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Manager Stuart McCall is content as Rangers settle for a point

Livingston 1-1 Rangers

By Gavin McCaffrey

Published 16/04/2015

Man marked: Livingston’s Jason Talbot (left) stops Rangers ace Haris Vukic (centre)
Man marked: Livingston’s Jason Talbot (left) stops Rangers ace Haris Vukic (centre)

Rangers manager Stuart McCall believes his side's 1-1 draw at Livingston might prove to be a good point come the end of the season.

McCall's men missed the chance to move three points clear of Hibernian in the battle for second place in the Scottish Championship last night, needing a Marius Zaliukas header to cancel out Myles Hippolyte's free-kick opener early in the second half.

But they have the chance to move four clear on Saturday at Dumbarton and McCall felt they might not get many chances against the bottom side, who had won three games in a row beforehand.

McCall said: "It probably panned out the way I expected once I went onto the park before the game. It's a tight park, very dry and bumpy and they are fighting for their lives.

"I don't think it's a surprise that it was two set-plays that got the goals.

"We didn't play as fluently as we would have liked, but it's a tough place to come and Hibs have got to come here next Wednesday.

"It was a fair result. We didn't deserve any more but they are fighting for their lives and the park wasn't conducive to playing nice football.

"That might not end up being a bad point. Obviously we wanted to come here and win but we have no divine right just to turn up anywhere and think we can just go and play."

Livingston head coach Mark Burchill felt his side were denied a legitimate first-half opener when Hippolyte stroked home after Cammy Bell had dropped a cross under pressure from Jordan White, who was penalised by referee Greg Aitken.

"I think it was a goal. I think we all know it was a goal," he said.

And he was disappointed his side could not hold on to their lead for more than two minutes.

"I think if we got over the three, four or five minutes then I think Rangers would have run out of ideas because if I'm honest I think they did," the former Celtic striker added.

"I'm really disappointed, to go ahead and lose a goal so quickly, and such a poor defensive goal as well.

"It was not the best we have played by any stretch of the imagination, but we did match them. To be honest I am disappointed because I watched them on Sunday and felt we could get the three points. But a point is still a good result because it gets us closer to (second-bottom) Alloa."

Hippolyte took just 90 seconds of the second half to open the scoring when he curled home from 25 yards into the roof of the net after Lee McCulloch had fouled White.

Rangers were level two minutes later following another set-piece, Haris Vuckic swinging in a free-kick and Zaliukas back-heading into the far corner from 12 yards.

Hibernian, meanwhile, have complained to the Scottish Professional Football League after play-off rivals Rangers were given an extension to the league season.

Rangers' final Scottish Championship game, against Hearts at Tynecastle, was moved back to Sunday, May 3, 24 hours after Hibs close their regular season against Falkirk.

The difference could give Rangers the chance to weigh up exactly what they need to do against Hearts to ensure a second-placed finish, and avoid an extra play-off game.

Hibs will now seek Falkirk's permission to move their final game, which would then have implications on Queen of the South, who are also aiming to make the top four.

Gers boss McCall fully sympathised with Hibernian's complaints over the rescheduling.

Speaking after last night's 1-1 draw at Livingston, McCall said: "First and foremost we have not asked for the game to be changed but if Hibs are complaining then rightly so. I would be doing exactly the same.

"I think every game on the last day of the season should be played at the same time.

"Maybe it will be the case that the other games are moved to the Sunday.

"It's nothing to do with us but if I were in their position I would be annoyed as well."

Livingston: Jamieson, Fordyce, Gallagher, Cole, Talbot, Jacobs, O'Brien, Pittman (Mullen 86), Jacobs, White (Boulding 89), Hippolyte (Glen 81).

Goal: Hippolyte 47

Subs not used: Walker, Beaumont, Sekajja, Donaldson

Rangers: Bell, McGregor, McCulloch, Zaliukas, Wallace, Vuckic, Shiels (Walsh 80), Murdoch, Law, Miller (Boyd 74), Clark (Hardie 74)

Goal: Zaliukas 49

Subs not used: Mohsni, Black, Crawford, Robinson.

Man of the match: Hippolyte

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Greg Aitken

Belfast Telegraph

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