Rangers face being locked out of the Scottish Premiership for another 12 months after Motherwell grabbed a shock 3-1 first-leg lead in their Scottish Premiership play-off final.
The Light Blues are desperate to fight their way back to the top division after three years in the lower-league wilderness.
But it is Ian Baraclough’s team who now look set to preserve their 30-year top-flight run after goals from Stephen McManus and Lionel Ainsworth put daylight between the teams after Rangers defender Darren McGregor had earlier deflected Lee Erwin’s shot into his own net.
McCall rolled the dice as the replaced Nicky Clark and Dean Shiels with striker Kris Boyd and young winger Tom Walsh, while on-loan Newcastle youth Shane Ferguson was also thrown on for his Rangers debut four months after arriving from St James’ Park.
McGregor did pull one back for the hosts late on but they face a huge task if they are to rescue their promotion bid in Sunday’s Fir Park return.
Stuart McCall admitted facing his old side in the relegation decider was a “nightmare scenario” but there is little chance he thought it would end up this bad.
The Steelmen go back to Fir Park with a two-goal advantage over their Glasgow rivals.
Bell, Foster, McGregor, Zaliukas (Ferguson 67), Wallace, Murdoch,Shiels (Walsh 54), Law, Vuckic, Miller, Clark (Boyd 55).
George Long, Law, Laing, McManus,Hammell (Straker 70), Ainsworth, Lasley, Pearson (Ramsden 82),Johnson, McDonald, Erwin (Moore 88).
Bobby Madden (Scotland).