Rangers moved three points closer to the SPL title today at Ibrox thanks to a single goal from Maurice Edu in the 11th minute. Rangers are really struggling at the moment, but as this stage of the season a win is a win. I’ll be happy for us to grind the results out as long as it secures us the Championship sooner rather than later.
Walter Smith made just the one change from the team that got thrashed 4-1 by St Johnstone, and that was Maurice Edu coming in for Kevin Thomson who had a poor game up at Perth, and was hooked at half-time.
Accies had the better start to the game, but it was Rangers who looked more threatening just before they got the goal. Kenny Miller, ran down the left hand side before cutting into the box and hitting a shot which was saved well by Cerny.
Kenny Miller then set up Maurice Edu for a shot from the edge of the box. Cerny again done well to tip the ball onto the post. Edu was not to be denied though and scored shortly after when Naismith and Miller worked well together to set him up inside the six yard box. The American couldn’t miss and converted the easy chance.
Hamilton Accies could have easily put their heads down and lose by a few, so many clubs have done in the past, but not Billy Reid’s side, instead the took the game to Rangers and were unlucky not to have been on the scoresheet with Flavio Paixao twice going close and hitting the side netting. Top goalscorer Mickael Antoine-Curier also had a good chance to score.
Hamilton Accies were controlling the midfield, and the much sought after James McArthur was showing why he has attracted so much interest. His performance was a midfield masterclass. His partner Alex Neil beside him was almost as inspirational for Hamilton.
Steve Davis though slowly started to influence the game in the second half and showed why he could be a strong shout for player of the year. He has been great for most of the season, but like most of his team mates, had been lacking of late, but he did look a bit more like his old self in the second half, perhaps he was inspired by the performance of McArthur.
Hamilton had the ball in the next in the 78th minute of the game. It was that man James McArthur, but he was judged to be offside, much to the relief of most people at Ibrox. Nacho Novo and Kenny Miller both had excellent chances to make it safe but both blew it. Miller shot over the bar from close range after being set up Davis, and shortly afterwards, Novo who came on for Miller was through on the goalkeeper but again Cerny produced a fine save.
So there you have it, not pretty but the result is what matters. Rangers are well on their way to retaining their title. They can win it before the split, results depending, but generally, all they need is three more wins this season. Three wins from seven games is not too much of an ask is it? Just win the home games at least, and it’s all over.
Rangers McGregor, Whittaker, Weir, Wilson, Papac, Davis, Edu, McCulloch, Naismith, Boyd (Lafferty 64), Miller (Novo 78).
SUBS NOT USED: Alexander, Thomson, Beasley, Fleck, Little.
GOALS: Edu (11).
Hamilton Accies Cerny, Canning, McLaughlin, Easton (Wilkie 51), Elebert (Crawford 71), McArthur, Mensing, Antoine-Curier (Thomas 63), Neil, Flavio Paixao, Imrie.
SUBS NOT USED: Murdoch, McClenahan, Gillepsie, Marco Paixao.
YELLOW CARD: Neil.
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