Scottish Premiership
Rangers1Kilmarnock0

Rangers 1-0 Kilmarnock

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Highlights: Rangers 1-0 Kilmarnock

David Bates marked his last appearance at Ibrox with the only goal of the game as Rangers moved to within one point of second-place Aberdeen.

The defender, who is joining Hamburg in the summer, headed home Sean Goss' cross with only five minutes remaining.

The late goal secured the Ibrox side's first victory over Kilmarnock this season.

Jamie Murphy hit the crossbar in the first half, while Greg Kiltie came close for the visitors with a header.

Rangers were looking to capitalise on the feel-good factor generated by the confirmation on Friday that Steven Gerrard would start as the club's new manager at the end of the season.

The former Liverpool and England captain was not at Ibrox to see Steve Clarke's men frustrate the home side for long periods, with Jimmy Nicholl and Jonatan Johansson in charge of the first team following the departure last week of manager Graeme Murty.

The visitors arrived at Ibrox knowing that one point would secure at least a fifth-place finish this season, while the Rangers support were looking for a response from the home players following last week's 5-0 loss to Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Rangers' director of football Mark Allen and chairman Dave King
Rangers' director of football Mark Allen and chairman Dave King have appointed Steven Gerrard as the club's next manager

Murphy came close to ratcheting up the noise levels as he was left unmarked in space just outside Kilmarnock's box after 11 minutes, but the winger shot just wide.

Aaron Tshibola was given the opportunity to heap fresh doubt into the minds of the home players as former Rangers striker Kris Boyd's flick-on from a long Stephen O'Donnell throw dropped for him outside the box but the on-loan Aston Villa youngster skied his effort.

There was another warning for the home side as Eamonn Brophy flashed a ball across goal, a fraction ahead of the on-rushing Boyd.

It took the quick reactions of Jak Alnwick to keep Kilmarnock out just before the half-hour mark as Boyd hit a powerful free-kick that the Rangers goalkeeper did well to palm away, then he had to react smartly to foil Kirk Broadfoot on the rebound.

Rangers did finish the opening half on the front foot and only the woodwork denied them the interval lead as Murphy's header from Andy Halliday's whipped delivery from the left struck the crossbar.

Nicholl replaced Jason Cummings with Ross McCrorie at the interval and was nearly instantly rewarded when the teenager almost found the top corner within seconds of play resuming, before pushing another effort just wide soon after.

It looked like the hosts would have to settle for a point but with just five minutes remaining the impressive Bates - making his return after six weeks out injured - bundled home Goss's deep cross to seal victory.

The visitors could have snatched a point at the end but Kiltie's header flew just over.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 25Alnwick
  • 2Tavernier
  • 24Bates
  • 33Martin
  • 16Halliday
  • 10Dorrans
  • 23HoltSubstituted forGossat 74'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 21Candeias
  • 26CummingsSubstituted forMcCrorieat 45'minutes
  • 28Murphy
  • 20MorelosBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 17Hodson
  • 18Rossiter
  • 22Bruno Alves
  • 27Goss
  • 32Kelly
  • 40McCrorie
  • 48Docherty

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'DonnellBooked at 57mins
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 17Findlay
  • 12Taylor
  • 24MulumbuBooked at 40minsSubstituted forWilsonat 80'minutes
  • 8Dicker
  • 27TshibolaBooked at 60mins
  • 25BrophySubstituted forErwinat 63'minutes
  • 9BoydSubstituted forKiltieat 72'minutes
  • 11JonesBooked at 36mins

Substitutes

  • 10Kiltie
  • 16Boyd
  • 20Wilson
  • 22Erwin
  • 26Simpson
  • 29Burke
  • 32Fasan
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
49,703

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home10
Away6
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home11
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 1, Kilmarnock 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Kilmarnock 0.

Attempt missed. Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alfredo Morelos (Rangers).

David Bates (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Jak Alnwick.

Attempt missed. Greg Kiltie (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Foul by Graham Dorrans (Rangers).

Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Sean Goss (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sean Goss (Rangers).

Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 1, Kilmarnock 0. David Bates (Rangers) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sean Goss.

Ross McCrorie (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock).

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Iain Wilson replaces Youssouf Mulumbu.

Foul by Sean Goss (Rangers).

Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Ross McCrorie (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Kirk Broadfoot.

Attempt blocked. James Tavernier (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Sean Goss replaces Jason Holt.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Greg Kiltie replaces Kris Boyd.

Foul by Russell Martin (Rangers).

Kirk Broadfoot (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jordan Jones.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Stephen O'Donnell.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Kris Boyd.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Kirk Broadfoot.

Foul by Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock).

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Lee Erwin replaces Eamonn Brophy.

Attempt missed. Graham Dorrans (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ross McCrorie (Rangers).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35239370234778
2Aberdeen36216954361869
3Rangers362151070442668
4Hibernian361812656391766
5Kilmarnock361510114847155
6Hearts351113113634246
7Motherwell36119163949-1042
8St Johnstone36119163951-1242
9Dundee36106203556-2136
10Hamilton3696214663-1733
11Partick Thistle3679203060-3030
12Ross County36610203960-2128
View full Scottish Premiership table

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