Rangers 1-0 Inverness CT: Match Report
Rangers beat Inverness to tighten grip on second
Rangers may have failed in their bid to top the charts but they strengthened their grip on the Ladbrokes Premiership second spot with a narrow 1-0 win over Inverness at Ibrox.
A supporter campaign to drive the 1964 Dave Clark Five single 'Glad All Over' - which the Gers faithful have been singing in tribute to frontman Joe Garner - to Christmas number one ended in disappointment as the classic hit only just made it into the top 40.
But a 13th-minute own goal from Caley Thistle defender Brad McKay provided some festive cheer on a day when Mark Warburton's team were largely off key.
The win restores Gers' lead over third-place Aberdeen to seven points, although they have played a game more. Richie Foran's Highlanders, however, now sit bottom after their ninth defeat of the campaign.
The hosts lacked the same spark which had driven them to three straight victories over Aberdeen, Hearts and Hamilton during a flat first half.
The lacklustre Light Blues were given a scare 12 minutes in when Greg Tansey's cross was redirected goalwards by Losana Doumbouya but they were grateful his effort lacked the pace to beat the alert Wes Foderingham.
Yet despite their lack of energy, Rangers found themselves in front 60 seconds later.
Martyn Waghorn drove to byline before firing a cross into the box which seemed to be aimed at no one in particular.
But it proved useful as McKay found himself unable to get out its path and watched in horror as the ball fired off his thigh before bouncing into this net.
Gers, though, continued to live dangerously.
Andy Halliday had Foderingham to thank when he played the ball straight to Larnell Cole in shooting territory, although the Ibrox midfielder did better when he unleashed a fierce hit from 25 yards which required a fine save by Owain Fon-Williams to prevent it finding the top corner.
Foderingham had to rescue his side again on 35 minutes when Tansey was gifted time and space on the edge of Gers' box, springing to his right to the the ball behind for a corner.
But he did not look so assured in the last piece of action before the break when he spilled Lee Hodson's headed backpass. The ball fell to Liam Polworth with the goal gaping but he let the chance slip as he fired into the side-netting.
Garner had the chance to justify his new cult hero status after 67 minutes when Kenny Miller's deflected shot broke to him six yards out but he nudged his header wide.
Tansey and Caley sub Aaron Doran both spurned decent chances to level as Rangers' nerves began to show.
Jason Holt had the chance to ease their concerns with 13 minutes left but saw his side-footed finish turned away by Fon-Williams.
But it took another important stop by Foderingham in the final minute to make sure of the points as he pushed away Scott Boden's strike.