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Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Sunday, 6 March 2011

St Mirren   0 - 1   Rangers

Kyle Bartley celebrates his first goal for Rangers
Kyle Bartley celebrates his first goal for Rangers, a first-half header

By Keir Murray

Kyle Bartley's first goal for Rangers since arriving on loan from Arsenal put his team within five points of league leaders Celtic with two games in hand.

Rangers' best player in a poor match was Steven Davis, who had a free-kick saved brilliantly by Paul Gallacher.

Kenny McLean went close for St Mirren, volleying over from one of several good deliveries by David van Zanten.

Bartley's goal arrived in 24 minutes, a headed finish to a Madjid Bougherra cross as the Buddies switched off.

The challenge for Rangers was to pick themselves up after their defeat last Wednesday by Celtic, the early kick-off and crowd of only 5,405 adding to the sense of anti-climax.

After the visitors had dominated the early possession, Saints flickered to life.

Midfielder Steven Thomson won a challenge against Steven Whittaker and launched an excellent cross for Michael Higdon at the back post, but the big striker could not make the most of the chance six yards from goal and Rangers cleared the danger.

Higdon had looked an isolated figure up front but manager Danny Lennon's game plan was characterised in a move that threatened Rangers' goal.

His striker controlled a long ball up the park and laid it off for Thomson in support. He found David van Zanten overlapping on the right and sent a looping cross into the six-yard box which had Allan McGregor at full stretch to palm away for a corner.

From McLean's delivery, Lee Mair found space for a header that John Fleck cleared near the goal-line.

At the other end Paul Gallacher produced a first-rate save to tip a curling Davis free-kick from the top corner of his goal, but the Saints number one was soon beaten.

At the back, the Buddies were missing Darren McGregor following the death of his father, while Marc McAusland, who sustained an eye injury in training, was on the bench.

But those who were on the pitch ought to have done more to prevent the goal.

Bougherra lost marker Hugh Murray, collected Diouf's simple throw-in from the left and dinked the ball over three gawping St Mirren defenders - Bartley had the simple task of heading the ball into the net from four yards for his first senior goal.

Last week, Whittaker said his preferred position was at full-back, presumably on the right. In Paisley he was deployed on the left after Sasa Papac failed to recover from his brave headed goal-line clearance in the defeat to Celtic on Wednesday.

But it was the former Hibs defender who was left dizzy by van Zanten as he whizzed past him and crossed for young McLean, who volleyed over from eight yards with his right foot, his weaker side.

Lennon's half-time team talk, you imagine, would have focused on pushing Rangers back and supporting Higdon better.

Paul McGowan, on loan from Celtic, said in the match build-up that he wanted to help Saints win for both his parent club and the Paisley outfit.

Five minutes after the restart he found himself five yards in the clear at the back post from a McLean corner but the little striker volleyed over the bar when taking a touch would have increased his chance of a goal.

McLean curled a free-kick a few metres wide of McGregor's post, his reputable left foot failing to test the Scotland keeper and for much of the second half that poor effort was the strongest whiff of a goal.

With just under 20 minutes to play, Kyle Hutton and Gregg Wylde came on for David Healy and John Fleck as Rangers manager Walter Smith tried to enliven his team.

Rangers had only two clear efforts in the second half, with Davis involved in both.

First he played the ball through for Maurice Edu but the American took a poor first touch in the box and dragged his shot wide, then, with five minutes to play, Davis cracked a shot from 25 yards a foot over the bar.

Between that, and prior to being substituted in favour of pacy forward Craig Dargo, Buddies midfielder Jim Goodwin dispossessed Bougherra and tried his luck from 20 yards with a dipping shot that McGregor scooped up.

As the match entered injury-time, Dargo's deft flick put van Zanten clear at an angle 14 yards from goal. A left-foot shot would have tested McGregor: his strike with his right skidded hopelessly wide.

