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Rangers 0-2 Accies

Martin McConnell reports on a famous victory

Ladbrokes Premiership

Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

Saturday 18th November 2017 at 3pm

Rangers 0 Hamilton Academical 2

We moved themselves up into seventh place in the SPFL Premiership after pulling off a spectacular 2-0 victory at Ibrox, our first win against them home or away since the famous Scottish Cup win at Ibrox in January 1987, and our first league win there since 1926, the year of the General Strike. Both goals being scored on the break by two ex-Rangers men, David Templeton and Darren Lyon.

The first half saw the Hamilton back line stretched as Rangers searched for an opening goal and if it had come, it wouldn’t have been undeserved, but it wasn’t to be. Alfredo Morales and Josh Windass in particular harassing Accies, but the first half finished goal less, in part due to Gary Woods and the Accies defence and partly due to poor finishing.

The second half was a much different affair, with Templeton scoring early on to put Rangers under pressure from an increasingly unhappy crowd. Hamilton gave them a few problems at the back from time to time, but they left themselves stretched at the back as they desperately searched for an equaliser, something Accies exploited when Lyons scored a second.

Accies boss Martin Canning said afterwards, “It’s obviously a huge result for the club and everyone associated with the club, from the directors and owners down to the fans it’s a good day, a good night. Without down playing it, because it’s such a big result for us to come here and beat one of the Old Firm on their own park. It’s one result and we have to make sure that we don’t get too carried away with it. We’ll enjoy it, but we need to make sure that we can refocus for next Saturday as well.”

Hamilton named a completely unchanged side from the one that earned a 2-2 draw against Aberdeen at the SuperSeal Stadium a fortnight ago. Rangers caretaker boss Graeme Murty made just a single change to his side that beat Partick Thistle 3-0 at Ibrox last time out, with Lee Hodson coming in to replace Declan John.

The hosts kicked off proceedings and within a couple of minutes their first attempt came when the ball was worked down the right-hand side, Morelos played the ball into the penalty area for Windass to strike well high of his intended target. Within five minutes, Gary Woods was called into action for the first time, saving well from a close-range touch by James Tavernier.

Rangers were still enjoying the bulk of play and felt as if they should have had a penalty when MacKinnon brushed against Morelos. The Gers player went down and the referee didn’t even acknowledge his shout. Morelos and Miller had shots go wide from close range, Jack had a 20-yarder saved and Morelos headed the ball into the ground and over the cross bar.

Rangers continued to dominate as the match approached the end of the first forty-five, as the Hamilton defence put in a shift as they frustrated each and every attack that Rangers built from the back. They even managed to put some pressure on the Gers back line, before Morelos headed off the cross bar with almost the last touch of the half.

Within minutes of the restart, Accies took a surprise lead with their first real attack of the match. Young Rangers hopeful Ross McCrorie’s attempted back pass from midfield was anticipated, then intercepted by David Templeton. He rounded Foderingham before knocking the ball toward goal from wide, where Hodson could do no more than maybe help it over the line.

Templeton had another decent attempt on goal just a few minutes later, when Alex Gogic played a good ball in front of the Rangers defence, just short of the 18-yard line, where Temps shot inches wide on the half volley. Accies were beginning to work the Rangers defence for the first time in the match, but without further success.

Rangers desperately attempted to get themselves back on level terms, shots from Hodson and Miller went wide, and a Morelos back heel was cleared from the goal mouth, but the Hamilton defence doggedly cleared their lines at every opportunity. Next up was Morelos again, but Accies defence done enough to make the striker stick his 10-yard shot over the top.

It couldn’t have been scripted better, after some backs to the wall defending that wouldn’t have been misplaced at the Alamo, Accies broke forward and went two up! Greg Docherty made his way down the left in his own inimitable style, his run matched through the centre by Darren Lyon, and when the ball was cut inside, he was there to hit the back of the net.

As the Rangers fans let their side know how they felt and began to drift away from Ibrox, Ryan Jack headed off the cross bar, and Herrera watched as his 6-yard strike was saved by Woods. If that wasn’t enough, Alex Gogic was shown a second yellow card followed by red. Woods saved the Tavernier free kick then a close range follow up, but it was all too little too late.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Wilson, Jack, Miller (Herrera 73), Windass (Nemane 87), Hodson, Morelos (Hardie 73), Candeias, Holt, McCrorie. Subs Unused: Alnwick, Kranjcar, Bates, Barjonas.

Cautions: Holt.

Accies: Woods, Skondras, McMann, Tomas, Imrie (c), Docherty (Gillespie 82), Gogic, Templeton (Redmond 63), MacKinnon, Rojano (Bingham 76), Lyon. Subs Unused: Fulton, Donati, Cunningham, Sarris.

Goals: Templeton 47, Lyon 81.

Cautions: Gogic

Sent off; Gogic, 2nd yellow

 

Referee: Greg Aitken. Assistants: Sean Carr & Ralph Gordon. 4th Official: John Beaton.

Attendance: 48,892.

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