• Scottish football round-up

Rangers thankful for 90th-minute equaliser

ESPN staff
August 11, 2012
Barry McKay scored Rangers' opener © PA Photos

Rangers endured a difficult start to life in the Irn-Bru Third Division as they were forced to scrap for a last gasp 2-2 draw against Peterhead in an historic match for the Ibrox club.

Youngster Barrie McKay opened his Rangers account with what should have been a goal to savour, before second-half strikes from Rory McAllister and Scott McLaughlin saw the home side surge into the lead. However, Andy Little grabbed a late equaliser and a share of the points for Ally McCoist's men.

The match at Balmoor was the first league fixture played by the Glasgow giants outside the top flight of Scottish football. Rangers were forced into the bottom tier after the club was consigned to liquidation in the summer and lost their place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League following a vote of the 12 clubs.

The Ibrox side opened the scoring after 26 minutes and the honours went to McKay. A long ball from Lewis McLeod was knocked on by Lee McCulloch for the 17-year-old, who kept his cool to drive a low shot into the back of the net.

Peterhead's McAllister had been a menace throughout the match and was finally rewarded with a goal after 64 minutes when he did well to hold off Carlos Bocanegra before lashing into the bottom corner.

And Rangers were left reeling when Peterhead had the net bulging again with nine minutes to go when Ryan Strachan's corner was cleared into the path of McLaughlin and he rifled past a stunned Neil Alexander. The Light Blues were back on level terms with a minute to go when substitute Kevin Kyle rose above everyone else in the box to meet a Dean Shiels corner and although his header came back off the bar Little was on hand to score.

St Mirren climbed to the summit after beating Dundee 2-0 at Dens Park. The visitors took the lead just before the break courtesy of Kenny McLean's stunning long-range effort. The Dark Blues, back in the top tier and playing their first home SPL fixture of the season, sought parity and were only denied when Ryan Conroy's fierce strike cannoned off the post.

Craig Samson denied James McAlister as the hosts continued to hunt an equaliser in the second half but St Mirren made them pay for their profligacy in front of goal, Sam Parkin doubling the Buddies' lead to send them top of the table.

Motherwell and St Johnstone each had a man dismissed as the points were shared in a feisty meeting at Fir Park. Steve Hammell saw red when he gave away a second-half penalty which Dave MacKay missed. St Johnstone broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, Murray Davidson nodding home Liam Craig's corner. However, Bob McHugh rescued Motherwell a point with a scuffed shot 12 minutes from time as the visitors, who then lost Rowan Vine to a second yellow on his first SPL start for the club, were made to settle for a draw.

Inverness and Kilmarnock are still looking for their first wins of the season after drawing 1-1, while Aberdeen's match with Ross County ended 0-0.

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