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Sunday, May 3, 1998 Published at 06:36 GMT 07:36 UK

Sport: Football

Rangers hand initiative to Celtic
image: [ The odds are against Walter Smith marking his departure from Rangers with a record 10th title ]
The odds are against Walter Smith marking his departure from Rangers with a record 10th title

Rangers' hopes of securing a record 10th successive Scottish league title suffered a near-fatal blow when they lost 1-0 at home to Kilmarnock in the penultimate game of the season.

The result means that Celtic, who lead Rangers by one point and have a game in hand, can now clinch the title with victory at Dunfermline on Sunday.

Kilmarnock's winner came deep into injury time when substitute Ally Mitchell scored a sensational winner for Kilmarnock, sneaking in at the back post to fire home a cross from John Hendry.

It was also a depressing day for Hibernian who were relegated to the first division after a 2-1 home defeat to Dundee United which left them five points adrift of second bottom Motherwell with just one match left.

The Hibs chairman Lex Gold later resigned. He said: "In my position at the top of this organisation, I must accept responsibility, it falls on my shoulders.

"As a matter of personal honour I will stepping down from the chairmanship at the end of the season and I don't expect to stay on the board though I am already getting pressure to stay on."

Motherwell lost 3-2 at St Johnstone while Aberdeen and Hearts drew 2-2.

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