It was a cruel finish for us today, Rangers lead at half time, Steven Boyd scored a cracker to level for us with ten minutes to go, before two penalties in as many minutes in the closing stages gave Rangers victory, and they added a fourth on full time.
Tom Taiwo and Matt Kilgallon were out injured, Darian Mackinnon and Mickel Miller were back from injury, and four changes were made from the team that lost at Hibs.
Accies media reporter Mark Gillespie…
Hope CBD Stadium,
Sunday 21st October 2018 1.30 pm
Hamilton Academical 1 Rangers 4
We had drawn deservedly level late on, only to concede two penalties in swift succession. An additional injury time goal leaves a score line which flatters Rangers.
The fans had dared to dream as Steven Boyd’s stunning 80th minute strike cancelled out Ryan Kent’s first half opener, but two spot kicks from James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos’s strike gave Steven Gerrard’s side their first win on the road this season.
It moves the Ibrox side up to fifth in the table, while we remain in ninth spot. With 10 minutes to go it looked like being anything other than a fourth straight defeat. Manager Martin Canning thinks it could easily gone the other way.
“It’s a sore one to lose 4-1. It sounds strange to say that we should have won. I asked the players for a performance after the Hibs game. We got that reaction, but probably weren’t clinical enough to make the most of opportunities.”
“For us decision making cost us the game. When you make poor decisions against top teams you get punished. There were four or five opportunities, particularly in the first half, where we had chances to put someone through on goal but didn’t.”
“Rangers had one opportunity to do that and created a goal from it. That’s maybe the difference with the big clubs.”
“I can see why both Rangers penalties were given, but just can’t see why we didn’t get one in the first half when Mickel Miller is clearly held back. Anywhere else on the pitch and it’s a free kick.”
The Accies boss made four changes to his side, seeking to erase the memory of a painful defeat at Easter Road. Alex Penny returned in a back four alongside Ziggy Gordon, with Darian MacKinnon and Mickel Miller both returning from injury to bolster the side.
Rangers made three switches, as they sought to continue their 100% league record at New Douglas Park. Rossiter, Katic and Halliday started in the starting line up in place of Worrall, Flanagan and the injured Scott Arfield.
Accies were keen make a good start, stung by the defeat at Easter Road, and we looked tight and compact against a Rangers side which posed few problems for most of the first half.
Instead it was Accies who carved out the better early opening, with McGowan firing an effort just over from the edge of the box on 14 minutes. Just a minute later MacKinnon fired just wide from a Brustad cross from wide right.
We were denied a penalty on 21 minutes, Miller looking to have been held by Tavernier in the box. As the ref waved away protests, McGowan headed the resulting cross over McGregor’s bar.
A sluggish Rangers were struggling to find impetus at the other end, reduced to shots from long range. Woods turned a 25 yard Ejaria effort around the post on 31 minutes, with Coulibaly off target from a similar position three minutes later.
Suddenly though they were ahead from their first real sight of goal five minutes from the break. It came through the heart of the Accies defence, as Morelos flicked through for Kent to outpace Tshiembe and place his shot beyond the onrushing Gary Woods.
It was a harsh one to take, but the Accies continued to take the game to Rangers in the second half, with Miller and Brustad putting in a shift up front. And Miller almost crafted an opening by himself on 58 minutes, getting between the Rangers back four to flick past Katic. But, with just McGregor to beat, he prodded just wide of the post.
Woods hadn’t had much to do, but was forced into action on 62 minutes, tipping a swerving Ejaria effort over the bar. But for this, Rangers never showed much conviction to look like adding to their lead.
Instead Accies were playing the more promising football, but too often let down by the final ball. Sub Rakish Bingham almost hauled us level as he burst through the Rangers defence. His shot was parried out by McGregor on 77 minutes, with fellow sub Keatings volleying the rebound inches wide.
But our third sub drew Accies deservedly level in spectacular fashion on 80 minutes. Steven Boyd’s cross was headed back to him by Rossiter, and the Accies man cut inside on his left foot to unleash a trademark 25 yarder past McGregor.
Frustratingly, it was to be all for nothing. Four minutes later Candeias broke down the right, and his cross into the box was adjudged to have been handled by Alex Penny. Tavernier doesn’t miss penalties and despatched his 6th of the season from the spot. He was up for number 7 three minutes later to make sure of the points, after Penny brought down Morelos in the box.
The Colombian gave things an emphatic look in injury time, with Woods off his line to stop a Candeias effort. The ball broke free for Morelos to smash home his fourth league goal of the season
Accies: Accies – Woods, McGowan, McMann, Gordon (Boyd 75), Tshiembe, Imrie, Miller (Keatings 68 ), Penny, MacKinnon, Martin, Brustad (Bingham 61). Subs unused Want, L Smith, Sowah, Fulton
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Ejaria, Kent (McCrorie, 88 ), Halliday, Rossiter (Grezda, 80) Katic (Worrall, 78 ), Morelos, Candeias, Coulibaly; Subs Unused: Foderingham, Umar, Flanagan, Middleton
Accies Goals: Boyd, 80
Accies Cautions: Miller, 11, Martin, 17, MacKinnon, 76, Boyd, 90
Rangers Goals: Kent, 41, Tavernier (pen), 84, (pen) 88, Morelos, 90+4
Rangers Cautions: Candeias, 42, Rossiter, 72, Halliday, 90+1
Referee: Andrew Dallas, Assistants: Graeme Stewart, David Doig 4th Official: David Munro
Accies – Woods, McGowan, McMann, Gordon (Boyd 75), Tshiembe, Imrie, Miller (Keatings 68 ), Penny, MacKinnon, Martin, Brustad (Bingham 61). Subs unused Want, L Smith, Sowah, Fulton
Referee – Andy Dallas; Assistants – Graeme Stewart & David Doig; 4th official – David Munro