Rangers ‘should have taken the spoils’ as James Tavernier saves draw

Rangers came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against 10-man Kilmarnock on Friday night in the Scottish Premiership, thanks to James Tavernier's free-kick goal.

Rangers' James Tavernier celebrates during a match last season. Russell Cheyne / Action Images / Reuters / April 5, 2016
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Rangers had to settle for a point against 10-men Kilmarnock as they came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw in their Scottish Premiership clash on Friday.

Kris Boyd came back to haunt his former club as he fired Kilmarnock in to a 29th minute lead.

Rangers grabbed an equaliser when James Tavernier sent a curling free-kick past Jamie MacDonald in the 59th minute before Kilmarnock’s Greg Taylor saw red for a reckless challenge on Joey Barton four minutes later.

The Glasgow giants pushed for a winner but had to settle for a point in an unconvincing performance which extends their lead at the top of the table to two points over bitter rivals Celtic, albeit having played two games more.

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Rangers manager Mark Warburton was furious with his side’s first half performance.

“The first half was not us at all. It was probably the worst display from us in the last 14 or 15 months,” he said.

“The second half was much better. We should have taken the spoils but we didn’t do it and dropped two points tonight.”

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark said it was a fantastic point for his side.

“We were huge underdogs coming into the game but I knew there were good players there,” Clark said.

“We stuck to the game plan brilliantly, we scored a great goal and showed great desire with 10 players.”

Celtic, who take on Aberdeen on Saturday, can leapfrog their rivals at the top of the table before the first Old Firm clash of the season on September 10 following the international break.

Kilmarnock started the brighter and were appealing for a penalty in the eighth minute when Adam Frizzell’s sizzling shot struck defender Clint Hill on the arm but referee Kevin Clancy ignored their pleas.

Rangers fans didn’t have long to wait to get their first sighting of new signing Joe Garner as the former Preston striker came on for the injured Joe Dodoo in the 15th minute.

The home side took a deserved lead through former Rangers hero Boyd.

The striker, who grabbed 104 goals for Rangers during his two spells with the club, latched on to Greg Kiltie’s through ball and blasted an angled first time shot beyond Wes Foderingham and in to the bottom corner.

Rangers had a penalty appeal of their own denied as Barton appeared to be bundled to the ground off the ball and Tavernier fired a shot high over the bar when clean through as the visitors tried to respond.

Tavernier made amends for his miss in the second half as he curled a superb free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net which MacDonald could only get his fingertips to.

Kilmarnock were reduced to 10 men in the 63rd minute as Taylor’s late and high challenge on Barton earned him a straight red.

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