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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Saturday, 6 December 2008

Rangers 7-1 Hamilton Accies

By Andy Campbell

Rangers striker Kris Boyd
Boyd's treble took his season's goal tally to 16

Rangers hammered visitors Hamilton to reduce Celtic's lead at the top of the SPL table to four points.

Kenny Miller cancelled out James McArthur's opener for Accies and Kris Boyd fired Rangers ahead on 28 minutes.

Martin Canning was sent off for a trip on Boyd, who converted the resultant penalty before netting his third in the 62nd minute.

Substitutes Kyle Lafferty and Nacho Novo put Rangers further ahead and Steven Davis fired in a late seventh.

Hamilton were in front with their first attack as Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor failed to claim Chris Swailes' high cross and McArthur lobbed the ball over the retreating Madjid Bougherra and into the net.

The home side levelled when Steven Whittaker's cross to Barry Ferguson was cleared to the edge of the box and Miller hammered home with a first-time shot.

Accies ventured forward again and almost regained the lead when Joel Thomas held off the challenge of two Rangers players before rounding McGregor, but Bougherra got back to avert the danger.

Hamilton briefly managed to frustrate their hosts but were unlocked when Miller and Boyd combined for Rangers' second.

A sequence of possession ended with Miller's incisive pass finding Boyd, who drilled past Tomas Cerny from the edge of the box.

Captain Barry Ferguson came close to scoring his first goal of the season when his close-range shot from Bougherra's knock-down was saved on the line by the goalkeeper.

Martin Canning is sent off
Hamilton struggled to recover from Canning's red card

Boyd then rattled the underside of the crossbar after latching on to Sasa Papac's pass and beating the offside trap.

Swailes volleyed over from 12 yards before making an important challenge on Boyd at the other end as the Rangers forward tried to meet Davis' low cross.

Miller came close twice before an entertaining first half was brought to a close.

Rangers were given the chance to extend their lead shortly after the restart when Canning was penalised in the box for denying Boyd a goal-scoring opportunity.

The Accies defender was promptly red-carded by referee Calum Murray and Boyd coolly slotted home the spot-kick.

Boyd completed his hat-trick following unselfish play by Davis.

The midfielder was not flagged offside when he raced beyond the Hamilton defence to receive a long pass and played the ball across to Boyd, who passed into an empty net.

Lafferty was introduced for Boyd and soon found the net with a composed finish on 80 minutes after Hamilton struggled to deal with Nacho Novo's cross.

Novo then got on the end of fellow substitute Aaron's cross to slip the ball past Cerny with two minutes remaining.

The rout was completed in the final minute when Lafferty's knock-down came off debutant Aaron and Davis reacted quickly on the turn to volley past the goalkeeper.

Rangers manager Walter Smith:
"I was delighted with the way we played after the first 15-20 minutes.

"There was a good quality of goal and after we got in front we played some good stuff.

"Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd having been doing exceptionally well together and they have the makings of a good partnership.

"Hopefully we can get into the groove just now and keep going in this manner."

Hamilton manager Billy Reid:
"I thought we started the game really well.

"We looked a threat going forward. Joel Thomas did very well as a lone striker but at the back it wasn't good enough.

"For us to come and pick up points here, everybody has got to do their job properly. Indiscipline is hurting us at the moment.

"I think the contributing factor of the game was our back three couldn't handle their front two. Miller and Boyd destroyed us at times."

Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Davis, Mendes, Ferguson, Beasley (Aaron 79), Boyd (Lafferty 76), Miller (Novo 67).
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Edu, Broadfoot, Little.

Booked: Bougherra.

Goals: Miller 11, Boyd 28, 52 pen, 62, Lafferty 80, Novo 88, Davis 90.

Hamilton: Cerny, Canning, Swailes, McLaughlin, Easton, McClenahan (Graham 71), McCarthy (Gibson 71), Neil, McArthur, Mensing, Thomas (Lyle 71).
Subs Not Used: Murdoch, Elebert, Akins, Ettien.

Sent Off: Canning (51). Booked: Mensing.

Goals: McArthur 2.

Att: 48,282

Ref: C Murray

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Rangers' Kris Boyd 9.50 (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
SPL as it happened
06 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photo gallery
06 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier

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