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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 February 2007, 15:51 GMT
Kilmarnock 1-3 Rangers
By Thomas McGuigan

Kris Boyd scores from the spot
Kris Boyd fired Rangers ahead in controversial circumstances
A Kris Boyd hat-trick saw Rangers strengthen their grip on second place in the SPL with a win over Kilmarnock.

Rangers took the lead in controversial circumstances when Simon Ford was adjudged to have felled Boyd in the box, and the striker fired home.

Boyd headed home Rangers' second, then Peter Leven had his penalty saved as Killie failed to pull a goal back.

Referee Dougie McDonald awarded a third penalty - despatched by Boyd - before Steven Naismith grabbed a consolation.

Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies made three changes from the side who defeated Falkirk in the semi-final of the CIS Insurance Cup.

In came Gary Wales, Grant Murray and Rhian Dodds; out went the injured Momo Sylla, the suspended Colin Nish and Allan Johnston.

New Rangers recruit Kevin Thomson was handed his debut, with the former Hibernian captain replacing Nacho Novo.

Chris Burke was drafted into the first team ahead of Libor Sionko.

MY SPORT DEBATE: Your reaction to Rangers' victory

Referee Dougie McDonald awarded Rangers a penalty after seven minutes, sparking an angry reaction from Kilmarnock players.

Killie defender Ford tackled Boyd and the linesman flagged for a corner kick, but McDonald pointed to the spot.

Boyd picked himself up and slotted the ball low past Alan Combe to give the Ibrox side the lead.

Rangers could have gone further ahead in 15 minutes when Barry Ferguson headed home from close-range, only for the linesman to wrongly flag for offside.

Kris Boyd heads home his second of the game
Boyd returned to haunt his former club with a hat-trick

Rangers went two up after half an hour when Alan Hutton's superb cross found Boyd who headed past the helpless Combe from close range.

Soon afterwards Naismith stung McGregor's palms with a rare Kilmarnock effort and just before the interval he fired wide from eight yards.

Kilmarnock felt aggrieved after 49 minutes when Rangers almost got a third goal.

Novo's shot was saved brilliantly by Combe and Burke's follow-up shot was blocked on the line by James Fowler.

Fowler lay injured on the goal-line as play continued and Ferguson shot wide rather than put the ball into touch.

Combe was booked for his subsequent protests as the game threatened to boil over.

Kilmarnock were awarded a penalty in 55 minutes when Hutton pushed Naismith in the back.

But Leven's spot-kick was saved by McGregor and Rangers quickly punished Killie for that miss.

In their next attack, Novo was brushed off the ball by Fowler, and referee McDonald pointed to the spot for a third time in the game.

Boyd took the penalty and fired home to complete his hat-trick against his former club.

Naismith scrambled home a consolation for Kilmarnock with 13 minutes remaining.


Kilmarnock: Combe, Murray, Frazer Wright (Locke 46), Greer, Ford (Johnston 63), Fowler, Naismith, Dodds, Quinn (Di Giacomo 68), Leven, Wales. Subs Not Used: Smith, Hamill, Campbell, Flannigan.

Booked: Combe, Fowler, Locke.

Goals: Naismith 73.

Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Murray, Weir, Ehiogu (Svensson 26), Hemdani, Thomson (Novo 46), Ferguson, Adam, Burke, Boyd. Subs Not Used: Robinson, Papac, Sionko, Lennon, Furman.

Booked: Hutton, Murray.

Goals: Boyd 9 pen, 30, 60 pen.

Att: 11,894

Ref: D McDonald



SEE ALSO
Jefferies left angry by penalties
11 Feb 07 |  Kilmarnock
Smith philosophical on incidents
11 Feb 07 |  Rangers


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