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Rangers   1 - 0   Hamilton

Rangers' match-winner Maurice Edu
Edu's 11th-minute goal was the difference between the sides at Ibrox

By Keir Murray

Rangers need only three more wins to retain their Scottish Premier League title after edging out Hamilton.

Midfielder Maurice Edu, who had earlier hit the post, side-footed the winner, completing a fine move involving Steven Naismith and Kenny Miller.

Accies' Flavio Paixao twice went close, hitting the side netting before seeing a curler saved well by Allan McGregor.

As the impressive Accies tired, Tomas Cerny made excellent stops from Steven Davis and Nacho Novo.

Hamilton started the brighter, but the most direct threat on goal came from Rangers' Kenny Miller who scampered like an Easter bunny down the left wing and bore into the box before testing Cerny at the near post.

Miller and Edu combined twice, and on the second occasion the American midfielder put Rangers ahead.

First, the American was set up by the Scotland centre-forward and had a left-foot dig from outside the box touched on to the post by Cerny.

Then in the 11th minute Edu applied the killer touch to a move that began with an incisive ball from Steven Naismith at the edge of the box to Miller, whose low pass across the face of the goal found his appreciative team-mate for his second goal of the season.

Accies' top scorer Mickael Antoine-Curier made his team's starting line-up, despite concerns that a knee injury might preclude his participation, and had he not strayed offside an equaliser might well have resulted.

Flavio Paixao ought to have scored when Simon Mensing found time and space down the right to pick out the Portuguese forward, but he skewed his shot a few inches past Allan McGregor's post.

It is 396 days since Rangers last lost at home in the league, against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in March 2009, but for much of the first half Rangers found themselves pinned back.

Hamilton pressed the runaway league leaders whenever they were in possession and, with Alex Neil and James McArthur the architects, built a game around precise passing and breaking at pace down the flanks.

In one such move, Dougie Imrie freed himself from full-back Steven Whittaker and cut the ball back for Flavio Paixao, who sent a curler from his Tweetie Pie-coloured boot to test cat-like McGregor in the Rangers goal.

Moments later the diminutive Imrie headed over from Brian Easton's cross and, as Accies applied a stranglehold on their hosts, Mark McLaughlin did likewise from a 35th-minute Flavio Paixao corner.

Easton was out on the pitch well in advance of his team-mates for the second half as he tried to run off an injury, but he was forced to make way for Kyle Wilkie just six minutes after the restart.

Davis became a more instrumental figure in the match in the second period, dinking a cross for David Weir at the back post that the veteran headed wide, then setting up Miller for him to blaze embarrassingly over the bar.

And the Northern Irishman, a contender for player of the year, was alert to pounce on a suicidal cross-field pass by David Elebert to McLaughlin. Picking up the ball from the big Hamilton defender's toe, Davis advanced into the box and shot powerfully, but too directly, at Cerny who saved well.

With Kris Boyd a peripheral figure, thanks in part to the attentions of McLaughlin, he was substituted midway through the second half for Kyle Lafferty, rumoured to be attracting interest from Wolves.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Soon after, the big striker attempted a left-foot shot that did not have enough curl to trouble the Rangers goal, then Hamilton enjoyed an increasingly rare foray into the home side's half, with Imrie the man who attempted a shot on goal.

Hamilton skipper Neil moved further back as Ali Crawford came on for Elebert and the baby-faced forward tested Weir and Danny Wilson in the centre of the Rangers defence with a couple of probing crosses.

Hamilton's McArthur, who had run from an onside position, had the ball in the net after he nudged Joel Thomas's header past McGregor, but the goal was ruled offside.

With 14 minutes remaining Miller missed a golden chance to seal the points, diverting a perfect pass from Davis high over Cerny's bar from eight 10 yards.

As Hamilton pressed for the equaliser, Nacho Novo, on for Miller, had plenty of time to score Rangers' second but took too long to get his shot away and Cerny made an impressive block.


Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Rangers 1-0 Hamilton FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Edu 11

    Rangers

    • 01 McGregor
    • 03 Weir
    • 05 Papac
    • 16 Whittaker
    • 66 Wilson
    • 02 Edu
    • 06 McCulloch
    • 07 Davis
    • 09 Boyd (Lafferty 64)
    • 14 Naismith
    • 18 Miller (Novo 78)

    Substitutes

    • 25 Alexander,
    • 08 Thomson,
    • 20 Beasley,
    • 10 Novo,
    • 27 Lafferty,
    • 29 Fleck,
    • 48 Little

    Hamilton

    • 01 Cerny
    • 04 Canning
    • 06 McLaughlin
    • 15 Easton (Wilkie 51)
    • 25 Elebert (Crawford 71)
    • 08 McArthur
    • 27 Mensing
    • 09 Antoine-Curier (Thomas 63)
    • 10 Neil yellow card
    • 18 Flavio Paixao
    • 23 Imrie

