St Johnstone 0-2 Rangers

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
Steven Naismith scores for Rangers
Naismith (left) headed Rangers into the lead after 31 minutes

Rangers secured their first win of the season - and their first under manager Ally McCoist - by overcoming a toothless St Johnstone in Perth.

Callum and Murray Davidson both went close for the home side early on.

But Saints goalkeeper Peter Enckelman had already produced a couple of fine saves before Steven Naismith headed home after 31 minutes.

Naismith turned provider five minutes after the break, with Nikica Jelavic firing Rangers' second from 16 yards.

The victory eases the early-season pressure on McCoist, who suffered a midweek Champions League qualifying defeat at the hands of Malmo to follow an opening day draw with Hearts at Ibrox.

Saints manager Derek McInnes culled his shot-shy strikers at the end last season but has also now gone two games this term without a goal.

Nikica Jelavic celebrates
Jelavic scored Rangers' second goal with a clinical finish at McDiarmid Park

He had signalled his attacking intent by including Marcus Haber and Kevin Moon in the starting line-up in place of Chris Miller and Liam Craig.

But it was Rangers who applied the pressure immediately from kick-off and a cross-cum-shot from Steven Whittaker forced Enckelman to turn the ball over the crossbar.

From the corner, Dorin Goian, the former Palermo defender making his debut in place of the injured David Weir, threatened with a header.

Saints replied within seconds, with Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor pushing a low, 22-yard drive from Callum Davidson round the post.

The defender's namesake, Murray, ought to have at least forced a save after 11 minutes, but the Rangers target dragged his low drive from just inside the box wide of the far post.

Enckelman denied Rangers again after 18 minutes, palming wide a Jelavic header after the striker rose 12 yards from goal to meet a curling Sasa Papac cross.

Jelavic was inches from connecting with another curling ball, this time from Steven Davis, when the striker peeled off his marker at the back post.

Rangers were finding space inside the box and took the lead on the half hour mark when Naismith rose unmarked to power his header past Enckelman from 12 yards following a Lee Wallace free-kick.

Saints started the second half in positive fashion but suffered a sucker punch after David Robertson lost possession in midfield.

A cute through ball from Naismith set up Jelavic, who held off Callum Davidson before sliding the ball past Enckelman.

Saints sent some dangerous balls into the Rangers box without troubling McGregor but were fortunate not to go further behind when Enckelman's knees denied Naismith after Jelavic sent his strike partner clear.

Jody Morris fired a powerful low drive wide of Rangers' far post from 18 yards, but Saints never looked like staging a comeback against the reigning champions.

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