STUART McCall didn’t get the dream start to his Rangers tenure as his side played out their fourth straight draw.
The new manager had hoped to inject some new life into the Light Blues but in the end they could only manage a 1-1 draw with bottom side Livingston – after Haris Vuckic had opened the scoring early on.
The 22-year-old’s goal inside the first ten minutes was cancelled out by a scrambled Livi equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
The game had started so positively for Rangers and they got their rewards for the lively opening in the 9th minute. Vuckic, the player McCall had been singing the praises of since his arrival as manager, launching a fine strike into the bottom right hand corner.
Kenny Miller had the foresight to see Nicky Law racing forward to the left of him and played him in with a neat pass. Law pushed forward and slipped in Vuckic arriving in the box and the Slovenian dropped a shoulder to cut inside and fire a left footed shot beyond Darren Jamieson.
The celebrations and smiles by both manager and players proving how important the early goal was.
Minutes later Tom Walsh, making his full debut, justified his selection – looking dangerous he turned on the burners to reach the by-line and cut a pacey ball back into the box, Livi having to scramble to clear into the stand. And he had a chance to double the Gers tally but wasn’t selfish enough and chose the pass instead.
At the other end Lee Robinson was being told to try and calm down the pace of his distribution as Livi threated to get a foot in the door. A poor header by Kyle Hutton put the defence under pressure as two forwards poured through, the midfielder making up for his mistake when he blocked the resulting shot.
The away side nearly scored their second own goal in two games at Ibrox when Lee Wallace curled a cross in and Jamieson had to hurry to push Calum Fordyce’s attempted chest back wide. The resulting corner nearly created an opening for Walsh. The ball careered off the defender and looped into the path of the 18-year-old who took it on the volley and launched the ball at goal. But his aim was ever so slightly high as it skimmed over the crossbar.
With Rangers unable to take advantage of their chances Livi punished them on the stroke of half time. A cross came in from the left and Danny Mullen headed it onto the inside of the post as Robinson watched on.
It bounced back out to save his blushes for a moment but Ibra Sekajja was lurking in the six-yard box to nudge it over the line. Then much to the delight of the Ibrox crowd the striker seemingly injured himself with some enthusiastic acrobatic celebrations!
Mark Burchill’s side nearly started the second half as they had ended the first. Mullen making room for himself on the edge of the area and dipping a low shot at the Gers goal that Robinson had to be alive to and paw away.
It looked like Rangers had taken the lead with just under half an hour left to play but the offside flag told a different story. Kenny Miller hurried to take a quick throw in to Vuckic over the top and the forward chose not to lay it back to the 35-year-old. Instead he cut the ball across goal and Law’s close range shot was parried into the path of Clark who nodded into the back of the net – only to be adjudged offside, much to his dismay.
On 75 minutes Jamieson had to produce a top draw save to deny Miller, hooking the ball out of the air in full flight. Law had whipped a corner in to the back post and after some pinball around the six-yard box Lee McCulloch flicked it onto the head of Miller.
His header, from just yards out, looked more than likely to rustle the net but the keeper had other ideas and kept the scores level single-handedly. Kris Boyd, on for Miller, went close with a header minutes from time and Walsh lashed a shot at goal but neither found the winner as the final whistle sounded around Ibrox.
RANGERS: Robinson, Faure (Zaliukas 52”), McGregor, McCulloch, Wallace; Hutton, Law, Vuckic (Templeton 71”), Walsh; Clark, Miller (Boyd 81”).
Subs not used: Simonsen, Smith, Shiels, Murdoch
Goals: Vuckic 9”
LIVINGSTON: Jamieson, Sives, Talbot, Cole, Fordyce, Ky.Jacobs, Ke.Jacobs, Gallagher, Mullen (Hippolyte 67”), Sekajja (White 80”), Pittman (McKenna 90”)
Subs not used: Walker, O’Brien, Beaumont, Glen
Goals: Sekajja 45”
Yellows: Talbot 77”, Fordyce 80”, Ky.Jacobs 83”