McLeish's men lose momentum as Thistle hit home

Inverness CT 1 - Rangers 1
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The Independent Football

Having moved to the summit of the Scottish Premier League for the first time in over a year last weekend, Rangers yesterday handed top spot back to Celtic by failing to beat Inverness.

A lacklustre performance left Alex McLeish's side to settle for a draw at Pittodrie, a result that means Celtic, who won 2-1 at home to Hibernian on Saturday, remain a point clear.

While the afternoon was pleasing for the new Caley manager Craig Brewster, Rangers also suffered the loss of their defender Jean-Alain Boumsong to injury.

Caley struck after just three minutes when Graham Bayne completed an impressive counter-attack. Richie Hart supplied the cross from the right and Bayne, having lost his marker, arrived to guide it past Stefan Klos on the volley.

Threatening moments from the away side were only intermittent and Dado Prso, having beaten three men with some excellent control, found that he could not beat the former Rangers goalkeeper Mark Brown from a tight angle.

Within six minutes of the restart Rangers were level when Stephen Hughes threaded a pass through the Caley backline to allow Prso to canter goalwards and beat Brown at his near post with a well-weighted low finish.

Having taken his season's goal tally into double figures, Prso then fired over on the turn from eight yards out. However, Caley went close when Liam Keogh found himself in a shooting position on the left of the box, only for Klos to come out and block his shot.

The referee had enjoyed a controversy-free afternoon but had a big decision to make in the 69th minute when Prso, set free by Bob Malcolm's through-ball, went down in the box under Darren Dods' challenge. The Croatian beat the turf in frustrationwhen he realised no penalty had been awarded, an emotion that will be shared in the blue half of Glasgow.

Goals: Bayne (3) 1-0; Prso (51) 1-1.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle(4-4-2): Brown; Tokely, Dods, Munro, Golabek; Hart (Wilson, 81), Keogh, Duncan, McBain (Hastings, 64); Bayne, Juanjo (Prunty, 89). Substitues not used: Fraser (gk), McCaffrey, Proctor, Fox.

Rangers (4-4-2): Klos; Khizanishvili, Boumsong (A Rae, 31), Andrews, S Smith; Hughes, Ricksen, Malcolm, Namouchi (Davidson, h-t);

Novo, Prso. Substitutes not used: G Smith (gk), Mladenovic, Ball, Hutton, Fetai.

Booked: Inverness: Bayne, Hart. Rangers: Namouchi.

Referee: C Thomson.

Man of the match: Dods.

Attendance: 6,543

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