Match ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 1.
Out of sorts and and almost out of answers, Rangers suffered a slip in the Championship title race.
The credit belonged to Alloa, since they were worthy of the lead they took through Jonathan Tiffoney.
The home side were six minutes away from a significant result when David Templeton prodded in an equaliser.
Both sides were frustrated, though, as Alloa had performed well enough to win and the visitors saw Hearts move further ahead at the top of the league.
Rangers' shortcomings were evident as their play lacked tempo or structure.
There were setbacks, too, as influential duo Lewis Macleod and Nicky Clark suffered first-half injuries.
Even so, Alloa's self-assurance and doggedness was the prime reason for Rangers' forlorn display.
Impressive midfielder Graeme Holmes almost opened the scoring from 40 yards. The chance came after Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen failed to release the ball properly as he tried to throw it upfield, and then had to scurry after it towards the corner flag.
When he reached the ball he tried to clear but fired it straight to Holmes, who took a touch before shooting.
The moment was representative of Rangers' lack of assurance.
Ian Black and Nicky Law were overrun in midfield, while wingers Fraser Aird and Templeton - who replaced Macleod - were never able to run at the full-backs. Rangers resorted to long diagonal balls upfield, which left Kris Boyd looking increasingly isolated.
Alloa were compact and purposeful, with Ryan McCord orchestrating much of their play. Their chances tended to come from set-pieces, and Kyle Benedictus headed over in the first-half just before Tiffoney scored.
Alloa were worthy of their half-time lead, as the organisation and industry of Barry Smith's side left Rangers looking bedraggled.
Their lack of tempo and intensity was familiar, but also unexpected since Rangers were on a run of seven straight victories, and gave impressive displays in their previous two games, against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Raith Rovers.
Jon Daly's appearance as Clark's replacement provided a more reliable presence as a target man.
It was still typical of Rangers afternoon, though, that as Black tried to latch on to a clearance on the edge of the penalty area, he tripped over the feet of the referee John McKendrick and fell over.
An untidy moment led to the Rangers equaliser. The ball bobbled around following a free-kick into the area, eventually dropping to Lee McCulloch. His shot was pushed away by goalkeeper John Gibson but Templeton was on hand to stab the ball in from close range.
Rangers thought they had scored a winner when Daly converted another free-kick, only for the striker to spot the offside flag as he wheeled away to celebrate.
The Ibrox men now trail Championship leaders Hearts by three points after they hammered Cowdenbeath 5-1 at Tynecastle.
- 3DochertyBooked at 65mins
- 4GordonBooked at 45mins
- 2TiffoneySubstituted forHetheringtonat 80'minutes
- 8McCordBooked at 86mins
- 3MohsniBooked at 85mins
- 10MacLeodSubstituted forTempletonat 13'minutes
- 4AirdSubstituted forPeraltaat 74'minutes
- 14ClarkSubstituted forDalyat 45+2'minutes
- John McKendrick
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 1.
Foul by Nicky Law (Rangers).
Stephen Simmons (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner following a set piece situation.
Foul by Michael Doyle (Alloa Athletic).
David Templeton (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Greig Spence (Alloa Athletic).
Lee McCulloch (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Mark Docherty.
Attempt blocked. Kris Boyd (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.
Ryan McCord (Alloa Athletic) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Ryan McCord (Alloa Athletic).
Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Alloa Athletic 1, Rangers 1. David Templeton (Rangers) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lee McCulloch.
Attempt blocked. Bilel Mohsni (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.
Foul by Ryan McCord (Alloa Athletic).
Ian Black (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.