Written by – Jamie Currie
As Rangers remembered the 66, the team gave those who passed away in 1971 something to look down and smile at. It was somewhat fitting that Rangers would batter Dumbarton and put six past them in the process.
The game from start to finish was utter dominance, and that was completely understandable after the massive win on Monday afternoon. Martyn Waghorn had a goal chalked off for offside as Rangers had all the early play.
But it took until the 42nd minute for Kenny Miller to scramble home the opener. The 36-year-old grabbed his second when he met a James Tavernier cross with a thunderous header. He grabbed his hat-trick when Tavernier picked him out and he coolly finished past Mark Brown.
Martyn Waghorn added a fourth via another smart Tavernier assist. Andy Halliday got the fifth courtesy of a deflected free-kick. And that man Tavernier rounded off a magnificent individual showing with a superb whipped finish for the sixth.
RIP the 66 fans who didn’t make it home. That one was for you.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Three assists, playing a part in a clean sheet, and a wonderful goal. Kenny Miller walked away with the match ball, but Tavernier’s performance was most pleasing. He is getting back to the form he showed at the beginning of the season.
Both Mark Warburton and hat-trick hero Kenny Miller spoke to Rangers TV.
“It was a really pleasing performance today. We knew this was a tough place to come with the wind etc., but our tempo was good from the first whistle and our quality all around was good. We pressed together and worked hard together, so I am delighted with the performance.
“We spoke in the dressing room before the game about being aware of the circumstances and dealing with them, of trying to impose ourselves on the game and dominating the football, as when we do that, we look a really good team, and I thought in the second half especially, we did that.
“It was a fantastic result for us today. We have spoken all week about keeping the momentum going from the Hibs game as we couldn’t afford to get complacent after a fantastic result like that.
“So it was important we came here did the job and did it well with a good, convincing result, and we got everything we asked for. We played really well and scored a really high level of goal, so we are delighted all round.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
The six goals scored brought Rangers’ total in all competition so far to 79 goals.
In these type of games where the opponent will sit deep and hope to come away with a point the first goal is always important, so Kenny Miller‘s first was the key moment in the game.
- It was evident that the same kind of defensive setup remained in place from the Hibs match: a slightly deeper defensive line and both full-backs taking it in turns to bomb forward. It has given the side a solid base to build on from the back and both centre-halves are becoming less exposed and look more comfortable within that setup.
- Nicky Law, again, like last week, gives the team a driving force from the middle of the park. He is willing to carry the ball in the final third and commit the opponent in central, tight areas, which he did in this game.
- Plan B is to do plan A better: this was in evidence and this side showed they know exactly how to break down a packed defence on what was a tight pitch. They were patient, mixed the game up and most importantly, moved the ball quickly and kept the tempo high throughout.
- The goal before half-time played into Rangers’ hands. Dumbarton came out playing 4-4-2 in the second half and were punished. Having that clinical edge to your game will help make fixtures like this, a potentially tricky one, a relative walk in the park.
TWEETS OF THE MATCH
Rangers take a break from league action as they face Cowdenbeath at Ibrox. Sunday, 10th January. Kick-off 1pm.