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St Johnstone beat Rangers 2-1 in Premiership to move up to fifth

Rangers dominated large parts of the game but leave Perth without a point.

St Johnstone beat Rangers 2-1 in Perth to move up to fifth in Premiership SNS Group

St Johnstone have moved up to fifth in the Premiership with a 2-1 win over Rangers in Perth.

A stunning first half strike against the run of play from James Brown and a goal from Nicky Clark in the second 45 secured the host’s first league win over the Ibrox club in 12 years.

James Tavernier pulled one back for Rangers but despite a late flurry they were unable to take anything from the game despite dominating for large parts.

The victory sees Callum Davidson’s men move up five league places but cranks up the pressure on the man in the opposition dugout as their run of poor form continues.

Rangers went into the game seven points behind top spot following Celtic’s late win over Dundee United on Saturday and they dominated the first half with Lundstram and Tillman both having shots saved and Fashion Sakala hitting the bar in the opening half hour.

St Johnstone were camped in deep from kick-off with Rangers having 75% possession, 17 shots and 12 corners to none before the home side had their first sight of Allan McGregor’s goal when May’s speculative effort was blocked by Leon King.

But as the first 45 neared its end James Brown unleashed an unstoppable strike that flew into McGregor’s top corner to put St Johnstone 1-0 up against the run of play.

The goal was the right-back’s first of his career and the Perth side’s first shot on target of the game and the despite the overwhelming stats in their favour, Rangers found themselves behind when the whistle blew for the break.

When the second half started St Johnstone looked like they had grown in confidence and all of a sudden were starting to create chances as Rangers struggled to implement themselves on the game like they had in the first half.

And they had a last-ditch Barisic tackle to thank to stop falling further behind when the Croatian halted an attack when Nicky Clark was through on goal on the hour mark.

But only a couple of minutes later the lead was doubled when Clark produced a brilliant finish to make it 2-0 and leave Rangers facing an uphill struggle to stop themselves losing further ground at the top of the league.

With just over 15 minutes remaining James Tavernier stepped up to throw Rangers a lifeline with his 90th goal for the club.

The captain fired a shot from outside the box past Parish who got a hand to it but wasn’t able to keep it out.

Then just two minutes later John Lundstram smashed the crossbar with a long-range effort as Rangers pushed for the equaliser.

Both teams had chances in the final stages as Rangers pushed everyone forward, but they were unable to get the second goal and left Perth without a point in their first non-Old-Firm league defeat since Van Bronckhorst took charge.