McCoist breaks his Ibrox duck

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The Independent Football

Ally McCoist secured his first home win as Rangers manager as his team defeated Aberdeen 2-0 at Ibrox yesterday, Steven Davis's strike and Steven Naismith's late goal propelling them to the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Rangers led in the 15th minute when forward Nikica Jelavic flicked the ball on to his captain, Davis, the midfielder delicately lofting an effort past the Aberdeen goalkeeper David Gonzalez. They kept pushing forward, Dorin Goian heading over at the near post, before the visitors' best chance in the first-half arrived with Kari Arnason's long-range shot fizzing wide.

Aberdeen will doubtless rue two missed opportunities which came their way after the interval. A defensive mix-up between Carlos Bocanegra and Ross Perry allowed Scott Vernon a sight of goal but goalkeeper Allan McGregor denied him the space to shoot. Then Bocanegra nearly headed into his own net when clearing Rory McArdle's cross. McGregor cleared the ball away only as far as Richard Foster, whose diving header came off the crossbar.

Despite Aberdeen continuing to pile the pressure on, Rangers sealed their second goal in stoppage-time. Davis's set-piece was fumbled by Gonzalez and Naismith took full advantage, tapping the ball home to secure an unconvincing victory.

Celtic, meanwhile, ended their poor recent run by winning 2-0 at St Mirren courtesy of two goals from Gary Hooper. St Johnstone secured an unlikely win at Celtic Park last Sunday and Neil Lennon's side then lost 3-1 in the Europa League to FC Sion on Thursday, but they were not to be denied victory yesterday as Hooper scored twice in the first half.

Celtic's breakthrough came in the sixth minute when Anthony Stokes and Hooper combined on the edge of the box, Stokes setting up Hooper who drilled his strike home.

Myriad mistakes in St Mirren's defence just six minutes later concluded with midfielder Paul McGowan passing straight to Hooper, allowing the striker to scamper through and send a second past the home goalkeeper Craig Samson.

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