The Light Blues had enough possession and chances to win a couple of matches and should really have returned north with a victory under their belts.
But staunch resistance from their plucky opponents denied them such a result and once again a place at the top of the Third Division table has evaded Gers.
While many including many of Athletic’s own players and staff will feel this was a positive result for them, it was one they richly deserved.
They were solid in defence and reaped the rewards for their terrific organisation, with a huge cheers going up from locals as the final whistle blew.
While there wasn’t much hospitality shown towards the visitors on the park, the same certainly couldn’t be said off it.
If the rest of the Third Division could have been described as happy to have Rangers in tow this season, it would be fair to suggest Annan were positively ecstatic to host them.
The proverbial welcome mat wasn’t just rolled out for the 54-time Scottish champions, it was given the equivalent of a really good shampoo first as well.
Regardless of whether Gers or Stranraer were to be Athletic’s opponents this afternoon, this was always going to be the first SFL match at the redeveloped Galabank ground.
As such, the Dumfries and Galloway side’s officials have spent much of their week applying finishing touches to their small but intimate stadium.
And with the car park tarmacked, their new 3G pitch looking terrific and a safety certificate for their enhanced terracing secured, thoughts turned to making the Light Blues feel at home.
The pre-match playlist certainly warmed the cockles as Ibrox favourites such as Wolverhampton Town and Penny Arcade blared out.
That said, the PA announcer’s selection did little to endear him to Harry Cairney’s players and it was no great surprise their frustrations ensured they made a determined start.
They were visibly riled and they’ll feel a point was proven once the 90 minutes had passed without their goal being breached.
Athletic made things awkward for away keeper Neil Alexander in the opening stages as he had to be alert to punch clear on more than one occasion.
Annan - like many of their bottom tier rivals – weren’t afraid to put a tackle in either and David Templeton was carried off on a stretcher less than 10 minutes in.
His ankle injury meant Fran Sandaza was pitched in to play alongside Lee McCulloch and Dean Shiels in attack, with Barrie McKay providing support behind them.
Away fans had flocked to Galabank in great numbers, with some even staying in tents at the campsite next door overnight in order to get a good spot next to the pitch.
They won’t have been too encouraged by the slow start Ally McCoist’s men made and they almost fell behind when Lee Wallace had to react sharply to block Michael Daly.
From the resulting corner, the home striker headed over while McCulloch did the same at the other end as Gers finally mustered a response.
The visitors came forward again and it took some heroic defending from Jonny Blake to keep them out.
In an act of sheers guts and grit, he made a succession of tackles to deny McKay, Sandaza then McCulloch before the Spaniard saw his effort saved by keeper Alex Mitchell.
Rangers were gradually settling and some determined running by Sandaza set up McCulloch, who wasn’t far away from a low right-footed volley.
McCoist’s men came forward again and once more Sandaza was inventive, showing good footwork to set up Shiels.
Annan’s defence was resolute though and got in the way, just as it did when McCulloch had a go again moments later ahead of a rasper from Sebastien Faure which lifted over.
While the Light Blues appeared to be getting closer, the hosts had the best chance prior to half-time when Jack Steele got away from Wallace to drill across goal and just past.
They had a cracking opportunity after the restart too when advantage was played after Ross Perry might have fouled Graeme Ramage and Steele found himself in on Alexander.
With a rush of blood to the head, however, Gers were off the hook as the striker pulled his shot wide of the target and he should have done so much better.
The Light Blues needed a spark and the busy Sandaza looked as likely to give them it but Annan’s defending was getting more and more stubborn as time went on.
On the rare occasions they were carved open, the away side’s finishing was poor and Shiels should have done so much better than lift straight into Mitchell’s hands.
Nevertheless, Rangers kept getting forward when they could and Faure drilled across the face of goal and wide from a corner then Sandaza forced a good save from Mitchell.
Time was beginning to run out and although Rangers were enjoying the bulk of possession, they weren’t nearly as ruthless as they are capable of.
McCulloch hammered into the ground and wide and Sandaza curled a free kick past the post as the Ibrox outfit laid siege to the home goal in the closing stages.
McCulloch was then blocked again and Wallace screwed away from goal and it seemed the deadlock might just be broken after all.
But when the captain was denied for a third time in quick succession by a fantastic Mitchell save, it summed up the kind of day Rangers had had.
A third consecutive league draw wasn’t what McCoist had wanted at all and an improvement on the road is undoubtedly required.
ANNAN: Mitchell; Blake, Watson, Swinglehurst, McGowan; Steele (McKechnie 88), Chaplain, Jardine, Ramage (Sloan 78), Murray; Daly (McGachie 69).
SUBS: Summersgill, Thorburn.
RANGERS: Alexander; Faure, Emilson, Perry, Wallace; McKay, Black, Macleod, Templeton (Sandaza 10); Shiels (Crawford 78), McCulloch.
SUBS: Gallacher, Hegarty, Kyle.
BOOKED: Faure, Wallace.
REFEREE: Craig Charleston.