Scorers: Brora Rangers - J Mackay (14); Rangers - Boyd (69)
The Scottish top-flight record goalscorer sprang from the bench in the second half to smash the equaliser against Brora Rangers.
The Rangers assistant manager said: “That’s Kris Boyd, isn’t it? That’s what we know he can do and that’s why we’ve brought him back.
“I’m delighted he has re-started his Rangers career and I’m sure we’re in for a lot more of that.
“Kenny Miller has made a big difference as well and Boydy links so well with him. He will get his shots away and it was a great goal.”
Rangers kept Miller and Boyd – still recovering from a minor ankle operation earlier in the summer – on the bench for the first period, along with trialist Marius Zaliukas.
The ex-Hearts and Leeds United defender is believed to be close to agreeing a permanent move a year after rejecting a move to Ibrox.
He entered the fray at Dudgeon Park after the break and McDowall added: “He’s looking fit and we’re delighted to have him with us.”
Hosts Brora – bankrolled by oil and gas entrepreneur Ben Mackay – had stormed to the first Highland League title in their history last season.
And the minnows’ blend of youngsters and former Premier League stars gave the Glasgow giants a tough first 45 minutes.
Andrew Greig’s cross from the left set up James Mackay for a calmly slotted Brora opener after 14 minutes.
Rangers toiled to get any kind of foothold in the opposition half and Brora’s Colin Williamson rattled the post with a header. McCoist made heavy changes for the second period – with Miller, Ian Black, Nicky Law, Lee Wallace and trialist Zaliukas all introduced.
There was better from Rangers but it took a returning hero to turn the game, with Boyd making his second debut after 69 minutes.
It was the Scotland star’s first game for the club since facing Motherwell in July 2010 – and it took him just eight minutes to impact.
Black’s defence-splitting pass sent him into the box for a trademark clinical stab past goalkeeper Joe Malin.
Darren McGregor went close to scoring a winner as Rangers finished heavily on top.
Brora Rangers: Malin, Houston, Williamson, Tokely, Munro, Morrison, J Mackay, MacLean, Sutherland, S Mackay, Greig. Subs: D Mackay, Porritt, Graham, Maclean, Hucheson.
Rangers: Bell, Faure, Smith, Hutton, Gasparotto, McCulloch, Gallagher, Murdoch, Clark, Shiels, Mackay. Subs: Gallacher, Foster, Wallace, Macgregor, Zaliukas, Black, Law, Boyd, Miller, Aird, Crawford, Hallket.