the visitors just before the hour when his shot struck the crossbar, bounced back off Robbie McCrorie and trickled over the line.
Just a few minutes later Rangers pulled one back. Good work by Zak Rudden on the left saw the ball fall to Hardie just a yard out from goal and the youngster prodded it beyond McCabe and give the Colts hope of a comeback.
Stenhousemuir, however, used all of their experience to see the tie out and secure a place in the third round of the Irn Bru Cup. Billy Kirkwood’s side will have learned much more from the tie than last week’s cruise over Stirling University and will now look to build on it as they prepare for the start of the Development League.
Rangers Colts: Robby McCrorie, Lyon, Gray (Wilson 46’) , Barjonas (Dallas 46’), Ross McCrorie, Bradley, Burt (Gibson 73’), Jeffries, Hardie, Thompson, Rudden.
Subs: Wright, , Jamieson , Ashmore, Kelly
Goals: Hardie 62’
Stenhousemuir: McCabe, McCormack, Hamilton, Meechan, Kerr, Berry, Miller, Stirling (Sinclair 50’), McMenamin (Smith 73’), Gilhaney, Cook (McCrory 86’).
Subs: McGrory, Howarth, Nash, Runciman, McMaster
Goals: McMenamin 7’, Cook 38’, 58’