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Rangers scrape Scottish Cup draw against Albion Rovers

Rangers survived one of the most embarrassing results in their history when Bilel Mohsni's challenge on Albion Rovers goalkeeper Neil Parry resulted in a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with the part-timers in their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Ibrox.

Rangers survived one of the most embarrassing results in their history when Bilel Mohsni's challenge on Albion Rovers goalkeeper Neil Parry resulted in a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with the part-timers in their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at Ibrox.

Ciaran Donnelly shot the visitors into a shock lead in the 13th minute after the Light Blues had failed to deal with a corner and the boos echoed around the stadium at the interval as Ally McCoist's runaway League One leaders sloped up the tunnel.

Memories of infamous Scottish Cup exits to Berwick Rangers in 1967 and Hamilton in 1987 began to permeate the thinking of the Gers' support as the second-half unfolded but the home side drew level in the 77th minute when Mohsni put pressure on Neil Parry from David Templeton's cross just under the bar, with the ball ending up in the net.

Rovers complained to no avail but held out for the replay and celebrated with their fans at the end of the match with gusto befitting a side who had performed well above their League Two status.

As for Rangers, the result will do little for a club still distracted by boardroom battles as it seeks to climb back to the top flight following administration and liquidation.

The visitors had taken up their full allocation of 1,100 tickets for fans who had arrived early and in enthusiastic mood.

They almost had something to cheer about with less than a minute gone as a mistake by Mohsni allowed Rovers to break through wide-man Mark McGuigan and the move ended with midfielder Liam Cusack side-footing a shot from the edge of the box past the post.

Shockwaves reverberated around most of Ibrox, though, when Rovers took the lead with their first corner.

When McGuigan crossed high into the middle, Gers skipper Lee McCulloch's attempt to clear saw the ball inadvertently land at the feet of Donnelly, who knocked the ball in from close range.

The atmosphere inside the ground changed immediately.

With Rangers quickly resorting to high balls, Parry made a save from a Jon Daly header in the 27th minute but the Irishman had already been ruled offside.

Rovers, unsurprisingly, were defending deeper by the minute but the home side were attempting to bludgeon rather than break down with guile.

In the dying seconds of the first half, as the Light Blues continued their siege on the visiting goal, Parry made a fine save from Dean Shiels.

The pounding of the Rovers box resumed after the interval, fuelled by desperation and fear.

Daly somehow missed the target from 12 yards in the 50th minute which brought groans from the home supporters, moments before Parry saved from the former Dundee United striker as the Cliftonhill side survived again.

Rovers were offering little of an offensive threat but their defending at times was heroic.

Templeton clipped the top of the bar from a Richard Foster cross and Parry tipped a long-distance drive from Mohsni over the bar.

When Mohsni, who had gone up front when defender Sebastien Faure replaced Daly, climbed with Parry for the equaliser, the Rovers bench complained bitterly about his challenge on Parry, who required required treatment before carrying on.

The mood swung again as Rangers went for the winner but Fraser Aird fired wide of the target before Mohsni failed to re-direct a Templeton cross back towards goal.

The Rovers players were out on their feet in the five added minutes but they held on for a richly-deserved replay with Rangers relieved to have escaped what would have been a disastrous defeat.

Replay will be on Tuesday, March 18, with Hamilton's New Douglas Park a possible venue.

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