KILMARNOCK came from behind to defeat Rangers in Graeme Murty’s first game in permanent charge.
Declan John had Gers ahead at the interval but two quick-fire goals from Kris Boyd in the second half secured the victory for the Ayrshiremen.
It was a bit of a frenetic start to the match, with both sides vying for domination of the ball. Killie fashioned the first chance when Kris Boyd knocked down a long ball forward for Eamonn Brophy, but he shot straight as Wes Foderingham.
The Gers goalkeeper then released the ball quickly, and a slip by Kirk Broadfoot saw Josh Windass in-behind the home defence. Similarly to Brophy however, he shot straight at Jamie MacDonald.
From there, much of the play came from the home side, but chances were at a real premium until the 39th minute, when Rangers took the lead through Declan John.
Windass, James Tavernier and Daniel Candeias played a neat triangle of passes out on the right wing before Windass crossed into the box.
Coming in from his left-wing berth to meet it was Declan John, with his finish a superb side-foot into the corner of the net and well beyond the reach of MacDonald.
It was a bit of a break for Gers who had toiled in the game to that point, but it brought both ends of Rugby Park and the 9000 or so supporters from Glasgow to life.
A further Rangers chance came before the interval, with Candeias driving for goal from 25-yards following some good work from John, but it was an easy enough save for MacDonald in the end.
The second half began with Kilmarnock again on top, and Wes Foderingham was forced into a stunning save to deny Kris Boyd. From a free-kick out on the right, Boyd got himself on the end of it at the back post and seemed destined to score only for the goalkeeper to get something on his effort.
Minutes later, Boyd again looked a dead-cert to equalise when he broke the Rangers offside trap, but again, Foderingham was there to deny him with an outstretched foot diverting the ball clear.
The Killie pressure continued, and Eamonn Brophy struck a post before at the other end, Windass headed over an excellent ball in from Candeias.
Brophy was then denied once again by Foderingham, firing straight at the goalkeeper while Lee Hodson cleared a Stephen O’Donnell shot off the line and Boyd again missed a decent chance, heading Gary Dicker’s cross wide of the target.
It was quite a storm Murty’s men were weathering, and they almost went two ahead against the run of play, as some fine work from Candeias saw him flash a ball across the face of goal, only for it to evade the incoming Alfredo Morelos by only a few inches.
Eventually, the Rangers defence could hold out no longer to the pressure they were being put under, with Kris Boyd grabbing a deserved equaliser on 77 minutes.
Eamonn Brophy peeled away from Lee Hodson out on the right and fired in the perfect ball for Boyd to blast home beyond the previously impenetrable Foderingham.
Two minutes later, matters got even worse for Rangers. With the aid of a deflection that looped the ball over Foderingham, Kilmarnock were ahead, and again, it was Boyd with the goal.
Rangers were stunned, but they should have been level with five minutes to go. A long James Tavernier free-kick reached David Bates on the penalty spot, but he couldn’t sort his feet out to score what would have been a certain goal under little pressure.
The Light Blues must now lift themselves for the visit of Motherwell to a sold-out Ibrox on Wednesday.
RANGERS: Foderingham; Tavernier, Bates, Wilson, Hodson (Herrera, 83); Candeias, McCrorie, Holt, John; Windass, Morelos.
SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, Hardie, Barjonas, Pena, Kranjcar, Cardoso.
KILMARNOCK: MacDonald, Taylor, Broadfoot, Boyd, O’Donnell, Power, Dicker, Mulumbu, Jones (Burke, 90), Brophy (Findlay, 85), Boyd (Erwin, 87)
SUBS NOT USED: Bell, Waters, McKenzie, Frizzell.
REFEREE: Willie Collum