Rangers 0-0 Ross County: Match Report

17 September 2016 04:34

Troubled Rangers held by Ross County at Ibrox

Rangers felt more frustration as they followed up their Old Firm humiliation and the Joey Barton fall-out with a 0-0 draw against Ross County.

The closest Rangers came at Ibrox was a second-half header from substitute Michael O'Halloran which thudded off the crossbar.

But they now face the prospect of dropping six points and a game in hand behind Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic should Brendan Rodgers' side beat Inverness on Sunday.

Barton was nowhere to be seen after being banished from the club until Monday following his angry row with team-mate Andy Halliday and boss Mark Warburton in the wake of their 5-1 Hoops drubbing.

It was Halliday who took the former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder's place as Jim McIntyre's Staggies made their first ever visit to Ibrox, while he was joined in the side by Jason Holt after five weeks out injured.

The Ibrox support were in no doubt as to which side they were backing following the training-ground dispute as they chanted Halliday's name from the first whistle.

Along with Josh Windass, the returning duo gave Rangers some of the pace and intensity they had been desperately lacking in midfield far this term - but the fluency was still missing.

Windass was the only man in blue to escape Celtic Park with pass marks last week and again showed he has the potential to unlock defences.

The playmaker had the ball in the net inside the first three minutes but was denied the opener by an offside flag.

Only a goal-line clearance from Paul Quinn stopped Windass scoring five minutes later as his speed saw him surge past the static County defence before rounding goalkeeper Scott Fox.

County were clinging on with stubborn resistance and could have scored themselves when a Chris Routis free-kick dropped for Jonathan Franks in the box. Wes Foderingham's wrist stayed strong, though, as he produced a decent save.

Windass and James Tavernier both had efforts deflected wide as Rangers turned up the pressure but there was no breakthrough before the interval.

There were loud cries for a penalty when Kenny van der Weg and Michael Gardyne brought down Barrie McKay as the Rangers winger danced into the box but referee Greg Aitken was unconvinced.

Martyn Waghorn - making his first start since the opening day - was then denied by Fox's brilliant save to his right, while Martin Woods was well placed on the line to deny Clint Hill's header from the resulting corner.

Warburton threw on O'Halloran with 25 minutes left as he sought a spark and almost got it within seconds as the forward crashed a header off the bar from Tavernier's cross.

Home skipper Lee Wallace was having an off day, though, and he had to be bailed out by Foderingham when his mistake let in Alex Schalk.

Rangers soon turned to Niko Kranjcar as frustrations grew. Windass saw another effort blocked on the line but even Croatian substitute Kranjcar could not conjure the opening to unpick County's solid rearguard as Rangers were booed off at full-time.


Source: PA


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