Rangers put on a strong second half display to win 6-1 against Ayr United and progress to the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Cup. Goals from Morelos, Cummings, Windass and Murphy eased the team through, despite an early howler from Wes Foderingham.

Rangers started with Alfredo Morelos replacing Daniel Candeias from their previous match. They also gave Greg Docherty his first start, and moved Jason Holt to the bench. This meant a change in system, as the team reverted to the 4-4-2 diamond midfield used in a few matches under Murty. The strength of the starting team showed just how seriously Rangers were taking the game.

The weather meant that a strong wind was affecting play. The snow had also made it difficult to keep the pitch in top condition, making it a surface where it was hard to control the ball. Rangers tried to combat all of that early, with shots from Murphy and Declan John causing problems. However, it was a mistake by the Rangers goalkeeper which led to the opening goal.

The ball back from Bates looked simple enough for Foderingham to deal with. Despite the ball taking a slightly awkward bounce, it could have been played first time. However, Foderingham tried to take a touch, and the ball ran just a little bit away from him. Alan Forrest was closing down, and able to just beat Foderingham to the ball and force it over the line.

Rangers looked to take complete control after that, but were lucky not to be 2-0 down after another mistake by Foderingham. A long cross was played into the box, but held up in the wind. Foderingham had made the decision to come and collect it, but the distance proved to be a bit too far, and he missed the punch. A poor clearing header from Declan John saw the ball fall to an Ayr United player, but the shot was high over the bar.

Rangers then started to crank up the pressure. Russell Martin nodded a David Bates cross wide, and various crosses and shots were being blocked. Josh Windass was set up by a great James Tavernier cross, but somehow hit the bar when it looked easier to score. Then came a moment which pretty much took the attention away from the mistake Foderingham made.

Greg Docherty done well to get past the defence and run to the byline. His square ball across the six yard box looked set to be tapped in by Morelos, but the striker looked to lash the ball home rather than just prod it over the line. As such, a huge bounce at the last second saw him hit the bottom of the ball and put it over from around 2 yards out. It was an incredible miss, one that can haunt strikers for a long time.

Thankfully, Morelos showed he’s made of sterner stuff. A mere 90 seconds later, he had scored the equalising goal. Sean Goss hit a great effort from just outside the box, which came back off the bar. Morelos was there to score the rebound, keeping the ball down well with a nice finish. His celebration was a sign of just how determined he was to make up for his earlier mistake.

Rangers should have taken the lead before half time. Some good play found Morelos facing up to the Ayr United fullback. He beat the player and cut back a ball to Tavernier, who had time and space to hit a shot. His effort was very weak, though, and easily smothered by Ruddy.

Rangers went in level at half time, but only David Bates of the outfield players hadn’t had a shot at goal. The feeling was that despite some difficult conditions, Rangers were playing well.

Despite that, Ayr created the first real chance of the second half. A ball flicked over the head of Tavernier found McDaid running in on goal. Foderingham had read the danger, and came out to block. The goalkeeper stayed big as the Ayr wide man tried to chip him, and saved well.

Jamie Murphy had a goal correctly ruled out for offside not long afterwards, and then on 66 minutes Rangers took the lead.

A quick corner by Murphy found Goss in a lot of space on the left. His cross was a little behind Jason Cummings, but the striker somehow managed to flick out his left foot and guide the ball into the far corner. A few minutes later, Rangers made it 3-1 after great play by John on the left saw a blocked cross fall to the feet of Windass, who couldn’t miss from around 8 yards.

The fourth Rangers goal came a mere three minutes after that. Some good link-up play between Morelos and Murphy saw the Colombian striker start and finish a move with a tap-in. With over 15 minutes to play, Rangers had ended the match as a contest.

On the 81st minute, Josh Windass grabbed his second with a strong header from a Sean Goss cross. Rangers then hit the post through a deflected Declan John cross, but managed to score another goal with just a few minutes to play. Sean Goss found Jamie Murphy in space on the halfway line. The boyhood Rangers fan ran at the defender, beat him easily, and slotted home a right foot shot for his first goal for the club.

Despite the halftime score and late goals, this was a dominant Rangers display. There was some good football played in testing conditions. The players showed a mental strength and motivation to get the job done in some style. The draw sees the team face Falkirk at home in the quarter final, where a similar display will be required.


Foderingham, Tavernier, Martin, Bates, John, Goss, Windass (Halliday, 81), Docherty, Murphy, Morelos (Herrera, 75), Cummings (Miller, 75).

SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, Cardoso, Candeias, Holt.