Rangers 1-3 Saints

Saturday 16th December

Saints this afternoon came from a goal down to defeat Rangers 3-1 to record their first league win at Ibrox since 1971.

Rangers had gone in front on 5 minutes when Alfredo Morelos scored after being setup by Ryan Jack.

However, Saints were back on level terms on 10 minutes as Blair Alston netted from 22 yards and then Denny Johnstone headed Saints into the lead with his first goal for the club on the hour mark.

Saints wrapped up the three points on 71 minutes when Graham Cummins fired a great strike past Wes Foderingham from just inside the box.

Today’s result along with Motherwell’s 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock sees Saints move back into the top six in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

MATCH REPORT

Saints headed to Ibrox today looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park. Tommy Wright made four changes to the side that started against The Dons as Murray Davidson, Steven MacLean and David Wotherspoon dropped out whilst Michael O’Halloran missed out due to the terms of his loan deal from the Ibrox side. They were replaced by Chris Millar, Denny Johnstone, Liam Craig and Blair Alston. Rangers were looking to continue their winning run that has seen them victorious in their last four outings including a 2-1 win at Hibernian on Wednesday. Interim manager Graeme Murty made two changes to the side that started at Easter Road in midweek as Ryan Jack and Daniel Candeias came in for Jamie Barjonas and Kenny Miller.

The hosts got the match underway but it was Saints who created the first chance after 2 minutes as Richard Foster crossed the ball into the box. Wes Foderingham came for the ball but was beaten to it by Denny Johnstone whose header went inches wide.

Then on 5 minutes Rangers took the lead. Ryan Jack picked the ball up in midfield after Joe Shaughnessy gifted possession to the midfielder. The former Aberdeen man then charged forward before slipping the ball into the path of Alfredo Morelos who calmly finished from a tight angle.

Saints though were back on level terms 5 minutes later as Paul Paton’s ball into the box was cleared by Bruno Alves but it only went as far as Blair Alston who unleashed a great left-footed curling strike from just outside that box that Foderingham couldn’t keep out.

The half then quietened down as both teams cancelled each other out for long spells. On 23 minutes Daniel Candeias had a shot for the home side that was well gathered by Clark.

Then on the half hour mark Saints created a half chance as Stefan Scougall was unlucky not to make a connection with a Liam Craig cross which went out for a goal kick.

Rangers were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Saints box on 36 minutes after Declan John had been fouled by Paton. Alves stepped up to take the free kick however, his effort was headed behind for a corner by Scott Tanser which came to nothing.

Saints got the second half underway and 4 minutes after the restart they were awarded a free kick after Scougall had been fouled by Ross McCrorie. Paul Paton took the free kick however, his delivery into the box was well gathered by Foderingham.

Saints continued to press and on 59 minutes Johnstone did well to find Alston in The Gers box however, the danger was cleared by the home defence. Then 2 minutes later Saints took the lead as Craig floated a great ball into the box from the left and Johnstone rose to power a header past Foderingham and into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal for the club.

Rangers then made an immediate change as Niko Kranjcar came on for Daniel Candeias. The home side had a chance to get back in the game on 64 minutes but Josh Windass fired inches wide of Clark’s left-hand post.

Then 5 minutes later James Tavernier crossed the ball into the Saints box to Windass who headed well over from six yards.

Saints then made a double change on 71 minutes as David Wotherspoon and Graham Cummins came on for Stefan Scougall and Denny Johnstone. Both substitutes would have an immediate impact as Saints went on the attack and Wotherspoon’s pass found Cummins just inside the box and the Irish striker slammed a great strike past Foderingham for Saints third of the afternoon.

That goal by Cummins ended the game as a contest with many of the home supporters leaving the ground. With 4 minutes remaining Rangers looked like they were going to pull a goal back as Tavernier was in on goal but Joe Shaughnessy got back to make a fantastic block as the right-back was about to have a shot at goal. Then as the match entered 2 minutes of additional time a free kick from substitute Niko Kranjcar landed on the roof of Clark’s net.

Overall, it was an excellent afternoon for Saints as they recorded their first league win at Ibrox since 1971.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, John, Wilson (Herrera 76), Jack, Windass, Morelos, Candeias (Kranjcar 62), Alves, Holt, McCrorie

Unused Substitutes: Kelly (GK), Hodson, Bates, Hardie, Barjonas

Booked: Holt, Wilson

Scorer: Morelos (5)

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Miller, Johnstone (Cummins 71), Paton, Foster, Scougall (Wotherspoon 71), Craig (McClean 90)

Unused Substitutes: Mannus (GK), MacLean, Gordon, Thomson

Booked: Johnstone, Craig, Anderson, Wotherspoon

Scorers: Alston (10), Johnstone (61), Cummins (71)

Referee: Don Robertson

Attendance: 47,923

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Blair Alston scores Saints first goal of the afternoon