    Substitutes

    • 19 Murdoch,
    • 02 McClenahan,
    • 36 Crawford,
    • 20 Gillepsie,
    • 33 Wilkie,
    • 21 Marco Paixao,
    • 26 Thomas
    Ref: O'ReillyAtt: 48,068
    RANGERS
    HAMILTON

    Possession

    • Rangers 53%
    • Hamilton 47%

    Attempts on target

    • Rangers 7
    • Hamilton 2

    Attempts off target

    • Rangers 11
    • Hamilton 6

    Corners

    • Rangers 8
    • Hamilton 10

    Fouls

    • Rangers 11
    • Hamilton 15
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:08 The match has reached full-time.
    • 90:00+2:53 Ali Crawford takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
    • 90:00+2:18 Corner taken by Ali Crawford played to the near post, clearance by Sasa Papac.
    • 90:00+2:02 The ball is delivered by Nacho Novo, Ali Crawford gets a block in.
    • Correction - 90:00+1:03 Unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by Joel Thomas results in a free kick. David Weir takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+1:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Joel Thomas on Lee McCulloch. Free kick taken by David Weir.
    • 89:30 Nacho Novo takes a shot. Tomas Cerny makes a save.
    • 88:10 Joel Thomas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch. Danny Wilson takes the free kick.
    • 85:31 The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Whittaker. Free kick taken by Martin Canning.
    • 83:36 Nacho Novo handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Tomas Cerny.
    • 82:58 Ali Crawford fouled by Kyle Lafferty, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alex Neil.
    • 82:11 Centre by Nacho Novo, Simon Mensing makes a clearance.
    • 81:12 Joel Thomas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Weir. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Danny Wilson, Mark McLaughlin makes a clearance.
    • 80:50 The ball is delivered by Steven Whittaker, Mark McLaughlin gets a block in.
    • 77:39 Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Nacho Novo coming on for Kenny Miller.
    • 77:39 James McArthur is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.
    • 77:35 The ball is swung over by Alex Neil.
    • 76:37 Steven Davis takes a shot. Alex Neil gets a block in. Shot from deep inside the area by Kenny Miller clears the crossbar.
    • 75:49 Joel Thomas takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 74:44 Foul by Douglas Imrie on Steven Whittaker, free kick awarded. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
    • 74:11 Corner from the right by-line taken by Ali Crawford, Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.
    • 73:06 Lee McCulloch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Neil. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mark McLaughlin from right channel, Sasa Papac gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Douglas Imrie. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ali Crawford, clearance made by David Weir.
    • 71:54 Lee McCulloch takes a shot. Blocked by Simon Mensing. Corner from the left by-line taken by Kyle Lafferty, Header by Maurice Edu from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
    • 71:22 Header by Steven Naismith from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
    • 70:17 Substitution (Hamilton) makes a substitution, with Ali Crawford coming on for David Elebert.
    • 69:48 Foul by Steven Whittaker on Kyle Wilkie, free kick awarded. Alex Neil restarts play with the free kick.
    • 68:10 Flavio Paixao crosses the ball, Sasa Papac makes a clearance. Corner taken by Douglas Imrie from the right by-line, Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Flavio Paixao goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 66:08 Steven Davis takes a outswinging corner.
    • 64:51 Effort from outside the penalty box by Simon Mensing goes wide left of the target.
    • 63:48 Substitution Kyle Lafferty on for Kris Boyd.
    • 63:20 Kenny Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Mark McLaughlin. Direct free kick taken by Mark McLaughlin.
    • 62:18 Substitution (Hamilton) makes a substitution, with Joel Thomas coming on for Mickael Antoine-Curier.
    • 61:57 The ball is sent over by Flavio Paixao, Danny Wilson makes a clearance.
    • 58:50 Steven Whittaker sends in a cross, Martin Canning manages to make a clearance.
    • Correction - 56:32 Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Douglas Imrie goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 56:32 Douglas Imrie has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
    • 56:21 The ball is swung over by Kenny Miller, Tomas Cerny makes a save.
    • 55:59 Steven Davis takes a shot. Save by Tomas Cerny.
    • 55:44 Kris Boyd is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Direct free kick taken by David Elebert.
    • 54:12 Shot from just outside the area by Kenny Miller goes over the bar.
    • 53:34 Steven Naismith crosses the ball, Kyle Wilkie manages to make a clearance.
    • 51:37 Maurice Edu concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Mensing. Tomas Cerny restarts play with the free kick.
    • 50:42 Substitution (Hamilton) makes a substitution, with Kyle Wilkie coming on for Brian Easton.
    • 49:49 The ball is swung over by Steven Davis.
    • 48:46 The ball is crossed by Steven Davis, David Weir has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
    • 48:30 Steven Davis decides to take the corner short.
    • 47:32 Corner taken by Flavio Paixao, Unfair challenge on Maurice Edu by Mark McLaughlin results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 46:10 Douglas Imrie fouled by Sasa Papac, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Martin Canning.
    • 45:34 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sasa Papac by Douglas Imrie. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.
