Match ends, Rangers 1, Queen of the South 1.
Rangers 1-1 Queen of the South
The resilience of Queen of the South was enough to earn them a point at Ibrox, as Rangers succumbed to persistent faults.
The hosts could not feed off the optimism generated at the first home game since boardroom change.
They had to rely on the attacking instincts of Haris Vuckic, who opened the scoring in the second half.
But 17-year-old substitute Aidan Smith was in the right place at the right time to equalise.
The result means Rangers are two points behind second-place Hibernian in the Championship, although the Ibrox outfit have a game in hand.
Rangers supporters returned to Ibrox in significant numbers. They were responding to the hope and optimism that a new board regime prompts, but perhaps also the sense that the traumas of recent years could finally be consigned to the past.
John Greig, an iconic figure who had stopped attending games because of how the club was being run, also returned. He took his seat in the directors box alongside new board members. There was symbolism in Greig's return, but problems at the club run deeper than images of renewal.
Mediocrity has become entrenched in the Rangers squad. On an occasion when the expectation of the home fans was of some kind of resurgence, they instead only found that old faults could not be eradicated.
Queens' pressing was so industrious and purposeful that the home side never truly settled on the ball. Possession was shared between the two sides - neither could grasp command of proceedings - and so the game was finely-balanced.
Breakaways tended to be the only source of attacking impact. Rangers' Nicky Clark twice benefited from a swift foray upfield, rifling a shot just wide.
Strikers had to be opportunistic, and Jon Daly would have been frustrated at his finish when Clark pushed the ball out to him as he saved Vuckic's shot, the centre-forward stabbing it over.
It was an awkward chance, and Queens were often the more coherent side. They moved the ball around the field confidently, with the movement of Danny Carmichael, Michael Paton and Gavin Reilly capable of spreading consternation amongst the home defenders.
The latter two were involved with Queens' best chance, Reilly bursting upfield then setting up Paton to fire against the post. Reilly also headed over when keeper Lee Robinson parried the ball straight out to him.
Toiling became more widespread after the interval, as if both sides were prepared to concede that a draw would be the least harmful result.
Rangers were unable to make full use of the width of their side, but when Lee Wallace did swing a cross in from the left flank, Jon Daly steered his header just wide.
As the frustration spread, so too did the sense of caution. Queens were always wary of Vuckic's elusive running, while the Rangers defence never looked wholly comfortable when put under pressure. There seemed no likelihood of a breakthrough until a moment of resourcefulness from Vuckic.
He was alert and composed enough to gather a loose ball inside the area, make space for a shot, then clip it beneath the diving reach of goalkeeper Zander Clark. The noise from the home crowd was one of relief.
The feeling did not last.
Queens remained committed to pressurising the home defence, and it eventually collapsed. Paton applied the pressure, stepping into space to drill a shot on target that Robinson could not hold. As the ball squirmed free, Smith was on hand to lift it into the net.
Exasperation spread, but Vuckic allowed his to spill into rashness, and he threw an elbow into the face of Iain Russell that referee John McKendrick did not see.
The game ended with the familiar sound of booing from the home fans.
- 5WallaceSubstituted forMohsniat 82'minutes
- 34MurdochSubstituted forWalshat 66'minutes
- 9DalySubstituted forBoydat 80'minutes
Queen of Sth
- 8MillarSubstituted forMcKennaat 76'minutes
- 15PatonSubstituted forPickardat 89'minutes
- 10ReillySubstituted forSmithat 83'minutes
- John McKendrick
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Queen of the South 1.
Attempt saved. Tom Walsh (Rangers) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Foul by Nicky Law (Rangers).
Jake Pickard (Queen of the South) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Queen of the South. Jake Pickard replaces Michael Paton.
Foul by Kris Boyd (Rangers).
Kevin Holt (Queen of the South) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Rangers 1, Queen of the South 1. Aidan Smith (Queen of the South) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.
Substitution, Queen of the South. Aidan Smith replaces Gavin Reilly.
Substitution, Rangers. Bilel Mohsni replaces Lee Wallace because of an injury.
Foul by Haris Vuckic (Rangers).
Iain Russell (Queen of the South) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Rangers. Kris Boyd replaces Jon Daly.
Goal! Rangers 1, Queen of the South 0. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nicky Clark.
Substitution, Queen of the South. Stephen McKenna replaces Mark Millar.
Nicky Clark (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lewis Kidd (Queen of the South).
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Darren McGregor.
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Kyle Hutton.
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Lee McCulloch.
Attempt blocked. Michael Paton (Queen of the South) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Ian McShane (Queen of the South) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Daniel Carmichael (Queen of the South) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Andy Dowie.
Nicky Law (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Daniel Carmichael (Queen of the South).
Substitution, Rangers. Tom Walsh replaces Andy Murdoch.
Attempt saved. Michael Paton (Queen of the South) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Lee Wallace.
Foul by Darren McGregor (Rangers).
Iain Russell (Queen of the South) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Kyle Hutton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Mark Millar (Queen of the South) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Jon Daly (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Second Half begins Rangers 0, Queen of the South 0.
First Half ends, Rangers 0, Queen of the South 0.
Attempt missed. Haris Vuckic (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Attempt missed. Gavin Reilly (Queen of the South) header from very close range is too high.