RANGERS continued their pre-season preparations with a goalless draw against St Johnstone as their treble of friendlies came to an end ahead of next week’s Europa League qualifier.
Daniel Candeias played his first minutes in a blue jersey as he got a 20 minute run out down the left wing. Alfredo Morelos also featured for the Gers for the second time in a week, coming close to grabbing a goal.
Rangers first chance came early on when Jason Holt had a shot saved low at the near post. It came after some good solo work to drive clear and take him to the edge of the box before choosing to go alone.
Martyn Waghorn looked lively in the opening period and on 14 minutes James Tavernier wrapped his foot around the ball to deliver from the right flank. The striker rose highest to meet it but nodded over.
Dalcio also had a chance with his head six minutes later but send his effort high and it dropped for Zander Clark to gather.
Both Waghorn and Niko Kranjcar could have opened the scoring with 28 minutes gone. First the Croatian saw his shot from eight yards out deflected into the path of Waghorn and then the Gers number 33 fired a first time shot at Clark. The keeper did well to palm it away to his right.
In the same move Kranjcar picked the ball up on the edge of the area when it came free and lashes a strike goalwards. Again the Saints stopper kept his side in it with the palm of his hand.
St Johnstone threatened through David Wotherspoon as the half-hour mark ticked by. He turned with speed to shoot at Wes Foderingham who turned it around the base of the post.
Six minutes later Waghorn racked up his second chance in the air when he latched onto a good corner from Kranjcar from the left. This time the striker skewed his headed wide of right post.
Richard Foster was in familiar surroundings at the Rangers Training Centre and he shot down the right on 38 minutes to outwit Lee Wallace and send a spinning ball into the box. It was out swinging and caused problems amongst the Light Blues backline. Foderingham rushed to the rescue before a Saints man could tap it beyond him and the stopper scooped the ball out of play.
Rangers started the second-half keen to get on the scoresheet and after 13 minutes of it they nearly had their breakthrough. The ball moved its way from deep for Waghorn to play a neat one-two with Holt and it allowed the midfielder to nip through the middle. Clark was forced into a decent save one-on-one.
Dalcio looked classy when he dropped his shoulder on 69 minutes to cut onto his right foot and his eventual effort was just over the crossbar. He sent another chance over on 72 minutes after making room for himself on the right of the box.
Alfredo Morelos made his second appearance for the Gers and nearly grabbed himself a goal with 15 minutes to go. Wallace fashioned a cross come shot and it bounced into the path of the Colombian. With Clark directly in front of him the 21-year-old tried to stab it beyond the keeper from close range but again he did well to deny Morelos.
With the game still at 0-0 going into the final minute Ross McCrorie was tempted by an overhead kick after Candieas’ corner fell short. It was the Gers final chance of the game.
RANGERS: Foderingham (Alnwick 75’), Tavernier (Hodson 84’), Bates (McCrorie 61’), Cardoso (A.Wilson 76’), Wallace (Beerman 76’), Jack (Thompson 84’), Holt (Rossiter 70’), Kranjcar (Windass 61’), Dalcio (Dodoo 80’), Waghorn (Morelos 70’), Miller (Candeias 70’).