Rangers, Hearts edge out wins
© Foto-net

Rangers moved to within two points of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League as they scraped a 1-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Ibrox on Tuesday.

Inverness, who have secured draws against both sides of the Old Firm in Glasgow this season, had a number of opportunities to take the lead before Steven Davis fired Rangers into the lead right on half-time. Graeme Shinnie twice came to the rescue for Inverness as he cleared efforts from Kyle Lafferty and Nikica Jelavic, returning after a three-month absence, off the line but Rangers failed to add to their tally.

Rangers, who have two games in hand over Celtic, could move top before Celtic face Aberdeen on Saturday if Walter Smith's side win away to third placed Hearts in the early kick-off.

Things could have been so different for Inverness if they had taken their early chances. Adam Rooney took advantage of Jamie Ness' mistimed leap to sneak into the box but his low drive was straight to Allan McGregor.

Shinnie's inviting corner was headed towards goal by Richie Foran but it was superbly touched onto the bar by the keeper before being scrambled clear. Rooney then got away from his marker to hit Eric Odhiambo's cross over as Inverness impressed. But almost immediately Vladimir Weiss found himself in space at the other end to crack a fierce shot from 25 yards that was inches away.

Davis teed up Kyle Lafferty at the edge of the box but the striker curled his sidefooted effort round the post.  And it was Davis who gave Rangers the lead seconds before the break. Lafferty had a shot blocked and it was cleared to the edge of the box where Davis was on hand to drill a low shot into the bottom corner.

The biggest cheer of the second-half was reserved for Jelavic, missing through injury since October, when he replaced James Beattie in the 59th minute. The Croatian striker made an instant impression when he collected a Davis pass and, under pressure from Chris Innes, took a tumble in the box only to collect a yellow card from referee Craig Thomson for diving.

Shinnie then twice came to the rescue for Inverness in the space of two minutes. Substitute John Fleck's corner was fired goalwards by Lafferty but cleared off line by the defender before he repeated the trick when Jelavic's header looked to be going in.

Elsewhere, two late Stephen Elliott goals saw Hearts come from behind to seal a 2-1 away win over Kilmarnock.

In the Scottish Cup fourth round replays Second Division Ayr caused the biggest shock when Mark Roberts first-half goal was enough to send SPL side Hibernian crashing out the competition.