By Mark Dingwall
Rangers started the match with seven changes from the time which took the field against Celtic on Sunday.
The Saints started brightly with a third minute shot from Liam Craig being held by keeper McLaughlin. This was quickly followed by a shot into the net by Melamed which was judged offside. Melamed then had a header which was dangerous but he headed straight at McLaughlin.
Slightly against the run of play in the 55th minute Scott Wright scored, finishing off a wonderful move. Kamara gathered the ball and put it though to Davis who drove forward and slipped the ball to Scott Wright who came just inside the penalty box and side footed it into the box.
57 mins – St J were given then denied a penalty. Barasic made contact with Sean Rooney and the ref gave the spot kick. Then his eye was caught by his linesman and after a short confab he reversed his decision.
As the second half wore on Rangers appeared to be getting more of the ball but for long periods to no great effect. To freshen things up Patterson came on for Tavernier – with Arfield and Aribo replacing Wright and Davis – Defoe came on for Hagi and Bassey for Barasic.
As the game headed to the final whistle a Chris Kane shot off Jack Simopson’s hand was adjudged to to be worthy of a spot kick but in the final minute of extra time, and with eh weakest of the three claims, Kane was caught in midair by Simpson and Craig buried the penalty.
RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier (Patterson, 62), Goldson, Simpson, Barisic (Bassey 77), Kamara, Davis (Arfield, 69) Hagi (Defoe, 77), Roofe, Wright (Aribo 69), Itten.
SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Helander, Kent, Morelos.
ST JOHNSTONE: Clark, Kerr, Gordon, McCart, Booth (Tanser, 73), Craig, Wotherspoon (Bryson, 78), May (O’Halloran, 73), Melamed (Kane, 22), McCann, Rooney.
SUBS NOT USED: Parish, Brown, Gilmour, Ferguson.