Livingston 1-0 Rangers- Match Report

Craig Halkett nets Livingston winner against Rangers

Rangers' end-of-season struggles continued as a Craig Halkett goal gave Livingston a 1-0 Ladbrokes Championship win at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

The title winners had lost at Hibernian and drawn at home to relegated Alloa following their dramatic William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win against old rivals Celtic at Hampden Park.

And, in what was essentially a meaningless match in front of 5,021 fans, former Light Blues defender Halkett headed the game's only goal in the final minute of the first half.

The Ibrox side were no more impressive after the break and ran out of ideas long before they ran out of time.

Mark Warburton's men conclude their league campaign with a trip to St Mirren on Sunday before preparing for the Scottish Cup final against Hibs on May 21, by which time they will need to somehow find top gear again.

Ninth-placed Livi have to fight for their survival via the play-offs but can take confidence from their performance, especially in defence.

Rangers had taken seven points from nine against Livi in three previous league meetings this season but made hard work of the first half before conceding a late goal.

Amid a positive start, Gers midfielder Andy Halliday drove wide from distance while fans were still making their way into the ground and forward Michael O'Halloran missed the target from 12 yards after being set up by Dominic Ball.

And in the 28th minute, after Livi defender Morgyn Neill was booked for handball 25 yards from goal, Halliday curled the free-kick just over the bar.

However, Livi rallied and moments later Danny Mullen screwed his shot wide of the Gers goal in a breakaway and, as the home side began to fancy their chances, Sam Stanton waltzed into the Light Blues box and drove his shot inches past the far post.

The visiting fans had more cause to growl seconds before the interval when, after attacker Billy King fouled Jackson Longridge just outside the box, Halkett leapt to head 16-year-old Matthew Knox's free-kick high past Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

Rangers' start to the second half was leaden.

King mis-kicked an O'Halloran cut-back inside the box and then did the same from a Kenny Miller pass on the hour mark, before he was replaced by Barrie McKay, with Jason Holt on for Dean Shiels, before Nicky Law came on for Gedion Zelalem.

However, little changed as Livingston defended with increasing assurance and in the 75th minute they might have stolen a second through substitute Liam Buchanan, on for Jordan White, but he headed Josh Mullen's cross over the bar from six yards out.

Foderingham then made a fine block from the same player in a one-on-one as Livingston swiftly countered again.

Rangers kept pushing and Miller's powerful 20-yard drive in the 86th minute missed by inches, but the final few moments were relatively comfortable for the West Lothian side.

Source : PA

Source: PA