SPFL: A late penalty by Lee McCulloch earns Rangers a 3-2 home victory over Arbroath
Rangers twice hit back from a goal down to beat Arbroath 3-2 and extend their lead at the top of League One.
Last Updated: 25/01/14 6:47pm
The home skipper settled the nerves in the stands when slotting the ball home 12 minutes from time after Jon Daly was nudged in the penalty area.
The goal was harsh on Arbroath who played their part in a thrilling contest, the outcome of which was on a knife-edge until injury time when the home defence managed to hook the ball clear after a mass scramble in their box.
Home keeper Cammy Bell, who reclaimed the gloves from Steve Simonsen after missing Monday's win at Forfar, performed his first task by picking the ball out of the net after David Banjo had fired Arbroath ahead from a narrow angle with just two minutes on the clock following fine work from Alan Cook.
Rangers attempted to hit back immediately and a corner cleared only as far as
Lee Wallace saw the left-back launch a thunderous effort that flashed narrowly past the post.
Midfielder Ian Black then sent a free-kick curling just over the bar, before the home side levelled on 21 minutes when Wallace cut the ball back from the byline for Daly to stroke it beyond the reach of keeper Scott Morrison.
Rangers threatened again when Dean Shiels cut inside from the right only to smash his shot into the side-netting and they were denied again shortly before the break when Bilel Mohsni's shot was blocked by the alert Alex Keddie.
After the break the League Two champions came close to taking the lead but Nicky Law saw his stunning overhead kick blocked on the line by Morrison.
And just minutes later Arbroath took the lead when a mistake from McCulloch allowed Bobby Linn to break free of the home defence before unleashing a shot which trundled over the line off the far post.
The goal prompted a chorus of jeers from the home crowd whose mood was lifted soon after by the introduction of substitute David Templeton.
And it was the goal hero from Forfar who dragged Rangers back into the game with a low drive beyond the reach of Morrison 18 minutes from time.
Seconds later, Mohsni had the ball in the net again but his close-range effort was ruled out for offside much to the annoyance of the home faithful.
But again their frustration turned to joy when Daly went down in the box allowing McCulloch to make up for his earlier error and take the Gers to 64 points, 23 clear of Dunfermline who lost 3-2 at Brechin City.