Rangers don’t return to league action until they face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow but there was a first taste of league football for a number of the young loanees currently away from the club.

Midfielders Ross McCrorie and Stephen Kelly were both handed first league starts for Portsmouth and Ayr United, respectively, as they looked to help their sides get off to a winning start – however, the young Gers had varying fortunes.

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Ross McCrorie of Rangers is seen in action during the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Kilmarnock and Rangers at Rugby Park on February 9, 2019 in Kilmarnock, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Cammy Palmer had to make do with a place on the bench for Partick Thistle as they faced Alloa Athletic in their opening Scottish Championship game.

Outwith the senior ranks, goalkeeper Brian Kinnear started for East of Scotland side Camelon as they drew 2-2 with Broxburn Athletic while Nicky Hogarth was a substitute for Caledonian Braves in their Lowland League clash with Rangers icon Barry Ferguson’s Kelty Hearts.

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Kelly’s league debut for Ayr went well for the midfielder with the Honest Men beating Greenock Morton 4-2 as the midfielder played 85 minutes for the Somerset Park side.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Stephen Kelly of Rangers is seen during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Quarter Final match between Rangers and Ayr United on September 26, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McCrorie, however, picked up two second-half bookings as Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shrewsbury Town through Ryan Giles 68th-minute goal.


The midfielder will now have to sit out a game through suspension and will need to fight to get his place back in the side – likely starting with Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Birmingham City.

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