Teenage substitute Matthew Wright claimed his first goal for Ross County with a 96th-minute equalizer that saw the visitors drop two points.
It was a painful setback for Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who had seen Rangers fall behind in league business for the first time in his tenure after Jordan White and Regan Charles-Cook canceled out debutant Amad Diallo’s early goal before half-time. weather.
The champions produced a strong response after the break as James Tavernier and Connor Goldson struck to put them back in front. But after missing good chances to put the game to bed, they were undone by County’s injury time surprise.
It had all started so serenely for Rangers when Diallo, on loan from Manchester United, made the perfect start to his spell with them. The 19-year-old will never score a simpler goal than his five-minute opener, but he deserved credit for being in the right place at the right time to touch the ball from close range after Aribo had hit him low on the face of the six yard box.
With Aribo looking in high spirits, the visitors looked ready to press their advantage.
Instead, a comedy of errors on the Rangers’ defense turned the game on its head as County made the most of the gilt-edged invites thrown their way and scored twice in the space of four minutes.
The equalizer came from a barely believable mistake by Allan McGregor when the veteran keeper spilled a seemingly harmless cross from Joseph Hungbo into the path of White, who gratefully shoved the ball in from a couple of yards.
The Rangers were still trying to regain their composure when they found themselves down 2-1. Borna Barisic and Goldson were guilty of careless touches around the edge of the penalty area before a fresh air blow on the ball from Calvin Bassey allowed Charles-Cook to come in and place the ball past McGregor for his 10th goal of the season. season.
There was a much greater pace to the Rangers game in the second half and Diallo’s fine skill saw him escape a shot that Ash Maynard-Brewer saved, the ball eventually being passed to Tavernier who forced it home.
The Rangers looked more potent when Cedric Itten was replaced by Kemar Roofe and went 3-2 up in the 73rd minute when Goldson headed in from close range after a desperate fight in the county area.
Roofe hit a post and teammate Fashion Sakala fired a shot straight at Maynard-Brewer when he should have scored. Prolonged treatment for an injury to Maynard-Brewer contributed to seven minutes of injury time and in the penultimate of them, the Rangers chaotically failed to clear a corner and Wright stabbed the hesitant McGregor.
Ross County (4-2-3-1): Maynard-Brewer, Ramsay, Baldwin, Iacovitt, Vokins (Watson 64); H.Paton (Samuel 57), Tillson; Charles-Cook, Callachan (Burroughs 83), Hungbo; White (Wright 83). Unused Substitutes: Laidlaw, Randall, Drysdale, B.Paton, MacKinnon.
Rangers (4-2-3-1): McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic; Aribo, Kamara; Diallo (66 Sakala), Arfield (90 Lundstram), Kent; Itten (Roof 59). Unused alternates: Jack, Sands, Wright, McLaughlin, King, Lowry.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.