RANGERS continued their pre-season schedule with a 1-1 draw at home to Championship side Blackburn Rovers at Ibrox.

Steven Gerrard’s side hit the goal trail in midweek as they beat St Joseph’s 6-0 to set up a Europa League clash with Progres Niederkorn.

But the Light Blues were held in their latest bounce game as a Jermain Defoe strike wasn’t enough to see off Tony Mowbray’s Rovers.

Rangers have beaten Oxford United and Marseille already at Ibrox this term and they started on the front foot as they went in search of a third friendly win.

The first real chance arrived after 14 minute as Scott Arfield, making his first start of the summer after Gold Cup duty with Canada, diverted a James Tavernier cross just wide of the far post as he rose well in the area and flicked a header towards target.

Keeper Jason Leutwiler was untested on that occasion, but he made a smart save after Defoe and Sheyi Ojo combined well in the area and the striker fired in a shot from close range. From the rebound, Rangers couldn’t scramble the ball home.

Ojo was next to make Leutwiler work and the keeper got a fingertip to a well struck strike from the edge of the area as Rangers got closer to the breakthrough.

On the half hour mark, they got it. Jordan Jones curled in a terrific right-foot cross from the left flank and Defoe’s finish was equally as impressive as he nodded the ball in from six yards.

Rangers were well worth their lead at that stage but they couldn’t add to it – a Jones strike from distance as close as they would come - before the break as they had to settle for a one goal advantage after another encouraging 45 minutes.

Ibrox was far from full for the third friendly in as many weeks but there was enough to keep those that did take their seats satisfied.

Ojo again looked threatening when he set his sights on goal. One effort curled just wide of the far post, while another was blocked, and it was from that rebound that Arfield was denied as his strike was palmed away as it headed for the far corner.

As the hour mark approached, Gerrard turned to his bench and handed Filip Helander his Light Blues debut. The Swede, signed from Bologna earlier this month, replaced George Edmundson at the back, while Joe Aribo, Glen Kamara and Alfredo Morelos were also introduced.

It was Blackburn who would strike next, though, as Rangers conceded for the first time this season and the away fans had something to celebrate on their travels.

Allan McGregor saved from Ben Brereton but couldn’t hold the ball as it spilled clear and rebounded around the area. When it fell to Lewis Travis, he made no mistake as he converted into an empty net.

Rangers had few chances to get a winner in the closing stages and the offside flag denied Alfredo Morelos with a couple of minutes remaining as they had to settle for a draw.