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The BBC's Andy Gilles
"This was not a good night"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 15 February, 2000, 22:38 GMT
Rangers denied by late Lowndes strike

Rangers remain in complete control of the title race


St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Saints substitute Nathan Lowndes scored with his first touch four minutes from time to deny Rangers all three points at McDiarmid Park.

The reigning Scottish Premiership champions looked to have secured the win after Australian Tony Vidmar had given the Ibrox side the lead with his turn and shot after 58 minutes.

Lowndes had other ideas - but a draw was enough to keep the Glasgow giants eight points clear of arch rivals Celtic at the top of the table.

A disappointing first half saw Rangers captain Lorenzo Amoruso carried off with an ankle injury and Jorg Albertz miss a penalty.

Rozental overlooked

Chilean Seb Rozental was due to start for Dick Advocaat's side, but the nod went to veteran striker Gordon Durie instead.


Vidmar put Rangers ahead in the first half
St Johnstone started brightly but much of their attack was limited to half chances, with Paddy Connolly and former Tranmere player Stephen Frail going close in the opening few minutes.

Rangers slowly found their footing, and with 22 minutes on the clock striker Durie was upended by keeper Alan Main inside the penalty area, after the former Scottish international was sent clear by Albertz.

German midfielder Albertz stepped up to take the penalty, but his tame effort was well saved by Main, low down to his left.

In the second-half the ineffective Andrei Kanchelskis was replaced by Neil McCann, and the change seemed to favour the league leaders.

McCann was brought down outside the penalty area, and from the resulting free-kick Giovanni van Brockhorst found the marauding Vidmar, who made no mistake in rifling his shot into Main's top right hand corner.

But with minutes remaining Danny Griffin's free-kick was flicked on by substitiute striker Graeme Jones, who in turned found the grateful Lowndes.

Lowndes made no mistake in poking the ball past 'keeper Steffen Klos to leave the title slightly wider open than Rangers would have liked.

Teams:

St Johnstone: Main, Frail, Dods, Weir, Bollan, O'Neil, Kane, Griffin, McBride, O'Halloran, Connolly. Subs: Ferguson, Lowndes, McCluskey, Lauchlan, Jones.

Rangers: Klos, Numan, Moore, Amoruso, Vidmar, Albertz, Van Bronckhorst, Ferguson, Kanchelskis, Wallace, Durie. Subs: Charbonnier, Rozental, McCann, Nicholson, Tugay.

Referee: John Underhill (Scotland)

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Links to other Scottish Premier stories are at the foot of the page.