Rangers won 5-3 at the Superseal Stadium in a hectic match to move into second place in the league. With Hibernian beating Aberdeen and Celtic drawing with St Johnstone, it was a good weekend for Murty’s side.

Rangers started the match in the 4-2-3-1 shape they have preferred in recent league games. Daniel Candeias replaced Jason Cummings as the only change from the game against Ayr United. Jason Holt’s suspension meant that Greg Docherty made his first league start, and James Tavernier continued as captain. Hamilton lined up in their usual 3-5-2 shape, with David Templeton returning to the side. They also gave debuts to new signings van der Weg and Jenkins.

It was Hamilton who started the match on the front foot, causing some issues with crosses. They were quickly rewarded for that after taking the lead only five minutes into the game. A poor attempt at a clearance by Greg Docherty allowed the ball to fall to Darren Lyon in the box. He had time to take a touch and place a left foot shot past Foderingham into the far post.

Rangers quickly responded. A good cross from Docherty was met by Morelos, but the header hit the bar. It was only a brief respite for Hamilton though, as Rangers equalised on the 10th minute. Morelos won the ball high up the pitch, and ran in on goal near the byline. He spotted the intelligent run of Jamie Murphy and cut the ball back perfectly. Murphy slotted the ball into the net easily and the game was level.

Rangers were finding space on the flanks, and Josh Windass was often drifting out to the left to link up. One shot when cutting inside was easily saved, but his second attempt on 19 minutes put Rangers ahead. The strike was powerful, but should have been easily saved. Somehow, Gary Wood made a mess of his attempted catch, and the ball went over the line before he could make amends.

That lead lasted only 3 minutes. A poor clearance by Russell Martin was nodded back to Templeton. He found a bit of space to turn, and placed a great left foot shot into the corner. After only 22 minutes, four goals had been shared.

But as before, Rangers reacted well to the setback. Only 4 minutes later, the fifth goal was scored, and it came from some nice play on the counter. Greg Docherty won the ball in the Hamilton half, drove forward, and slipped it to Morelos. He played it wider to Murphy, who had a good shot saved by the keeper. The ball fell to Murphy again, but rather than try to score he played a good ball into Morelos who lashed it home.

And then only 8 minutes later, it was 4-2 to Rangers. This goal was easily the pick of the bunch, as the move started from Wes Foderingham and was scored by Josh Windass after 8 passes and 17 seconds. Despite some pressure on the ball, Rangers moved it well, with Martin, Murphy, Goss and Windass combining in their own half. The ball was moved out to Tavernier, and he spotted the excellent run of Murphy. A lovely first-time backheel was played into the stride of Windass, and he drilled a low shot into the far post. This will be one of the contenders for goal of the season.

Just before half time, Goss had a free kick saved well by Wood, who then got back up to save a Morelos shot on the rebound. A crazy first 45 minutes had saw six goals, some loose defending and some great attacking play.

There was no way the second 45 would match that, but it was clear Rangers were in control from the whistle. The team were looking for that fifth goal, and it almost came from Greg Docherty. His shot from a poorly cleared corner on the turn hit the bar. Somehow, Bates missed a header from the rebound when it looked easier to score.

At around 68 minutes, Rangers missed an equally good chance. Declan John found Windass on the left, and his ball across the six yard box looked set to be tapped in. Candeias was ready to claim the goal and celebrate, but Morelos tried to slide in and glanced it away from the Portuguese winger, and it went wide.

The fifth goal wasn’t long in coming from there, though, and it came from Windass again. Hamilton had changed shape with a couple of substitutions, and Candeias took advantage with a quick throw in. Morelos was able to find the on-rushing Windass, who placed the ball past Wood first time. It was the second hattrick in recent games for Windass, and his first in the league.

Despite the game slowing down somewhat after that, there was still time for another goal. This time, it went to Hamilton, as the referee awarded a very harsh penalty for handball against Martin. Dougie Imrie made no mistake with the spotkick, but it was a consolation goal in the context of the match.

Rangers can be rightly proud of some of their attacking play, and frustrated at just how open the game was at times. Graeme Murty was annoyed by the defensive lapses after the match. The team have some big challenges in the next few games, so will have both confidence and something to work on in training this week.


Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, Martin, John, Goss (Halliday 86’), Docherty, Windass (Miller 78’), Candeias, Murphy, Morelos (Cummings 78’)

Subs: Kelly, Hodson, Cardoso, Herrera.


Woods, Skondras, McMann, Jenkins, Tomas, Van der Weg (Imrie 69’), Templeton (Bingham 69’), Lyon, Ferguson, Sarris, Ogkmpoe.

Subs: Fulton, Miller, Redmond, Rojano, Want