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Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Saturday, 25 April 2009 14:09 UK

Rangers 3-0 St Mirren

By Andy Campbell

Rangers striker Kris Boyd
Boyd celebrates reaches a century of goals for Rangers

Rangers progressed to the final of the Scottish Cup with a comfortable win over St Mirren.

Andrius Velicka gave the holders a second-minute lead with a close-range finish past goalkeeper Mark Howard.

Saints threatened an equaliser through Steven Thomson's strike but keeper Neil Alexander saved well.

Kris Boyd's 100th Rangers goal stretched the Ibrox club's lead in the 66th minute and Kenny Miller's volley four minutes later sealed victory.

Falkirk or Dunfermline await Rangers in the final, which takes place on 30 May.

Rangers went in front with their first serious advance at a sun-drenched Hampden as Steven Davis mounted an attack down the inside-right channel.

The Northern Ireland midfielder's pass found Boyd, whose shot was deflected into the path of Velicka and the Lithuanian striker slid in to fire high into the net for his third goal in as many games.

Pedro Mendes came close to extending Rangers' lead in the 11th minute when his swerving shot with the outside of the right foot was tipped wide by Howard.

At the other end, Thomson ended a period of inventive build-up play with a fierce shot that was pushed over the crossbar by Alexander, the keeper retaining his starting place with Allan McGregor named as a substitute.

The Ibrox club were dealt an injury blow when Mendes was stretchered off after being caught late by Will Haining and the Portuguese midfielder was replaced by Nacho Novo.

As half-time approached, Davis' defence-splitting pass put Velicka through on goal but the forward lacked conviction as he drove wide of the near post.

Kenny Miller scores for Rangers
Miller's 12th goal of the season put the seal on Rangers' win

St Mirren top scorer Andy Dorman was grounded following a challenge by Steven Whittaker on the edge of the penalty area early in the second half but the Rangers full-back was adjudged to have won the ball.

Velicka, who was later replaced by Miller, forced Howard into a save with an awkward shot before McGinn dragged an effort wide of the Rangers goal.

The match descended into scrappy affair with neither side showing much composure in possession.

But Davis and Boyd bucked that trend as they combined well to register Rangers' second goal.

Davis' driving run forced St Mirren to retreat and Boyd timed his run perfectly as he received the pass and calmly slotted past Howard.

And it was not long until Rangers found the net again after St Mirren had struggled to deal with Novo's whipped cross.

Miller played a one-two with Davis before sending a shot trundling past Howard.

And Howard prevented St Mirren from falling further behind with impressive saves from Miller and Novo in the closing stages.


Rangers: Alexander, Dailly, Bougherra, Weir, Whittaker, Davis, Mendes (Novo 41), Edu, Steven Smith, Boyd (Little 81), Velicka (Miller 60).
Subs Not Used: McGregor, Wilson.

Booked: Dailly.

Goals: Velicka 2, Boyd 66, Miller 70.

St Mirren: Howard, Ross, Haining, Cuthbert, Camara, Dorman, Thomson (Burns 89), Murray, McGinn (Brady 67), Mehmet, Wyness (Hamilton 67).
Subs Not Used: Mathers, Potter.

Att: 32,431

Ref: C Murray


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Rangers' Steven Davis 8.17 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Weir's way for Rangers
25 Apr 09 |  Scottish Cups
Boyd delighted with Gers century
24 Apr 09 |  Rangers
Buddies boss flat after Cup loss
25 Apr 09 |  St Mirren
Scottish Cup as it happened
25 Apr 09 |  Scottish Cups
Scottish Cup photo gallery
25 Apr 09 |  Scottish Premier


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