Kris Boyd marked his return to the Rangers side with an easy double
Kris Boyd's double against St Mirren took Rangers back to within a point of Celtic at the top of the league table.
Straight from the off the striker opened the scoring from close range, pouncing to thump in after Paul Gallacher had saved from John Fleck.
St Mirren's Garry Brady hit the post, but Boyd got a second on 57 minutes when he diverted in Nacho Novo's shot.
Stephen O'Donnell's late strike for St Mirren sparked a nervy finish, but the home side claimed all three points.
Boyd had returned to the starting line-up after being left on the bench for the Champions League draw in Romania in midweek.
And it took just 19 seconds for the striker to make an impact by slamming the home side into the lead.
Gallacher saved Fleck's shot from just inside the box, but the ball ricocheted off Novo to Boyd, who claimed his sixth goal of the season from four yards out.
Steven Naismith and Fleck both tested Gallacher from distance as the home side looked good going forward against their stunned opponents.
But, once St Mirren settled, Andy Dorman forced Allan McGregor to palm a shot away, before the Welshman set up Brady for an exquisite shot which he curled round the keeper but watched rebound agonisingly off the upright.
Had it gone in the complexion of the game could have changed, but St Mirren stuck to their task, and Billy Mehmet found space to move into the Rangers box and crack a fierce drive which McGregor beat away.
Although St Mirren had come back into the game in the first period, they started sluggishly after the break.
Defender John Potter showed indecision in dealing with a high ball over the top, allowing Boyd and Novo to steal in behind, and Rangers would have doubled their lead had Gallacher not been so quick off his line.
St Mirren's Hugh Murray hit the top of his own bar trying to cut out a pass, but moments later Rangers, and Boyd, got their second goal.
Fleck robbed Steven Thomson, DaMarcus Beasley played Novo into the box, and the Spaniard's skewed shot across the six yard box fell to Rangers' number nine who finished with ease.
Boyd was inches away from his hat-trick when his header clipped the bar, and was later denied by a strong hand from Gallacher.
Despite Rangers' second-half dominance they were unable to get a crucial third goal and, with minutes remaining, O'Donnell set up an edgy finish scoring unmarked past McGregor after appearing to use a hand to control the ball.
Rangers manager Walter Smith: "I felt we started very well but St Mirren got themselves into the game and they were the better side before half-time.
"We imposed ourselves better in the second period, but we weren't quite slick enough in the final third.
"Kris Boyd and John Fleck played very well for us and overall - given the difficult match we had in midweek and the bug affecting some of our team - we acquitted ourselves well today.
"We were disappointed to lose the goal at the end and if I'm being greedy perhaps we could have been a little bit more accurate in the last third of the park."
St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson: "We're extremely disappointed to lose the goals in the manner that we did - especially one after 20 seconds.
"I thought we created two or three good opportunities and I was disappointed to go in down at the break.
"We showed a lot of courage to pass the ball in the way we did.
"If maybe we had got the goal back a wee bit earlier, who knows what could have happened."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 7 November 2009
03 Weir yellow card
05 Papac yellow card
16 Whittaker (Beasley 46)
10 Novo (Miller 86)
04 McGinn (Higdon 49)
10 Thomson (O'Donnell 70)
14 Brady yellow card
Ref: BrinesAtt: 45,750
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:57 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
90:00+1:30 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Naismith by David Barron. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+0:59 Centre by Steven Davis, John Potter manages to make a clearance.
90:00+0:47 The ball is delivered by Steven Davis, clearance made by Chris Innes.
89:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kris Boyd by Chris Innes. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
89:33 A cross is delivered by Jack Ross.
89:19 Jack Ross crosses the ball, Sasa Papac makes a clearance.
88:16 Foul by Jack Ross on John Fleck, free kick awarded. Sasa Papac takes the direct free kick.
88:04 Booking David Weir is shown a yellow card for dissent.
87:32 The assist for the goal came from Billy Mehmet.
87:32 GOAL - Stephen O'Donnell:Rangers 2 - 1 St Mirren Stephen O'Donnell gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal.
Rangers 2-1 St Mirren.
87:23 Billy Mehmet sends in a cross,
86:56 Centre by Sasa Papac, save by Paul Gallacher.
85:34 Substitution Kenny Miller joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nacho Novo.
85:22 Billy Mehmet takes a shot from 35 yards and went wide right of the target.
84:41 Centre by Steven Davis, save by Paul Gallacher.
83:36 Kris Boyd takes a shot. Chris Innes gets a block in.
83:30 The ball is delivered by DaMarcus Beasley, clearance by Hugh Murray.
81:46 Effort on goal by DaMarcus Beasley from just inside the penalty area goes over the target.
79:56 John Fleck crosses the ball, Paul Gallacher makes a save.
78:25 Shot by Lee McCulloch from a long way out goes over the net.
78:18 A cross is delivered by DaMarcus Beasley, Jack Ross manages to make a clearance.
77:56 Foul by Michael Higdon on Lee McCulloch, free kick awarded. Sasa Papac takes the free kick.
76:19 Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
76:19 Booking Caution for Garry Brady.
76:12 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nacho Novo by Garry Brady.
75:51 Corner from the right by-line taken by Andy Dorman, Lee McCulloch manages to make a clearance.
75:43 The ball is crossed by Billy Mehmet, clearance by David Weir.
75:10 David Barron crosses the ball, Steven Davis makes a clearance.
73:39 Unfair challenge on Billy Mehmet by Danny Wilson results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David Barron.
72:55 Steven Naismith sends in a cross, Chris Innes makes a clearance.
