Rangers settle for point in fourth-tier opener

Rangers needed a last-minute equaliser to spare their blushes as the Glasgow giants started life in the Third Division with a 2-2 draw against part-timers Peterhead on Saturday.

It is an amazing fall from grace for the Ibrox club, who were making their debut in Scottish senior football's lowest tier after being demoted when the old company couldn't be saved from liquidation.

Teenager Barrie McKay had scored Rangers' first ever goal in Scotland's lowest tier in the 27th minute before second-half strikes from Rory McAllister, who had been a thorn in Rangers' side all day, and Scott McLaughlin turned the game on its head.

But, with time running out, Andrew Little knocked the ball over the line after substitute Kevin Kyle's header crashed off the bar.

Rangers are overwhelming favourites to stroll to automatic promotion in a league otherwise comprised of part-time and amateur sides.

However, despite starting with eight full internationals and dominating possession, they struggled to break down the defence of a team who had been the favourites to win the title before Rangers dropped down the leagues.

Visiting manager Ally McCoist admitted he was relieved to get a point in the end.

"I felt we defended appallingly to be honest. We didn't match their aggression and if our boys at any time thought this was going to be a cake-walk they know where they are now," he said.

"I am not going to start panicking but overall I still think we will play better and we'll certainly pass the ball better but enormous credit must go to Peterhead."

Despite losing such a late equaliser, Peterhead manager Jim McInally, a former Scotland international midfielder, was delighted with his side.

"I can't believe I have gone into a dressing room that is disappointed at drawing 2-2 with Rangers," he said.

In the Scottish Premier League, champions Celtic were not in action after being given permission to travel to the United States to play a lucrative friendly against Spanish giants Real Madrid instead.

St Mirren moved top of the early table with a 2-0 win at promoted Dundee thanks to goals from Kenny McLean and Sam Parkin.

Both sides finished with ten men as Motherwell, who were knocked out of the Champions League third qualifying round by Panathinaikos in midweek, came from behind to secure a 1-1 home draw against St Johnstone.

Ten man Inverness Caledonian Thistle held Kilmarnock to a 1-1 draw while Aberdeen's home clash with Ross County ended goalless.

Hibernian host Hearts in the Edinburgh derby on Sunday.

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