Rangers secured their third consecutive SPFL Premiership after seeing off Hamilton Accies 2-1 at the SuperSeal Stadium. Two goals from Martyn Waghorn were enough to take the points back to Ibrox. Despite the win there will be a few questions for Mark Warburton after his side huffed and puffed but couldn’t quite out the game out of sight despite their superiority for large spells.
The opening minutes, of what would be a fairly pedestrian first half, saw a couple of half chances fall the way of the recalled Martyn Waghorn after a corner by James Tavernier but nothing, ultimately came of them. Hamilton quickly tried to get forward and test Wes Foderingham but the Rangers back line were more than capable of dealing with the danger posed by the Hamilton attack.
Just before the half hour Danny Wilson almost broke the deadlock when his header from Lee Wallace’s throw bounced off the Hamilton crossbar and Woods could only clear his lines at the second attempt as Jason Holt challenged for the rebound.
Rangers finally made the breakthrough moments before half-time. After some fantastic running by Jason Holt down the left, the former Hearts man cut the ball back to Waghorn who loops an exquisite header over Woods, off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.
It took only 6 minutes of the second half for Rangers to double their lead. Barrie McKay’s floated ball over the top landed perfectly for Lee Wallace on the left hand side of the Accies area before Wallace’s low cross found Waghorn who swept the ball home from a few yards.
Waghorn then almost turned creator when he played Joe Garner in but the ex-Preston forward could only watch as his dinked shot floated just over the bar.
The second goal really took the wind out of Hamilton’s sails and the contest looked as good as over. Accies’ boss Martin Canning made a tactical change to see the game out and limit and further damage to his side’s goal difference tally.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Warburton made his first change of the game introducing Harry Forrester for two-goal Martyn Waghorn. Despite struggling for form in recent appearances, Waghorn looked much more like the Martyn Waghorn of last season tonight.
Minutes after the change, Hamilton were thrown a lifeline when Andy Halliday stumbled over the ball in a dangerous area, allowing Redmond to gather up possession, before Dougie Imrie tapped the ball home from a few yards.
Both sides had renewed purpose after Hamilton’s goal however neither side really came close to another goal. James Tavernier had a few attempts but only showed he was better from a set-piece than a live ball. The final few minutes turned into something of a bun-fight with several Hamilton players picking up bookings for silly challenges but Rangers were able to see the result out.
Hamilton: Woods, Devlin, Gillespie, Imrie, Docherty (Donati 40’), D’Acol (Bingham 63’), Redmond, Crawford, MacKinnon, McMann, Sarris
Substitutes: Longridge, Brophy, Cunningham, Hughes, Thomson
Goal: Imrie 77’
Rangers: Foderingham, Hodson, Wilson, Kiernan, Wallace, Halliday, Holt, Tavernier, McKay, Waghorn (Forrester 75’), Garner
Substitutes: Gilks, Hill, Miller, Dodoo, Senderos, O’Halloran
Goals: Waghorn 45’, 51’