Alloa 1-1 Rangers: Match Report

13 February 2016 05:34

Michael O'Halloran rescues Rangers after Alloa threaten shock win

New boy Michael O'Halloran scored to spare Rangers blushes as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Championship strugglers Alloa Athletic.

The home side surprised Rangers by taking a 61st-minute lead through Jason Marr, but O'Halloran would have a late say.

The former St Johnstone man converted a cross from the right by James Tavernier to earn the visitors a point.

Rangers made the brighter start and Harry Forrester struck the woodwork inside five minutes on his first start for the club.

He wriggled free from his marker inside the Alloa box, but a shot across goalkeeper Scott Gallacher came crashing back off the post.

Alloa responded well and good play from Mitch Megginson and Michael Duffy found Burton O'Brien in space. He teed the ball up for Ryan Finnie to have the strike, but the effort was just wide of the mark.

Mark Warburton's Rangers men began to turn the screw soon after. Martyn Waghorn and Forrester both went close from inside the box, before Jason Holt struck the woodwork from close range after good play by Tavernier.

Rangers had a shout for a penalty when Lee Wallace saw his cross cannon off the arm of Alloa midfielder Steven Hetherington, but the referee waved away the appeals.

Andy Halliday almost opened up the Alloa defence after 42 minutes when he found Holt in space inside the box, but Colin Hamilton got back in to make a superb last-ditch tackle.

Rangers continued to press for the remainder of the half without success, as the hosts bravely stood firm to frustrate the SPFL Championship leaders.

The Ibrox men started as they finished after the restart and might have been in front inside two minutes of the second half when Waghorn fed Holt inside the box, but Gallacher got out to make a superb save with his feet.

The Wee County side struck against the run of play on the hour mark to stun the visitors.

A Burton O'Brien free kick was nodded goal ward by Marr, but Foderingham did well to tip over the bar. From the resultant corner, however, O'Brien again picked out Marr who stooped to guide his header into the top corner.

Warburton sent on reinforcements in the form of Billy King, Nicky Clark and Kenny Miller as Rangers went immediately on the hunt for an equaliser. King was the first to try his luck and wriggled away from two on the left wing before firing a shot in on goal, but the in-form Gallacher was equal to it.

The ball then dropped kindly to Danny Wilson from a corner, but again his stinging drive was met by Gallacher.

The visitors were in again moments later, when O'Halloran went racing through, but the Wasps goalkeeper once again denied his former side.

The Alloa resistance was finally broken after 82 minutes when O'Halloran got his first Rangers goal to level the match.

Tavernier's low cross from the right was turned home by the former St Johnstone winger to make it 1-1.

Rangers should have gone in front moments later when substitute Miller got free on the right to cut back beyond the goalkeeper, but Clark's effort at the empty goal was blocked on the line by Marr.

Some heroic defending from the Wasps in the closing stages saw them hold on for a crucial point in their battle against relegation, while the visitors left Clackmannanshire frustrated to draw a game they dominated from start to finish.


Source: PA


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