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Templeton blow as Rangers are held
Published : 15 Sep 2012 17:48:33
Rangers continue to wait for their first away win in the Irn-Bru Third Division after being held to a goalless draw by Annan in front of a record crowd at Galabank.
Ally McCoist's team dropped points for a third successive away game and suffered another blow when David Templeton was carried off with an ankle injury.
Rangers again struggled to impose themselves on part-time opponents and home midfielder Jack Steele missed a great chance early in the second half. Rangers only exerted superiority in the final quarter and even then lacked penetration and Alex Mitchell secured the point for the hosts with a stunning last-minute save from Lee McCulloch.
Rangers, who were without Andrew Little and Anestis Argyriou through injury, suffered another blow after five minutes when Templeton crumpled holding his left ankle without anyone near him as he ran with the ball down the wing.
There was little meaningful goalmouth action in an even opening 20 minutes and Annan had the first real chance when Michael McGowan's cross found its way to Michael Daly in space inside the box but the centre-forward could not get the ball down quickly enough and the visiting defence managed to scramble the ball to safety.
Daly and McCulloch headed over after corners at either end and Annan survived a counter-attack when Jack Steele produced a last-ditch sliding tackle to stop Barrie McKay converting fellow teenager Lewis McLeod's ball over the top.
McCulloch volleyed wide from Francisco Sandaza's cross but Annan were still getting men forward and a corner from Graeme Ramage flashed across the Rangers goalmouth.
Rangers were almost exposed in the final minute of the half when Steele fired a bouncing ball just wide and McCoist looked an angry man as he marched towards the tunnel despite Dean Shiels seeing a shot beaten away by Alex Mitchell in injury-time.
Rangers did begin to create chances after the hour mark. McCulloch had a scuffed effort cleared in the goalmouth and Shiels chipped the ball harmlessly into Mitchell's arms after a good pass from McKay.
Both Sandaza and Lee Wallace were off target from long range but they struggled to carve out a clear chance until the ball fell for McCulloch 15 yards out following a long free-kick. The striker caught it on the half volley and the ball seemed destined for the top corner but Mitchell somehow threw himself across goal to touch it over the bar.