Written by – Jamie Currie
The game was pretty one-sided, but to be fair to Cowdenbeath, they hardly disgraced themselves.
Rangers started the game in typically quick fashion and they almost took the lead twice. Kenny Miller’s shot was saved by the legs of Jamie Sneddon – and Martyn Waghorn fired over.
It took until the 18th minute for Rangers to break through. It was a lovely through-ball by Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace finished expertly. Soon after, Barrie McKay beat two men before rifling his shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. But Dean Brett‘s top-class free-kick made sure the advantage was only one at half-time.
Rangers stepped it up in the second period, and Waghorn fired in the first of his hat-trick after a lovely flick from Zelalem in the build-up. Waghorn completed his hat-trick with two well-taken spot-kicks as Rangers go into the hat for the next round.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Waghorn may have bagged a hat-trick, but McKay was the star of the show. His goal was delightful and his touch at times is sublime. He gets better and better every time you watch him.
This week it was Martyn Waghorn‘s turn to join Mark Warburton in speaking to Rangers TV post-match.
Warburton said: “We controlled the game from the start, which we wanted to do, we started very fast but if we had a complaint it’s that we weren’t clinical enough.
“We had lots of good play and possession but we didn’t test the keeper enough in the first-half.
“Second-half we started really brightly, there was an immediate chance and save forced from the keeper, we then got the goal and we got very strong as the game went on.”
Waghorn, who delighted to get his hat-trick, said: “We had that little bit of a dodgy spell before Christmas where we weren’t picking up the results or the goals that were justified,” he told Rangerstv.tv
“It was really important that we got ourselves sorted at the back and then we could build from there, and I think we’ve done that.
“We look more solid, we look more compact, and it’s ultimately leading us to get more goals. We have so many creative boys and we always look likely to score a lot of goals.
“Today was very pleasing. It could have been a difficult day for us but the boys conducted themselves very well, worked really hard and it was a very pleasing performance all-round for us.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
In the first 2o minutes, Rangers had 95% possession.
The third goal was the key because it killed any hope that Cowdenbeath had of getting back into the game – and their legs went after that one hit the back of the net.
- Danny Wilson showed his leadership qualities as he tried to pick up young Zelalem after the midfielder’s head dropped when the youngster missed a few chances to get his name on the scoresheet. It was a good all-round display from him, but the leadership aspect of things was most pleasing.
- The midfield three were good. They kept the ball in little triangles and it helped tire out the Cowdenbeath side – the midfield lost it’s shape when Zelalem and Halliday were replaced.
- Barrie McKay was excellent – even when he was moved centrally. He did all the right things and his decision making in the final third was spot on.
- The last word goes to Martyn Waghorn. His first goal was excellent and he got through a power of unselfish work yet again. 25 goals in 27 games cannot be looked down upon.
TWEETS OF THE MATCH
Livingston come to Ibrox on league business, and it’s a chance to move six points clear – if only for 24 hours.