DESPITE a thoroughly dominant performance against Alloa this afternoon, Rangers managed to drop two points having missed a quite incredible number of chances.
Manager Mark Warburton could scarcely believe his eyes as combination of poor finishing and an inspired performance from Scott Gallacher in the home goal limited Rangers to just one counter.
And indeed, that one goal came from Michael O’Halloran eight minutes from time to cancel out Jason Marr’s sucker-punch opener.
The Light Blues began the game brightly, and should have been out of sight inside the opening stages.
With less than a minute played, Barrie McKay sent a driven cross into the area which was cleared by the home defence, but only as far as Harry Forrester who sent a shot wide of the target.
Forrester was involved again soon after as he and McKay combined once more, this time his shot from the left of the area clipping the right post on its way behind for a corner.
Forrester’s frustration was a taste of what was to come for the entire team, as Lee Wallace saw a shot deflected over the top of the bar before Waghorn shot wide when inside the box out on the right this time.
Alloa were having to throw everything at Rangers to stop them scoring, and another deflection prevented Michael O’Halloran from scoring before Forrester missed yet another opportunity, shooting wide once more as Andy Halliday fed him the ball.
Quite how Rangers hadn’t scored by that point was anybody’s guess, but the biggest miss of all was to follow as Lee Wallace slipped-in Waghorn and with only goalkeeper Gallacher to beat, he shot wide of the target.
Minutes later, James Tavernier worked the ball in for Jason Holt. He looked to be crowded out by the Alloa defence but he still managed to get a shot away, scooping it up and off the bar before Waghorn headed a Forrester cross off target once more.
It just wasn’t Waghorn’s afternoon at all as he shot a Wallace cross wide from only six-yards out as the interval approached before the half closed with a Tavernier effort being gathered by Gallacher.
Into the second half, and it was very much the same story, with Gallacher denying Holt and O’Halloran before Forrester dragged yet another opportunity wide.
It was a quite amazing assault on the Alloa goal, but unfathomably, it was the home side who took the lead.
They fired a warning shot at the ‘Gers as Wes Foderingham was required to turn a Dougie Hill header over the bar, and from the resultant corner, they scored.
Unmarked at the back-post, Jason Marr bulleted a header into the top corner, and he was yellow carded after the referee deemed him to have over-celebrated.
To their credit, Rangers immediately got their heads up and resumed the Alamo.
Sub Billy King stung Gallacher’s palms with a low shot, before Danny Wilson produced a carbon copy effort from a Tavernier corner.
The goalkeeper was having quite a game, and a mazy run from O’Halloran ended with his shot deflecting into the path of Nicky Clark whose backheeled effort was again wonderfully saved.
Eventually, the pressure told on Alloa as Michael O’Halloran grabbed his first Rangers goal.
Kenny Miller sprayed a ball out to the right for Tavernier to cross and O’Halloran fired it high into the net to level matters at long, long last.
The win looked to be there for the taking against a shattered opposition, but chances came and went again for Rangers to miss.
James Tavernier saw a shot cleared off the line within seconds of the restart while Clark shot over the bar and then Tavernier saw a header saved by Gallacher from a Halliday cross.
Somehow, the home side survived as Rangers were left to ponder what might have been as they trudged off following the most frustrating of afternoons.
RANGERS: Foderingham, Wallace, Wilson, Kiernan, Tavernier, Halliday, Holt (King, 65), McKay, O’Halloran, Forrester (Miller, 74), Waghorn (Clark, 65).
SUBS NOT USED: Bell, Ball, Zelalem, Law.
ALLOA ATHLETIC: Gallacher, Hill, Hamilton, Marr, Duffy, O’Brien, McManus, Layne (Holmes, 70), Hetherington (McAusland, 75), Finnie, Megginson.
SUBS NOT USED: Reintam, Ferns, Williams, Crawford, Hynd.