Our website reporter Martin McConnell with his report from Wednesday night’s league win at Ibrox….
Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Wednesday 4th March 2020, kick opff 7.45pm.
Rangers 0 Hamilton Academical 1
Despite an all out assault on our goal late on, we held on to record a sensational 1-0 victory at the home of Glasgow giants Rangers. With thanks due to the quick thinking of David Moyo as he pounced on a rather unexpected opportunity that gave us a lead that we tenaciously clung too until the final whistle.
The incredibly important three points sent the bottom of the table topsy turvy once again, as Accies went two points clear of Hearts, 24 hours after their Edinburgh derby win at Hibs, and just the two behind St Mirren in tenth.
Following a colossal first half effort from the entire team in which Rangers had dominating spells, Morelos headed onto the bar inside the first few minutes of the second half. Moyo struck on 55 minutes to shock the home side. A shell shocked Rangers eventually recovered enough to throw everything at Southwood’s goal but it just wasn’t good enough.
A mighty happy Brian Rice said afterwards, “To come to Ibrox and to keep a clean sheet is phenomenal for us, you know. I don’t know how many times in Hamilton’s history they’ve come here and kept a clean sheet. With Rangers attacking players and their balls in to the box, I must say that my lads defended with their lives tonight.
We stuck to our game plan and tried to press from the front when we could. There’s no point coming here and sitting back in, although in the last twenty minutes we were forced back. But no, I’m absolutely delighted. I think that it has shocked everyone apart from myself.
I always believe that you put a team out to win a game. I’m not going to say that I thought we’d win 1-0, I’m not so stupid to say that, but I think if you’ve got enough belief in your team, you set them out properly, then you’ve got a chance.”
Accies made three changes to the side that started against Motherwell last time out. Scott McMann, Jamie Hamilton and Lewis Smith replaced Collar, Templeton and Hunt. The hosts made four changes to the side that lost to Hearts in the Scottish Cup at the weekend. With Arfield, Jack, Kent and Stewart making way for Kamara, Hagi, Kamberi and Morelos.
Rangers opened proceedings when Tavernier volleyed wide of the target early on. More of the same followed – Aribo had an effort blocked, a Hagi shot was saved, Morelos headed wide, Kamberi had one go high then two decent shots brilliantly saved by Southwood.
Hamilton began to get a foothold with about quarter of an hour of the half left when Lewis Smith sailed past a few bewildered opponents, then a give and go inside before sending a shot on goal that McGregor comfortably saved.
Another came when Smith won a challenge close to the halfway line. The ball went inside to Gogic, wide to Alston then back inside for Smith to let loose from the edge of the box, only a couple feet too high.
Rangers began the second period on the front foot with Kamberi sending a difficult attempt wide and Morelos heading onto the crossbar at the back post. But Hamilton had a little surprise in store.
They struck when a ball from deep was headed on by Moyo for Ogkmpoe then wide for McGowan. He managed to hold the ball long enough for Marios to get back into the thick of things.The ball came back in, Marios headed goalward but McGregor was able to palm onto the bar.
There was no delicacy or finesse with the clearance, it was hoofed high and long up field then headed back towards goal. Scott Martin attempted to knock It wide but a deflection altered the path. Tavernier and Goldson were caught in the headlights as Moyo stole a touch between them before poking the ball in at the bottom corner.
With the crowd on their back and a more confident Accies, it took a while before Rangers were able to respond, and they did. Southwood saved a Kent strike from inside the box, a Morelos shot blocked then another saved, this time from the head of Goldson.
There was absolutely no let up now as almost every Hamilton out ball was quickly recycled in to another onslaught. That said, it wasn’t quite backs to the wall, as we continued to probe forward with Winter having come on, and Ogkmpoe still working hard.
Barisic struck and Southwood saved at the top corner, Hagi’s attempt was saved in the centre of goal, Morelos had one saved and another blocked. To finish the match off, McGregor saved from Marios Ogkmpoe.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier (Barker 74), Goldson, Edmundson, Barisic, Davis, Kamara (Kent 59), Aribo, Hagi,Kamberi (Defoe 66), Morelos. Subs Unused: Foderingham, Katic,Halliday, Jack.
Accies: Southwood, McGowan (c), McMann, Alston, Gogic, Moyo (Hunt 78 ), Want, Martin (Miller 58 ), L Smith (Winter 72), Hamilton, Ogkmpoe. Subs Unused:F ulton, McKenna, Collar, Mimnaugh.
Goal: Moyo 55.
Referee: Nick Walsh. Assistants: Ralph Gordon & Gary Hilland. 4th Official: Kevin Graham.
Attendance: 48,167 (150 Accies) .