Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2
Two first half goals were enough to secure the points at New Southcroft Park this morning, the cushion was required to resist a much improved second half performance from the home side. With Kane Hemmings out with a knee injury his place was taken Max Wright which was the only change from the side that was successful in last week’s Old Firm derby, while Accies were without the suspended duo Brian McQueen and Declan McAvoy following their red cards against St. Johnstone.
There was barely a minute on the clock when Rangers got off to the perfect start. Rhys McCabe sent Archie Campbell clear and he calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Darren Dolan and into the net. At the other end Kevin Komor tried his luck from a free-kick wide on the right, which Grant Adam saved comfortably at his near post.
On 22 minutes a good move down the Rangers left saw Gregg Wylde cut the ball back to Max Wright just inside the box and his effort was a routine save for Dolan. Just after the half hour mark the home keeper’s ability was stretched a bit more, Kal Naismith winning the ball in midfield and his shot from 25 yards had Dolan diving low to his left to touch the ball clear.
Two minutes before half-time Rangers extended their lead. A long pass sent Wylde down the left and as Dolan came rushing from his line the Rangers full-back lobbed the ball over the keeper towards goal. Archie Campbell challenged Lee Kilday for the loose ball just in front of the unguarded net and it broke into the path of Gordon Dick who scored from close range. A minute later and the Ibrox youngsters should have gone further ahead. Max Wright played the ball to Kal Naismith at the edge of the box, he left two defenders in his wake as he made his way into the box and fed Archie Campbell who looked certain to score but shot just wide with Dolan stranded.
In first half injury time the home side showed they were not out of it when Kyle Wilkie won the ball in midfield and played it forward to Grant Gillespie who shot narrowly over, although Grant Adam seemed to have his effort covered.
Half-Time:- Hamilton Accies 0 Rangers 2
Five minutes after half-time Accies showed their determination to get back in to the game when Jordan Kirkpatrick played the ball out to David Hopkirk on the let he cut inside and tested Adam at his near post. Two minutes later and the Rangers defence failed to clear a long throw, which broke to Wilkie who shot into the side netting.
Just after the hour mark a great move looked certain to reduce the home side’s deficit. Gillespie broke forward from midfield and his ball into Chris Roxburgh at the edge of the box saw the perfect first time lay off send Hopkirk clear inside the box, he looked certain to score but dragged his shot wide.
On 77 minutes Hopkirk again had a chance when ghosted in from the left but shot wide. With five minutes remaining Rangers almost increased their lead with a rare second half chance, Kyle Hutton just failed to get enough of a touch on Kal Naismith’s free kick from the right and the ball bounced tamely into the arms of Dolan.
Just before the end of the ninety minutes only a fantastic goal line clearance kept the Rangers goal intact. Wilkie turned Darren Cole inside the box and when he rolled it across the six yard box it took Adam out the equation, substitute Gerald O’Connell was denied at point blank range by Gregg Wylde’s fantastic block on the line.
Deep into injury time Hamilton Accies got the consolation goal their second-half performance merited. Rhys McCabe was rather harshly adjudged to have impeded Wilkie inside the box and Jordan Kirkpatrick stepped up to send Adam the wrong way from the spot.
Full-Time:- Hamilton Accies 1 Rangers 2
Hamilton Accies:- Darren Dolan; Jordan McCue (Gerald O’Connell 76 mins), Lee Kilday, Ziggy Gordon, Kevin Komor; Chris Roxburgh, Kyle Wilkie, Grant Gillespie, David Hopkirk; Euan Lindsay (Connor McGlinchey H/T), Jordan Kirkpatrick.
Not Used:- Gary Inglis; Jojo Connolly, Kieran Millar.
Rangers:- Grant Adam; Scott Durie (Gordan Dick 24 mins), Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Gregg Wylde; Max Wright (Kyle McAusland 81 mins), Kyle Hutton, Kamil Wiktorski, Rhys McCabe; Archie Campbell, Kal Naismith.
Not Used:- Mark Weir, Dylan McGeough, Ewan McNeil, Michael Noble.