Late goal denies Rangers
Annbank United 2 Kilsyth Rangers 2Stagecoach West Region Superleague First Division
RANGERS brought the curtain down on their league programme with a draw against fellow strugglers Annbank United on Saturday.
They should have taken all three points but scorned a host of chances early in the second half that enabled United to grab a late equaliser that might just be their salvation.
There was little for the small group of fans to enthuse over in the opening 20 minutes or so.
Rangers were first to threaten, eventually, with a good attack in which three shots were blocked or otherwise thwarted.
Dukers, who had taken a knock earlier on, was taken off after 25 minutes and replaced by O'Boyle.
He was only on the pitch for barely a minute in place before Annbank took the lead. Following a good run by BAIRD, the keeper seemed undecided whether to come out and the Annbank player shot home from an acute angle.
The lead did not last long as Dalrymple put over a good cross and, at the second attempt, KELLY fired low into the corner of the net.
The game had now livened up and both teams created chances before half time, but they went in level which was a fair reflection of the play.
Rangers had the advantage of a stiff breeze in the second period and attacked from the restart.
They went ahead within three minutes when DALRYMPLE scored superbly from all of 30 yards.
It was all Rangers now and they created enough chances to win two or three games over the next 15 minutes or so, with Kelly having at least four good openings.
Just when it seemed that Kilsyth were cruising to a narrow, but deserved victory, McCANN took the ball right through the defence, beating several players before firing a great 18 yard effort past keeper O'Boyle.
Annbank were making a game of it now, desperate for the winning goal that would have given them a fighting chance of avoiding the drop. But, despite having another few good chances, Rangers held out until the whistle.
The trips to Ayrshire for league games will be put on hold for at least one year now, but hopefully Rangers can bounce back in a single season, as Shotts have done this season.
KILSYTH: Dukes, L Waters, D Waters, Doyle, Murray, Graham, Dalrymple, McPeake, McAteer, Kelly, Carr. Subs: McJimpsey, Neville, O'Boyle.
ANNBANK; McGantly, Connolly, Robison, Holland, McKenzie, Milligan, Wilson, McCann, Baird. Subs: Simpson, Cartner, MacAuley, Donaldson.
Rangers will meet Ashfield at Saracen Park on this evening (Wednesday) in the Central League Cup quarter final. Kick off is at 7.15pm. The Lady Darling Cup final will be played at Duncansfield on Friday evening between Campsie Black Watch and East Kilbride Amateurs. Kick-off is at 7.15pm.