RANGERS missed the chance to move within three points of Premiership leaders Celtic as they were held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard’s side produced a turgid performance as the Saints battled their way to a deserved share of the spoils.

Chances were few and far between for the Light Blues and this was a potentially hugely significant blow to their title ambitions.

One of the changes that boss Gerrard made to his starting line-up was enforced as Wes Foderingham came in for the suspended Allan McGregor. There were recalls for Borna Barisic and Steven Davis as well, while Glen Kamara was handed his debut following his January switch from Dundee.

It was an expectant Ibrox that greeted the Light Blues but Gerrard’s side failed to live up to the levels demanded as they turned in a flat and uninspiring showing.

It took 12 minutes for Rangers to really threaten but, even then, the effort from Daniel Candeias, the winger working a corner with Ryan Kent and then firing over from the edge of the area, wasn’t enough to trouble keeper Cammy Bell.

The former Rangers shot-stopper was forced into action as he saved a Connor Goldson header after he connected with a Barisic corner, but his defence then blocked quickfire efforts from Ryan Kent and Kamara.

A weak attempt from James Tavernier summed up Rangers’ attacking threat in the first half and there were moments of encouragement for St Johnstone as Foderingham saved from Chris Kane and Matty Kennedy fired over just before the whistle.

A smattering of boos from the home crowd were followed by the loudest cheer of the afternoon so far at the break as the Gers’ Under-17 side paraded the silverware they won Al Kass International Cup.

The Gers kids became the first British side to win the competition on Friday and were given a warm reception around Ibrox before the Premiership action resumed.

Gerrard wasted little time in turning to his bench as Glenn Middleton replaced the ineffective Davis but there was still a lack of guile and genuine threat in the side.

Candeias ballooned an effort high over the bar from the edge of the box as Gerrard’s frustrations were clear as the home crowd started to vent their own anger.

There was a sigh of relief when Foderingham made a terrific stop to deny Joe Shaughnessy as he bulleted a header towards goal.

It was a warning that St Johnstone were still very much in this and when Blair Alston chipped the Gers keeper, Ibrox feared the worst. Thankfully for Rangers, the ball clipped the bar and landed on the right side of the line.

As the clock ticked down, Rangers were staring a costly result in the face. Soon, it was confirmed as two crucial points were squandered.