Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0
Rangers again dominated from start to finish but like a few games this season they failed to turn the dominance into goals. Although in this afternoon’s game at Murray Park they did come up against an inspired goalkeeper in St. Johnstone’s Neil Duffy.
His first save came after only seven minutes when he got down to save a Kal Naismith shot from the edge of the box. Three minutes later and Chris Hegarty headed a Gordon Dick free-kick from the right narrowly wide.
Duffy then excelled with just less than twenty minutes gone, a good passing move sent the ball out to Kyle McAusland on the right, Naismith met his cross to head powerfully goalwards and The Saints keeper dived to his right to turn the ball round for a corner. Just after the half-hour Dylan McGeough and Kamil Wiktorski combined to send Gordon Dick towards the byline, Rhys McCabe met the midfielder’s cross but his header flashed across goal and wide.
A minute later and in a rare venture forward Scott Gray played a short free-kick to Rikki McIntosh and his effort was deflected over for a corner. Gaining a bit of confidence from that effort, Gareth Rodger fired a long-range shot just over sixty seconds later.
Seven minutes before the break a long cross from just inside The Saints half found Steven Hetherington coming in late at the back post and Duffy parried it behind at his right hand post. A minute later and the visitor’s missed a glorious chance to take the lead. When Hetherington miscued a cross from the left the ball landed at the feet of Ryan Hutchinson inside the box, with time and the goal at his mercy he shot over.
With that left off Rangers pushed for the opener and were denied by Duffy three times in as many minutes. A great run from McGeough set up a shooting chance for Naismith, the keeper saving to his left. He then advanced from his goal line to block a Max Wright shot as the striker raced through on a headed clearance and right on the whistle he got down to save from McAusland after the full back broke into the box.
Half-Time:- Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0
Rangers continued to dominate and only five minutes after the break Duffy was again in action, this time thwarting Wright with a save low to his left after the Rangers striker got a break of the ball at the edge of the box. Like the first half the Perth side rarely ventured forward, but on 64 minutes Chris Kane sent the ball out to Jack Clisby on the left and then got on the end of his cross to head just wide.
Five minutes later Gray sent a similar ball out left to Clisby and this time Hegarty had to concede a corner to clear the danger. With just under twenty minutes to go Wiktorski won the ball in midfield and sent Christiano Kisuka down the right, he cut in past the full back on the byline and his effort from a tight angle was blocked by the legs of Duffy.
As the game entered the last quarter of an hour Rangers began to run out of steam and only a Hetherington header from a McGeough cross which Duffy saved comfortably and a long range effort from Wiktorski just wide in the final minute came close to breaking the deadlock.
Full-Time:- Rangers 0 St.Johnstone 0
Rangers:- Wayne Drummond; Kyle McAusland, Chris Hegarty, Darren Cole, Steven Hetherington; Gordon Dick (Anthony Marenghi 72mins), Dylan McGeough, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe (Robbie Crawford 46mins); Max Wright (Christiano Kisuka 59 mins), Kal Naismith.
Not Used:- Alan Smith, Ewan McNeil
St.Johnstone:- Neil Duffy; Ryan Sullivan, Chris Moffat, Gareth Rodger, Johnny Lindsay; Scott Gray, Rikki McIntosh, Ryan Hutchinson, Aiden Hendry (Andrew Steeves 76mins); Chris Kane, Jack Clisby.
Not Used:- David Breen, Callum Donnelly