Rangers 1-1 St Johnstone: Teddy Bears miss chance to go third in Scottish Premiership
Rangers let the chance to move up to third place slip through their hands as they were held to a 1-1 draw by St Johnstone at Ibrox.
Tommy Wright's side handed Mark Warburton his first ever defeat as Gers boss in a League Cup clash last year.
And they caused the Light Blues more frustration when Blair Alston curled home an impressive early opener.
Gers were looking to bounce back after losing Sunday's Betfred Cup semi-final clash with Celtic by grabbing the win which would see them join second-placed Aberdeen on 18 points.
But all they could muster was Joe Garner's equaliser late in the first half as they had to settle for a point which keeps them in fifth, two behind Wright's team.
Gers freshened up their line-up after their Hampden disappointment, with Wes Foderingham restored in goal and Garner, Harry Forrester and Michael O'Halloran forming a new-look attack.
Saints, though, were forced into a late shuffle as Murray Davidson pulled up in the warm-up, with Chris Millar taking his slot.
Forrester came close to making an immediate impact as he forced Zander Clark into a diving stop just four minutes in.
But it was Foderingham who was picking the ball out of his next 60 seconds later after a blunder by full-back Lee Dodson.
The Northern Irishman had performed well after being given a surprise start against the Hoops but took his eye off the ball as he set himself to clear his lines.
That moment of hesitation allowed Alston to pinch the ball before sweeping a fabulous looping strike into the top corner.
But the Gers response was positive. Skipper Lee Wallace slotted wide after Andy Halliday picked him out with a clever pass, while Jason Holt and Harry Forrester had decent efforts too.
Saints had also come close to a second when another Dodson mistake gave Chris Kane a shooting chance but the warnings were stacking up as Garner nodded wide from Forrester's corner.
The visitors did not learn their lessons and were pegged back when the former Preston frontman got in front of Steven Anderson to bullet home from a similar Josh Windass set-piece seven minutes from the break.
But Foderingham had to produce a reflex save at the start of the second half to keep Rangers level after Danny Swanson's deflected strike came close to wrong-footing the keeper.
Brian Easton, Liam Craig and Swanson were also allowed freedom to shoot as Gers continued to wobble.
A snap shot from Kane brought out another stop from Foderingham before Gers finally set about asking Saints some questions with a 25-yard Forrester strike which drifted just wide.
But only the woodwork prevented Alston from giving Saints the lead once more as he hit the base of the post 15 minutes from time.
Rangers did not give up and thought substitute Kenny Miller had given them a precious victory in the final minute - only for Saints' David Wotherspoon to clear his volley off the line.
Belfast Telegraph Digital