The result leaves St Mirren seven points away from basement side Hamilton, but they must surely add to their SPL record of three draws and one win in 2011 to stay safe.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
St Mirren 0-1 Rangers FT
(HT 0-1)
    • Bartley 24

    St Mirren

    • 01 Gallacher
    • 02 van Zanten
    • 05 Mair
    • 06 Potter
    • 16 Travner yellow card
    • 07 Murray
    • 08 Thomson
    • 11 Goodwin (Dargo 80)
    • 45 Mclean (Mooy 90)
    • 10 Higdon
    • 19 McGowan

    Substitutes

    • 12 Samson,
    • 17 McAusland,
    • 20 Lynch,
    • 27 Cregg,
    • 33 Mooy ,
    • 09 Dargo,
    • 40 Lamont

    Rangers

    • 01 McGregor
    • 03 Weir
    • 12 Foster
    • 16 Whittaker
    • 21 Bartley
    • 24 Bougherra
    • 07 Edu
    • 08 Davis
    • 10 Fleck (Wylde 72)
    • 15 Healy (Hutton 73)
    • 17 Diouf

    Substitutes

    • 25 Alexander,
    • 39 Wylde,
    • 45 Cole,
    • 28 Kerkar,
    • 41 Hutton,
    • 48 Hemmings
    Ref: CollumAtt: 5,405
    ST MIRREN
    RANGERS

