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The Forthbank side claim their fifth point over the Third Division leaders after going undefeated in the two visits to Stirling by Ally McCoist’s outfit

A makeshift Rangers side failed to push even closer to an inevitable Third Division title after being held to a 0-0 draw by Stirling Albion at Ibrox.

It’s the first time that they have dropped points in consecutive home games this season and with Queen’s Park visit to Annan being postponed, Ally McCoist’s men will be forced to wait even longer for the trophy.

With eight players out due to injury, international duty and suspension, especially the bizarre one handed to Francisco Sandaza, the Ibrox side were forced to field one of their youngest midfield’s, with the oldest player being 22-year-old Kyle Hutton, while English striker Kane Hemmings was handed his first start for the league leaders.

The visitors made two changes from the team that hit East Stirling for nine in their last fixture, with Brian Allison and Kieran McAnespie dropping out of the side, with Gary Thom and Josh Flood coming in.

Rangers came out of the traps the quickest, with Lee Wallace, who would have considered himself unlucky not to be a part of the Scotland squad this week having a low strike from the left hand side of the box that was blocked away by Binos stopper Sam Filler.

With 20 minutes gone in the first half Hemmings should have put the home side into the lead as he broke free of his marker to get his head to a Barrie McKay cross, but his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Stirling Albion thought they had taken a surprise lead with just over five minutes left in the half, as Jordan White rose superbly to reach a Scott Davidson corner from the left, but Fraser Aird was in the right place at the right time to head the ball off the line.

On the stroke of half-time Greig McDonald’s side should have taken the lead as this time White turned provider, playing the ball from the right hand side of the box to Davidson, who had been lefted unmarked, unfortunately for the Binos midfielder, he couldn’t control the ball properly and eventually smashed his effort into the stand behind the goal.

After leaving the field to a chorus of boos at the break, Rangers looked to take the lead early in the second half and Aird almost achieved that with a drive from the edge of the area, which Filler had to do well to get down to and divert for a corner.

The visitors should had yet another chance on the hour mark as Phil Johnstone swung a cross in from the right which Davidson got onto, but once again his effort was blocked, this time by Emilson Cribari and the rebound was met by Neil Alexander before White could finish.

The remainder of the game saw Stirling Albion create the best chances through the likes of White and substitute Danny Ashe, but they couldn’t find the winner to claim the double over Rangers after beating McCoist’s side in October at Forthbank.

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