In a ding dong first half that saw Darren Lyon put us ahead after just 5 minutes, and David Templeton equalise at 2-2 in 22nd minute, we found ourselves 4-2 down at half time, but a late Dougie Imrie penalty reduced the deficit to 3-5 by the end of the game.
We also saw debuts for Ross Jenkins and Kenny Van der Weg.
New Douglas Park
Sunday 18th February 2018 at 2.15pm
Hamilton Academical 3 Rangers 5
We scored three goals and still came off second best after Rangers moved into second place and nine points off the lead, with a convincing 5-3 win at the SuperSeal. Rangers looked good going forward and Accies were always second best when the Ibrox side found their feet in response to Darren Lyon’s early opener.
They may not have had it all their own way if Hamilton hadn’t made quite so many mistakes at the back, four of which led to goals. David Templeton scored an Accies second to level the scores at 2-2 before Rangers got another two before the break. Then at 5-2 down, Dougie Imrie came of the bench to score a late spot kick.
A disappointed Martin Canning said, “If someone told me before the game that we’d score three goals against Rangers, then you’d expect to take something from the game. But when you defend and make mistakes like we did today, it makes it hard. I thought their fourth was a well worked goal, other than that, every one of them was avoidable from our point of view.
So, it’s poor defensively with us switching off and making mistakes, which we’ve done far too many times this season. But like I say, there’s positives there for us too with us scoring three goals. Getting back to score goals, I thought Temps was good and took his goal well as did Darren Lyon.
This for us was a game we could have a go at and see if we could get something from it. We probably left ourselves a little open as we tried to press Rangers high and try and force them into making mistakes. Obviously, it works for our second, they make a mistake and we punish it but we made more mistakes than they did and that’s what ended up costing us.”
Accies made three changes to face Rangers, with David Templeton returning alongside debutantes Ross Jenkins and Kenny Van der Weg, replacing Shaun Want and Danny Redmond who were on the bench, and Alex Gogic injured with an adductor strain. The visitors made just the one change with Daniel Candeias starting in place of Jason Cummings.
Accies opened the game in spectacular fashion, taking the lead with five minutes on the clock when Ross Jenkins received the ball close to the corner flag and played it into the edge of the penalty area. Greg Docherty failed to clear, Lewis Ferguson played the ball on and Darren Lyon placed the ball low beyond Foderingham and in at the back post.
This spurred the visitors into action and Morelos headed his first effort off the Accies cross bar, then moments later providing the cut back that allowed Murphy to equalise from the edge of the six-yard line. Windass then gave his side the lead when his speculative strike from twenty yards was mishandled by Gary Woods and flew into the roof of the net.
The game seemed to be moving away from Accies reach when they found themselves level after a poor clearance was headed back towards the Rangers penalty area by Jenkins. David Templeton was waiting close to the 18-yard line, took control, spun and struck low into the bottom corner of the net.
More terrible defending led to a third for Rangers when Docherty intercepted deep inside the Hamilton half. The ball was moved swiftly from Morelos to Murphy who shot from just inside the box, Woods saved, Murphy ran in for the rebound but squared for Morelos to hit home from just outside the six-yard box.
The match hadn’t long passed the half hour mark when the Gers made it four after the ball quickly moved wide to Tavernier. The defence split apart to leave a massive gap as they tried to cover pacey wing back, the ball found Murphy who cut back for Josh Windass to strike his second of the match.
The second half was positively sedate in comparison, but Hamilton should have been awarded a spot kick when Declan John grabbed Ogkmpoe’s shirt as he rose for a header. There was a second shout when Tavernier looked to have wrestled Ferguson to the ground, but the referee was having none of it.
The Accies box was soon back in the thick of the action, Woods saving from a Goss free kick and the Morelos follow up, then Greg Docherty hitting the cross bar with a shot from 15 yards. Windass got his hat trick to seal the match when he got onto the end of a perfectly weighted ball across the penalty area from Morelos.
The game was now beyond Hamilton’s reach, but it didn’t stop the trying and they were awarded a penalty after Russell Martin slid in to block Ferguson’s shot with his arm raised. The inevitable happened, Dougie Imrie took the ball and struck it sweetly high into the centre of the net.
Accies: Woods (c), Skondras, McMann, Jenkins, Tomas, Van der Weg (Imrie 68 ), Templeton (Bingham 68 ), Lyon, Ferguson, Sarris, Ogkmpoe (Rojano 78 ). Subs Unused: Miller, Redmond, Want, Fulton.
Goals: Lyon 5, Templeton 22, Imrie 87 penalty.
Cautions: Imrie, Ferguson.
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, John, Windass (Miller 78 ), Morelos (Cummings 78 ), Candeias, Bates, Goss (Halliday 86), Murphy, Martin, Docherty. Subs Unused: Kelly, Cardoso, Herrera, Hodson.
Goals: Murphy 9, Windass 18, 33, 71, Morelos 26.
Referee: Bobby Madden. Assistants: Douglas Ross & David Roome. 4th Official: Nick Walsh.