St.Mirren 1 Rangers 2
A strong Rangers side ground out the victory required to take them joint top of the table at St.Mirren Park tonight. The home side should have taken the lead on the quarter-hour mark, when a cross came in from the right Thomas Reilly’s cushioned header setup Anton Brady but he shot over.
Five minutes later Sean Kelly and Jordan Stewart combined on the left and when wing-back Kelly broke into the box his touch was a bit heavy and it allowed Allan Smith to block for a corner. Kealon Dillon’s in swinging corner from the left was missed at his near post by Alan Smith, Luca Gasparotto cleared from the line with the Saints players claiming the ball had crossed the line.
Rangers were denied by a brilliant save ten minutes before the break, Fraser Aird picked up a loose ball on the left side of the penalty area, he passed inside to Charlie Telfer and when the midfielder’s shot took a deflection it seemed destined to loop over the keeper until Chris Dilo leapt high to his right to clutch under the bar. The goal was only delayed five minutes and when it came the home side felt a bit aggrieved. Barrie McKay’s free-kick from the right was headed out as far as Charlie Telfer who hooked it back into the box, Craig Halkett and keeper Chris Dilo challenged for the ball which broke free, with both players grounded Luca Gaparotto fired the loose ball into the net while others waited on a whistle. Craig Halkett picked up an injury in the challenge and was replaced by Dylan Dykes.
Half-Time:-St.Mirren 0 Rangers 1
Goalkeeper Alan Smith kept Rangers lead intact with a brilliant save ten minutes after the break, Jake Caprice sent Jason Naismith clear on the right, his cross found its way to Thomas Reilly at the far side of the box, his shot was going across goal until it was diverted by Anton Brady with Alan Smith somehow changing direction to dive to his right and produce a brilliant save. From the corner Alan Smith was under pressure and punched the ball high in the air, as Kyle McAusland and Jason Naismith challenged the referee adjudged the St.Mirren player was impeded and pointed to the spot. Thomas Reilly stepped up to send Alan Smith the wrong way from the penalty.
On seventy minutes Barrie McKay found himself racing clear through the inside left channel on a Danny Stoney pass but his finish was weak and Chris Dilo saved comfortably. Barely a minute later Danny Stoney and Lee Mair chased a loose ball on the right side of the St.Mirren penalty area and when the Rangers player went down under the challenge the referee awarded a penalty, with Dylan Dykes converting from the spot.
The home side tried to reply and when Greg Pascazio cleared a cross from the left it only went as far as Jordan Stewart but he shot over. The final chance came with seven minutes remaining, Jon Scullion’s free-kick from the right was volleyed goalwards by Sean Kelly and it was blocked by Luca Gaparotto with the home side claiming hand ball.
Full-Time:- St.Mirren 1 Rangers 2
St. Mirren:- Chris Dilo; Jason Naismith, Lee Mair, Mark Williams; Jake Caprice, Lewis McLear (Barry Cuddihy 65mins), Kealon Dillon (Jon Scullion 79mins), Jordan Stewart (Lewis Morgan 78mins), Sean Kelly; Anton Brady, Thomas Reilly.
Not Used:- Stephen Mallan, Jack Baird, Callum Thomson
Rangers:- Alan Smith; Craig Halkett (Dylan Dykes 44mins), Greg Pascazio, Luca Gasparotto, Steven Smith; Kyle McAusland; Barrie McKay, Charlie Telfer (Darren Ramsay 61mins), Callum Gallagher; Nicky Clark (Danny Stoney 55mins) Fraser Aird.
Not Used;- Liam Kelly (Gk), Ryan Sinnamon.