RANGERS couldn’t find a way past Ross County despite a dominating display at Ibrox.
Mark Warburton’s side peppered the Staggies goal with chances from the get go but couldn’t grab the required goal to dispose of Jim McIntyre’s men.
The result leaves Rangers fourth in the Premiership table with six games of the season gone.
The Light Blues started the game strongest and pressed forward, as they would all afternoon. With eight minutes played Josh Windass more than deserved a goal for his endeavour through the middle. He knocked the ball past a first County man to glide past him at pace before by-passing another and rounding Scott Fox in goal. His ultimate shot was cruelly cleared as two defenders lined up to clear in the six yard box.
The midfielder popped up to take the resulting corner and the Gers nearly turned it in at the far post in a frantic opening 10 minutes.
Wes Foderingham pulled off a magnificent save on 27 minutes when the Staggies lifted a looping free-kick into the box right down the middle of the pitch. With the Gers unable to clear their lines the ball fell lose to Alex Schalk and he turned quickly to try and drill the ball into the small gap that had opened up inside the post. The Rangers Number One showed lightening reflexes to scoop the ball away from the base of the upright.
Windass went close twice more before the half hour mark, lashing two shots, one after the other, from just inside the box when County couldn’t clear a Rangers corner. His first was blocked and his second was heading for the back of the net until a deflection skewed the ball out.
Rangers were surging forward and Lee Wallace got to the by-line on 31 minutes to play a ball along the chalk and into James Tavernier, who was arriving at the far post. The right-back turned up just in time to meet it but put the ball the wrong side of the post.
The returning Jason Holt linked up well with his new midfield partner of Windass four minutes later and the 22-year-old was unlucky, once again, not to score. Holt laid off a cute short ball to the former Accrington man and he took one touch before curling the ball a few inches wide.
Martyn Waghorn had been somewhat quiet on his first start since early August but cut inside from the right with 40 minutes gone to try and curl a shot beyond Fox. The keeper held the strike though and left the Light Blues going into the break still searching for an opener.
The visitors fired an early warning shot inside the opening moments of the second-half. Craig Curran with a driven shot from the right which just shaved the crossbar and put Foderingham at full stretch.
Waghorn went close for Rangers next with 56 minutes played. Windass played him in on the edge of the area as he sprayed a pass to his right and it allowed the striker to skip into the area. Waghorn took a couple of touches to give himself room before curling a low shot around the defenders. It looked to be sneaking in at far post but Fox somehow touched it around the woodwork.
Clint Hill already has two for the season and nearly had a third from the resulting corner when Barrie McKay placed the ball onto the head of the defender. Hill nodded goalwards but saw his effort cleared off the line by Martin Woods.
With 25 minutes left to play Kenny Miller and Michael O’Halloran entered the fray and the latter nearly made an immediate impact when he cannoned a header off the woodwork. Windass picked out O’Halloran in the middle with a perfectly weighted cross from the right and the forward would have been celebrating if he could have planted his header a couple of inches lower.
Schalk had gone closest to breaking the deadlock for County in the first-half and he did the same in the second on 71 minutes. The visitors hustled to get the ball free out on the right and drive into the box. The Dutchman picked it up inside the area to send a shot flashing goalwards and Foderingham had to have strong palms to tip over the bar.
Rangers were in desperate search of a goal and were racking up the chances but to no avail. They added to the tally with just under 15 minutes to go. Niko Kranjcar swung a dangerous looking corner into the near post from the left and Windass tried to touch the ball into the net. His effort failed and when Danny Wilson tried to follow it up with an overhead kick his shot too was blocked in the goalmouth scramble.
The fourth official signalled five minutes of stoppage time as Ibrox roared the Gers forward but they couldn’t make the time count.
RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Wilson, Hill, Wallace; Halliday, Holt (Kranjcar 73’), Windass; Waghorn (O’Halloran 65’), Garner (Miller 65’), McKay.
Subs not used: Gilks, Hodson, Crooks, Forrester.
Yellows: Wallace 42’
ROSS COUNTY: Fox, Routis, Davies, Schalk (Dingwall 75’), Van der Veg, Franks (Chow 68’), Quinn, Curran (Morrison 83’), Woods, Gardyne, Fraser.
Subs not used: McCarey, Cikos, McShane
Yellows: Woods 63’