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Mar 30, 2013

Rangers' journey starts with promotion

Rangers clinched the Scottish Third Division title on Saturday to complete stage one of their journey back to the top.

The Light Blues were held to a goalless draw at Montrose in a noon kickoff but were confirmed as champions three hours later when a Stuart Leslie penalty secured victory for Elgin over second-placed Queen's Park.

The result at Hampden means Queen's cannot catch the Ibrox outfit in the title race, as Ally McCoist secured his first piece of silverware as Rangers manager.

His side has looked unconvincing at times this season but have done enough to force itself over the finishing line with several games to spare, following the club's demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football after being consigned to liquidation in the summer and losing its top-flight status.

McCoist declared himself "absolutely thrilled" after title triumph was confirmed.

"It's fantastic. Some people would say there was an air of expectancy but that's never been the case from anyone within our football club," McCoist told Sky Sports News. "We knew it would be difficult and that's certainly been the case. We're absolutely thrilled for the players, the staff and for the incredible supporters.

"The best way to describe it is as a major step on the road to recovery and to where we want to be."

McCoist revealed the players greeted Leslie's winner for Elgin with joy.

"I've never been on a bus and heard a roar like it when Elgin was awarded a penalty at Hampden today and the roar was equaled when it was converted, so it was certainly a lively journey back home from Montrose."

The Rangers team bus stopped at a pub in Aberuthven near Gleneagles to celebrate after Elgin's victory was confirmed.

The title win is McCoist's first trophy as manager during an unprecedented period of turmoil at Ibrox that saw the club go into liquidation while emerging as a new company in the bottom league.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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