Rangers got back to winning ways with a comfortable 4-1 win over Hamilton last night. It was a game full of incident and talking points. Hamilton were poor on the night, and Rangers showed fight and spirit in a game where fans and pundits had a lot of questions to ask.

The starting team saw only one change from last weekend, with Declan John coming back into the side for Lee Hodson. Bruno Alves wasn’t involved in the matchday squad, so Ross McCrorie kept his place. And as reported in various places, Kenny Miller wasn’t involved in the team at all.

The reaction of the Rangers squad to everything was the focus of the game. And in the first minute, that focus intensified as Hamilton opened the scoring. Rakish Bingham outmuscled Cardoso and ran into the box. McCrorie’s challenge wasn’t strong enough, and Bingham got through 1 on 1 with Foderingham. The Rangers keeper saved his shot, and the deflection fell to Redmond. His shot squirmed over the line as Foderingham couldn’t get a strong enough hand to it as he ran back to his line.

It was a disastrous start. However, the Rangers team didn’t let that change their approach, and they looked to get back into the game quickly. On the 4th minute, some good play in midfield saw Pena send Windass through on the left-hand side. He ran to the byline and whipped over a cross which was just too high for Morelos. A couple of minutes later, Candeias pressed a Hamilton defence well to win the ball. Pena was in good space at the edge of the box, but the pass from Candeias was poor.

Carlos Pena had an eventful game. His first touch was generally poor, and the moments of quality were fleeting. For every good pass or touch, there were three which looked very poor. He came across as someone really struggling with both confidence and the surface he was playing on. By the 13th minute, he was lucky still to be on the park. He had elbowed Greg Docherty in an off-the-ball incident, and a poor touch saw him lunge in recklessly on a Hamilton midfielder. He was given the yellow card by referee Dallas, one of a few strange decisions on the night.

The first 20 minutes had saw a number of attacks break down through poor passes or decisions. Pena, Tavernier, Candeias and Morelos were the main culprits. The team lacked confidence to some extent, and needed a spark.

Right on cue, Declan John provided it. A good break found him on space on the left, and he drove at the defence. He cut inside onto his right foot, and from 20 yards his near-post drive skipped over the keeper and levelled the score.

That started a crazy 6 minutes for Rangers where they turned the game around completely. On the 24th minute, some great link-up play between Windass and John found the fullback in space. He easily beat the defender and shot across goal from a tight angle. Somehow, the Hamilton keeper let it through his legs, and Rangers went 2-1 ahead. The young man who will now be forever known as Elton had impressively turned things around for Rangers.

A minute later, it should have been 3. Some great play from McCrorie saw him break out from the back, and play a great pass to Morelos. The striker was through on goal, but saw his shot saved and put out for a corner.

From the corner, Rangers made it 3-1. Hamilton cleared the initial danger, but Dorrans found time in the middle of the park as the defence tried to push forward. Candeias showed good movement, and Dorrans played a magnificent pass to find him. On his right foot, he drove the early shot into the far corner to score his first league goal. He ran to Caixinha to celebrate the goal with the coaching team.

It had been a hectic spell in the game. Understandably, things slowed down, and Rangers were in clear control of the game. Dorrans was excellent in midfield, but a lot of attacks were still breaking down through poor touches or decisions. Morelos was having a poor game by his standards, summed up most when he got into space for John to find him, but his eagerness to get in behind saw the ball hit his heel and the chance was gone.

The second half saw the game become rather scrappy. Hamilton were unable to turn round the Rangers dominance in midfield, and Rangers were unable to make the most of their possession.

On the 51st minute, a strange incident saw Pena lucky yet again to avoid a red card. Candeias done well to get in behind on the right, and his cutback found Tavernier. The shot from the fullback was going wide, and as Pena tried to twist his body to deflect it, he used his arm to knock the ball over the keeper. The referee initially gave the goal, but changed the decision on the advice of his assistant. With the embarrassment of how wrong he got it, I think Dallas just avoided the second yellow for the deliberate handball.

Ryan Jack had been booked for a foul just before this, and saw his second yellow come on 53 minutes. A daft challenge led to the decision, high up the pitch with no need to make the foul at all. It was a poor decision from Jack, and means he’ll miss the game against St Johnstone. Caixinha reacted by bringing on Holt for Pena to give us more balance in midfield.

It took Holt 4 minutes to make a huge impact. He chased down a seemingly lost cause, and Gogic played a short pass back to his keeper. Holt was getting to the ball first, so the defender dragged him down and gave away the penalty. He should have been sent off for the foul, but wasn’t even booked.

Dorrans stepped up to take the penalty and showed real confidence to almost pass it down the middle as the keeper committed to the dive.

From there, Rangers looked to play out the game, and Hamilton started to chase. They missed a couple of great chances, with one shot going wide and a header from a corner being squandered. On 72 minutes, they had a great chance to pull a goal back as they won a penalty. McCrorie let the striker get goal side of him, and his challenge brought the player down.

Bingham stepped up, but his low shot was well saved by Foderingham, and Dorrans was first to the rebound to clear.

Foderingham made another couple of great saves to see the game out. One from a header just after the penalty was particularly impressive. Despite being down to 10 men, and Hamilton’s pressure, Rangers looked comfortable.

Given everything, it was a decent performance and impressive result. Some players could have played better, but the team fought well for each other throughout. We dominated the game in midfield, and never looked under too much pressure when down to 10 men. The fans and the manager can hope that the questions being asked, which won’t go away just yet, are going to be answered by more games like this.

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