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The Third Division champions continue to maintain a massive 24 point lead at the top of the table despite suffering their third defeat of the season at the hands of Peterhead

Goals from Scott Ross and Rory McAllister helped Peterhead maintain their playoff hopes, claiming a 2-1 victory over Third Division champions Rangers at Ibrox.

Ally McCoist’s side had taken an early lead through Lee McCulloch in a week in which off-field incidents had dominated the Glasgow giants, with CEO Charles Green announcing that he would be leaving the Ibrox club.

The home side made two changes from the side that defeated Clyde, with Emilson Cribari out due to injury and Robbie Crawford dropping to the bench, with Chris Hegarty and 25-goal forward Andrew Little coming in.

While Jim McInally brought back striker Andy Rodgers to the starting line-up as he replaced Martin Bavidge, who he came on for half an hour into the 1-0 away victory at Stirling Albion last Saturday that helped Peterhead jump into second place.

The Ibrox side were handed the lead in 11 minutes as a long ball from Rangers keeper Neil Alexander found Dean Cowie and he made a horrid pass back that fell well short of his own stopper Graeme Smith, allowing McCulloch to nip the ball round his former team-mate and slot it into the net.

Midway through the first half McCulloch had two chances to add to his tally, as firstly David Templeton tried to find his skipper with a cross from the right, then Kyle Hutton found the 34-year-old, who smacked the post after rounding Smith once again.

A minute later Peterhead shocked Ibrox by equalising when Ryan Strachan and David Cox played a short corner, which saw the latter swing the ball into the box for the head of Ross, who powered the ball past Alexander.

Despite being pegged back, the Third Division champions continued to march forward, hitting the post once again, after Little found Templeton, then McCulloch had an effort saved by Smith seconds later.

The start of the second half almost saw the visitors take the lead when Rangers failed to properly clear a long free kick, allowing Rodgers to try his luck from 25-yard out, but unfortunately for the on-loan Stenhousemuir striker, his effort skimmed the top of Alexander’s bar.

With 10 minutes gone in the half, Peterhead took the lead, after some good work down the left by Steven Noble, as he cut inside then found McAllister on the edge of the area and the striker placed the ball beyond Alexander for his 21st of the season.

McCoist’s side continued to press forward, in attempts to get back level, with Little having two chances in the space of a couple of minutes, but on both occasions the Northern Irish forward couldn’t find the equaliser.

Hegarty was next to have an effort at goal as he got onto a corner from substitute Kal Naismith, but his header struck off of Graeme Sharp and into the grateful arms of Smith.

McInally’s side continued to hold out for the remainder of the game to secure a famous victory and maintain their goal difference advantage over Queen’s Park in second place in the Third Division.

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