    Possession

    • St Mirren 45%
    • Rangers 55%

    Attempts on target

    • St Mirren 2
    • Rangers 3

    Attempts off target

    • St Mirren 6
    • Rangers 5

    Corners

    • St Mirren 6
    • Rangers 5

    Fouls

    • St Mirren 14
    • Rangers 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:13 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
    • 90:00+0:23 David van Zanten produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 89:21 Substitution Kenny McLean goes off and Aaron Mooy comes on.
    • 88:38 Short corner worked by Kenny McLean, Centre by Hugh Murray.
    • 88:32 The ball is delivered by Kenny McLean, clearance by Madjid Bougherra.
    • 86:02 Effort on goal by Steven Davis from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 84:16 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kyle Bartley on Hugh Murray. Paul Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
    • 83:55 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf played to the near post, Hugh Murray manages to make a clearance.
    • 83:19 Centre by Gregg Wylde, blocked by John Potter. El-Hadji Diouf takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Hugh Murray.
    • 82:36 The ball is swung over by Jure Travner, David Weir makes a clearance.
    • 81:17 Unfair challenge on Madjid Bougherra by Jure Travner results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 80:32 Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul McGowan. John Potter restarts play with the free kick.
    • 79:44 Substitution Craig Dargo replaces Jim Goodwin.
    • 78:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugh Murray on El-Hadji Diouf. Shot on goal comes in from Gregg Wylde from the free kick.
    • 77:58 Effort from 25 yards by Jim Goodwin. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 77:53 Jim Goodwin sends in a cross, Kyle Bartley manages to make a clearance.
    • 75:17 The ball is sent over by Gregg Wylde.
    • 73:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jure Travner by Gregg Wylde. Kenny McLean delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.
    • 73:28 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Kenny McLean from the left by-line, clearance made by Kyle Bartley.
    • 73:03 Effort from the edge of the area by Maurice Edu goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 71:29 Jure Travner concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. Steven Davis takes the free kick.
    • 71:29 Substitution Kyle Hutton joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Healy.
    • 71:29 Substitution Gregg Wylde comes on in place of John Fleck.
    • 71:29 Booking Jure Travner is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 71:09 Jure Travner crosses the ball, clearance made by David Weir.
    • 70:03 Unfair challenge on David Healy by Jim Goodwin results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by John Fleck, Paul Gallacher makes a comfortable save.
    • 68:26 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jure Travner by Maurice Edu. Direct free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
    • 68:18 Unfair challenge on John Potter by David Healy results in a free kick. Lee Mair takes the direct free kick.
    • 67:03 Centre by Jim Goodwin, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 65:29 The ball is sent over by Jim Goodwin, clearance by David Weir.
    • 63:33 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 61:44 Hugh Murray concedes a free kick for a foul on Maurice Edu. Direct free kick taken by David Weir.
    • 60:29 Jure Travner delivers the ball, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 57:41 Jure Travner fouled by Richard Foster, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Kenny McLean from left wing, clearance made by Steven Whittaker.
    • 55:59 A cross is delivered by Steven Davis, John Potter makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by John Fleck from the right by-line, clearance made by John Potter.
    • 53:19 David Weir concedes a free kick for a foul on Steven Thomson. Shot comes in from Kenny McLean from the free kick.
    • 52:10 John Fleck takes the inswinging corner, Shot from deep inside the area by Maurice Edu clears the bar.
    • 52:04 The ball is crossed by David Healy, Jure Travner gets a block in.
    • 48:56 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Kenny McLean, Paul McGowan has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 48:50 The ball is swung over by Paul McGowan, Kyle Bartley gets a block in.
    • 45:18 Unfair challenge on Paul McGowan by Kyle Bartley results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Kenny McLean from right channel, David Weir manages to make a clearance.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:08 The ref blows to signal half-time.
    • 44:40 The ball is crossed by David van Zanten, clearance by David Weir.
    • 42:23 A cross is delivered by Kenny McLean, clearance by Madjid Bougherra.
    • 41:20 Unfair challenge on Hugh Murray by El-Hadji Diouf results in a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the direct free kick.
    • 40:28 Paul McGowan has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
    • 40:05 Outswinging corner taken by Kenny McLean, clearance made by David Weir.
    • 37:46 Effort from just outside the area by Maurice Edu goes over the bar.
    • 37:10 Kyle Bartley fouled by David van Zanten, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 33:11 Unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker by Paul McGowan results in a free kick. Allan McGregor takes the free kick.
    • 32:36 Maurice Edu concedes a free kick for a foul on Jim Goodwin. Jim Goodwin takes the free kick.
    • 32:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Higdon on David Weir. Direct free kick taken by David Weir.
    • 29:32 Michael Higdon is caught offside. David Weir takes the free kick.
    • 28:58 David van Zanten produces a cross, Effort on goal by Kenny McLean from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 27:57 Hugh Murray fouled by Maurice Edu, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Hugh Murray.
    • 25:09 Jim Goodwin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Healy. Kyle Bartley takes the direct free kick.
    • 23:12 The assist for the goal came from Madjid Bougherra.
    • 23:12 GOAL - Kyle BartleySt Mirren 0 - 1 Rangers Kyle Bartley grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. St Mirren 0-1 Rangers.
    • 22:26 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf played to the near post, clearance made by Hugh Murray. El-Hadji Diouf sends in a cross, Jure Travner manages to make a clearance.
    • 21:16 Steven Whittaker fouled by Paul McGowan, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Davis produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Paul Gallacher.
    • 21:11 Madjid Bougherra crosses the ball.
    • 20:19 Effort from deep inside the area by Lee Mair misses to the left of the target.
    • 19:44 Corner from the left by-line taken by Kenny McLean, Lee Mair takes a shot. Blocked by John Fleck.
    • 19:37 Centre by David van Zanten, save made by Allan McGregor.
    • 18:25 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Steven Thomson, the ref awards a free kick. Allan McGregor takes the indirect free kick.
    • 17:59 Corner taken left-footed by Kenny McLean from the left by-line, clearance made by Steven Whittaker.
    • 17:51 A cross is delivered by Kenny McLean, Richard Foster manages to make a clearance.
    • 16:18 El-Hadji Diouf fouled by Michael Higdon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Steven Davis.
    • 14:15 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by David Weir.
    • 11:10 Madjid Bougherra sends in a cross, David van Zanten makes a clearance.
    • 10:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by El-Hadji Diouf on Hugh Murray. Hugh Murray takes the direct free kick. Steven Thomson sends in a cross.
    • 9:45 David Healy challenges Lee Mair unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
    • 8:50 Paul McGowan concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. El-Hadji Diouf restarts play with the free kick.
    • 7:15 David Healy is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
    • 5:28 Shot from outside the box by Steven Whittaker goes wide right of the target.
    • 4:06 The ball is sent over by David Healy, clearance by John Potter.
    • 2:09 Jure Travner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Healy. John Fleck crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Jure Travner manages to make a clearance.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game started.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    see also
    Miller backs McCoist in boss role
    06 Mar 11 |  Rangers
    Gers remain depleted for PSV tie
    06 Mar 11 |  Rangers
    Belief in Saints vital for Lennon
    06 Mar 11 |  St Mirren
    St Mirren v Rangers as it happened
    06 Mar 11 |  Scottish Premier


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