Ally's Gers triumph in Perth

Steven Naismith and Nikica Jelavic earned Ally McCoist his first competitive win as Rangers won 2-0 at St Johnstone to go top of the SPL.

Last Updated: 30/07/11 at 17:38

Jelavic: Celebrates his goal for Rangers

Jelavic: Celebrates his goal for Rangers

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Scottish champions went some way to making amends for last week's draw with Hearts and the reverse against Malmo in Tuesday's Champions League qualifier at Ibrox.

Rangers will now hope this win provides a much-needed boost ahead of their trip to Sweden this coming week where they must overcome a 1-0 deficit to keep alive their hopes of a place in the group stages.

Dorin Goian made his Rangers debut from the start at McDiarmid Park after being granted a work permit and international clearance following his move from Palermo earlier in the week.

The defender replaced David Weir in the starting line-up after the skipper failed to recover from a hamstring injury picked up against Malmo.

Saints added Marcus Haber and Kevin Moon to the side after last week's draw at Aberdeen but new signing Francisco Sandaza missed out as a result of lack of match fitness.

The home side carved out the first real chance when Callum Davidson tried his luck with a swerving effort that was pushed to safety by Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

At the other end, Steven Whittaker teed up the shot for Naismith in front of goal but his finish was weak and failed to trouble goalkeeper Peter Enckelman.

Saints still looked capable of grabbing the opener and were not too far away when Sasa Papac, playing in an unfamiliar left midfield role, lost possession and Rangers target Murray Davidson burst through on goal only to screw wide.

However, the Scottish champions could have been ahead when Jelavic met a Papac cross from the left and his bullet header looked netbound until Enckelman produced a great save to push wide.

The breakthrough came after 31 minutes when Rangers surged into the lead when they were handed a free-kick for a Murray Davidson foul on Jelavic.

Lee Wallace flighted the set-piece into the box where Naismith was waiting to send a firm header past the grasp of Enckelman and into the bottom corner.

Saints were out of the traps quickly after the break and Haber could have levelled when he turned and unleashed a ferocious shot that fizzed just past the post.

But it was Rangers who were celebrating again just five minutes after the restart when Naismith slotted into the path of Jelavic and the Croatian striker shrugged off Callum Davidson before dispatching a low, angled drive into the back of the net.

St Johnstone made a double change after an hour, with David Robertson and Cillian Sheridan withdrawn and Chris Millar and Carl Finnigan thrown into the action.

The home side could have had a claim for a penalty when Finnigan went to ground in the box under pressure from Maurice Edu but nothing was given by referee Alan Muir.

Rangers made their first switch when Lee McCulloch was replaced by Juan Manuel Ortiz with 15 minutes to go.

Their hosts could then have set up a tense finale had they been able to pull a goal back when Finnigan set up Jody Morris for the shot and he dragged just wide of the upright.

But Rangers held on for the win to ease the pressure after what had been a disappointing start to both their domestic and European campaigns.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 04 March 2015
19:45
Celtic 0-1 St J'stone  
Sunday, 01 March 2015
12:00
Celtic 4-0 Aberdeen Report
Saturday, 28 February 2015
15:00
Dundee U 0-2 Partick Report
Motherwell 2-1 Inverness Report
Ross Co 1-0 Dundee Report
St J'stone 0-0 Kilmarnock Report
St Mirren 1-0 Hamilton Report
Tuesday, 24 February 2015
19:45
Dundee U 1-1 Inverness Report
Sunday, 22 February 2015
13:00
Celtic 4-0 Hamilton Report
Saturday, 21 February 2015
15:00
Aberdeen 3-0 St Mirren Report

Footer 365

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Manchester United's Jonny Evans denies spitting charge after incident with Papiss Cisse

Manchester United's Jonny Evans has denied the FA's spitting charge following the incident with Newcastle's Papiss Cisse.

Mail Box

Why All The Hate For Robin Van Persie?

One Mailboxer can't work out why everyone is having a pop at Robin van Persie. Plus FA Cup anticipation, changing relegation, a Friday song and more Totti love...

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company