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Impressive Staggies hold on to claim a point against Rangers at Ibrox

Alex Schalk scored twice for County
Alex Schalk scored twice for County

Rangers captain Lee Wallace denied Ross County a first victory at Ibrox in an entertaining match that finished 1-1.

Alex Schalk broke the deadlock after 18 minutes with his seventh goal of the season and should have netted a second soon after but missed an open goal.

Rangers dominated the second period and equalised in the 71st minute when Wallace netted his second goal of the season.

The home side pushed for the winner but the Staggies held on to claim a point.

The Staggies made three changes from the team that suffered a 2-1 defeat against Motherwell on Tuesday. Paul Quinn, Jay McEveley and Christopher Routis all missed out with Andrew Davies, back after a calf problem, Jason Naismith and Milan Lalkovic all stepping in as replacements.

Rangers were also looking to bounce back after suffering a heavy 4-1 defeat by Hearts midweek. They also made three alterations with Philippe Senderos, Joe Garner and Jason Holt coming in for Rob Kiernan, Andy Halliday and Martyn Waghorn.

The Staggies made a fine start with Jim O’Brien cutting the ball back for Martin Woods whose deflected effort was clawed away by Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham with only 80 seconds on the clock.

Rangers threatened soon after with County goalkeeper Scott Fox showing great agility to tip a powerful James Tavernier volley over the crossbar.

But it was the Staggies who opened the scoring after 18 minutes when the lively Jim O’Brien fed Schalk who displayed great composure to slot the ball beyond Foderingham.

County should have gone two ahead after 26 minutes when Schalk missed an open goal following a dreadful error from Rangers mix-up between Foderingham and Clint Hill.

The Staggies went close again four minutes from half-time when Liam Boyce out-jumped Senseros but Foderingham, on this occasion, was equal to Schalk’s low drive.

Rangers almost equalised eight minutes into the second half but Fox produced a brilliant double save to thwart Garner.

But County’s resistance finally gave way in the 71st minute when Kenny Miller played in Rangers captain Wallace who converted from a tight angle.

Fox pulled off another great save in the closing stages to turn a goal-bound Davies clearance over the crossbar.

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