72:42 Kris Boyd takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
72:06 John Fleck takes a shot. Paul Gallacher makes a save.
70:30 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kris Boyd on Hugh Murray. Free kick taken by John Potter.
70:05 Unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by Hugh Murray results in a free kick. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.
69:11 Substitution Steven Thomson leaves the field to be replaced by Stephen O'Donnell.
68:50 Lee McCulloch concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Thomson. Direct free kick taken by Hugh Murray.
68:42 The ball is sent over by Steven Davis, Chris Innes makes a clearance.
67:02 The ball is crossed by Kris Boyd, clearance made by Jack Ross.
66:22 The offside flag is raised against Nacho Novo. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
64:27 Chris Innes challenges Nacho Novo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Naismith takes the free kick.
61:41 Kris Boyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Ross. Direct free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
60:49 Centre by Nacho Novo, clearance by Chris Innes.
60:13 A cross is delivered by David Barron, clearance made by Sasa Papac.
59:57 Foul by John Fleck on Garry Brady, free kick awarded. Hugh Murray restarts play with the free kick.
58:34 A cross is delivered by Steven Davis, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Kris Boyd goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
57:30 The ball is delivered by Billy Mehmet, Danny Wilson gets a block in.
56:01 Assist on the goal came from Nacho Novo.
56:01 GOAL - Kris Boyd:Rangers 2 - 0 St Mirren Kris Boyd finds the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 2-0 St Mirren.
55:35 Corner taken by John Fleck played to the near post, clearance by Jack Ross.
55:21 Steven Davis delivers the ball, Hugh Murray makes a clearance.
55:05 Centre by Jack Ross, Steven Naismith makes a clearance.
52:18 Foul by Steven Thomson on Nacho Novo, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
51:51 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Andy Dorman from the right by-line to the near post, Kris Boyd manages to make a
50:20 Corner taken by John Fleck from the left by-line to the near post, Kris Boyd takes a shot. Blocked by Jack Ross.
48:25 Substitution Stephen McGinn leaves the field to be replaced by Michael Higdon.
45:26 DaMarcus Beasley produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:01 Substitution DaMarcus Beasley joins the action as a substitute, replacing Steven Whittaker.
45:00+0:17 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
43:37 Shot by Stephen McGinn from a long way out goes over the crossbar.
42:08 Foul by Kris Boyd on Chris Innes, free kick awarded. Hugh Murray takes the direct free kick.
41:22 Lee McCulloch concedes a free kick for a foul on Hugh Murray. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
39:09 Billy Mehmet gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker. Free kick taken by David Weir.
37:52 Hugh Murray delivers the ball, John Fleck gets a block in.
37:12 Free kick taken by Jack Ross.
37:12 Booking Booking for Sasa Papac.
37:03 Danny Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Billy Mehmet.
36:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Garry Brady on Steven Davis. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
34:09 Inswinging corner taken by John Fleck from the right by-line played to the near post, Strike by Lee McCulloch from inside
the six-yard box clear the bar.
34:02 Centre by Steven Whittaker, Chris Innes makes a clearance.
33:09 Steven Naismith fouled by David Barron, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
32:21 Steven Whittaker sends in a cross, clearance made by John Potter.
31:12 The ball is sent over by Steven Davis, Nacho Novo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Ross. Paul Gallacher
takes the direct free kick.
30:25 Foul by Chris Innes on John Fleck, free kick awarded. Steven Davis restarts play with the free kick.
28:34 John Potter gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kris Boyd. Direct free kick taken by Sasa Papac.
27:03 Nacho Novo sends in a cross, clearance by Stephen McGinn.
26:51 Short corner taken by Steven Davis.
26:40 Steven Naismith takes a shot. Blocked by Hugh Murray.
25:35 The ball is delivered by Jack Ross.
24:22 Steven Davis takes the inswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by David Weir misses to the left
of the goal.
24:15 Sasa Papac delivers the ball, John Potter gets a block in.
21:39 Garry Brady has an effort at goal from just inside the box that bounces off the post.
19:55 Foul by Kris Boyd on John Potter, free kick awarded. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
18:37 Effort from deep inside the area by Kris Boyd misses to the left of the target.
18:24 John Fleck takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
17:24 Foul by Andy Dorman on Lee McCulloch, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Weir.
15:04 Sasa Papac delivers the ball, save made by Paul Gallacher.
11:32 Jack Ross fouled by Nacho Novo, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Gallacher restarts play with the free kick.
10:21 The ball is swung over by Garry Brady, Allan McGregor makes a save.
10:08 Corner taken right-footed by Andy Dorman from the left by-line, clearance by Nacho Novo.
9:41 Corner taken right-footed by Andy Dorman, Chris Innes takes a shot. Kris Boyd gets a block in.
9:29 Andy Dorman takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor.
8:57 Sasa Papac delivers the ball, clearance by Andy Dorman.
8:37 Short corner taken by Steven Davis.
8:31 Kris Boyd sends in a cross, blocked by John Potter.
7:14 Steven Naismith takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
5:13 Kris Boyd is caught offside. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
4:41 Nacho Novo crosses the ball, clearance made by Chris Innes.
2:23 Foul by David Weir on Billy Mehmet, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David Barron.
0:46 Assist by Nacho Novo.
0:46 GOAL - Kris Boyd:Rangers 1 - 0 St Mirren Kris Boyd finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the top left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-0 St Mirren.
0:30 The ball is swung over by Nacho Novo, save by Paul Gallacher.
0:00 The game kicks-off.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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