    • 45:01 The match restarts for the second half.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:56 The ref blows to end the first period.
    • 44:06 Danny Wilson takes the direct free kick.
    • 44:06 Booking Alex Neil goes into the referee's book.
    • 44:00 Alex Neil gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch.
    • 42:43 Douglas Imrie delivers the ball.
    • 41:08 Foul by Simon Mensing on Steven Naismith, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Steven Naismith from the free kick, blocked by Martin Canning. Effort from the edge of the box by David Weir goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 38:55 Mark McLaughlin fouled by Kris Boyd, the ref awards a free kick. David Elebert restarts play with the free kick.
    • 35:38 Centre by Douglas Imrie, Danny Wilson gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Flavio Paixao from the right by-line to the near post, Header on goal by Mark McLaughlin from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 34:51 Steven Davis delivers the ball, Flavio Paixao makes a clearance.
    • 32:57 The ball is sent over by Brian Easton, David Weir manages to make a clearance. Foul by Simon Mensing on Lee McCulloch, free kick awarded. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
    • 32:40 Lee McCulloch concedes a free kick for a foul on James McArthur. Direct free kick taken by Alex Neil.
    • 31:28 Flavio Paixao delivers the ball, Douglas Imrie produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
    • Correction - 28:29 Flavio Paixao takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save. Corner taken by Brian Easton from the right by-line, Lee McCulloch manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Brian Easton from the right by-line, Douglas Imrie challenges Allan McGregor unfairly and gives away a free kick. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Douglas Imrie by Sasa Papac. Martin Canning takes the direct free kick.
    • 28:29 Flavio Paixao takes a shot. Save made by Allan McGregor. Outswinging corner taken by Brian Easton from the right by-line, Lee McCulloch makes a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Brian Easton, Unfair challenge on Allan McGregor by Douglas Imrie results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor. Unfair challenge on Douglas Imrie by Sasa Papac results in a free kick. Martin Canning takes the direct free kick.
    • 26:50 Steven Davis produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 25:50 David Elebert challenges Danny Wilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 24:59 Flavio Paixao takes the inswinging corner, Danny Wilson manages to make a clearance. Flavio Paixao crosses the ball, blocked by Steven Naismith. Flavio Paixao produces a cross. Flavio Paixao sends in a cross, clearance by Danny Wilson.
    • 24:14 Maurice Edu takes a shot. Blocked by David Elebert.
    • Correction - 23:37 Douglas Imrie delivers the ball.
    • 23:37 Douglas Imrie produces a cross.
    • 23:21 The ball is sent over by Flavio Paixao, David Weir makes a clearance.
    • 23:09 Brian Easton delivers the ball.
    • 22:43 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Flavio Paixao played to the near post, clearance made by Kris Boyd.
    • 20:25 Kris Boyd is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Tomas Cerny takes the indirect free kick.
    • 17:44 The ball is sent over by Maurice Edu, clearance made by Brian Easton. Simon Mensing gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Steven Whittaker. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Davis, James McArthur makes a clearance.
    • 16:45 Kris Boyd takes a shot. Mark McLaughlin gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Davis, save by Tomas Cerny.
    • 16:16 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by James McArthur. Danny Wilson crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.
    • 14:08 The ball is sent over by Simon Mensing, Effort from deep inside the area by Flavio Paixao misses to the right of the goal.
    • 13:45 The ball is sent over by James McArthur, Danny Wilson makes a clearance.
    • 12:26 Maurice Edu challenges Douglas Imrie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Elebert.
    • 11:33 The assistant referee flags for offside against Mickael Antoine-Curier. Danny Wilson takes the free kick.
    • 10:25 Assist by Kenny Miller.
    • 10:25 GOAL - Maurice EduRangers 1 - 0 Hamilton A goal is scored by Maurice Edu from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Rangers 1-0 Hamilton.
    • 9:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Weir by David Elebert. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Danny Wilson from right channel, James McArthur manages to make a clearance. Maurice Edu has an effort at goal from outside the area striking the post.
    • 8:31 Corner from right by-line crossed in by Steven Davis, save made by Tomas Cerny.
    • 8:06 Corner taken by Steven Davis played to the near post, clearance made by Simon Mensing.
    • 2:46 Kenny Miller takes a shot. Save by Tomas Cerny. Steven Davis takes the inswinging corner, Mark McLaughlin manages to make a clearance. Steven Davis takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Maurice Edu misses to the left of the goal.
    • 1:31 David Elebert challenges Kenny Miller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Weir.
    • 0:53 The ball is sent over by Flavio Paixao.
    • 0:00 The game gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Scottish Premier results

    3 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


    Scottish Premier table snapshot

    As it stood on 3 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Rangers 31 49 73
    2 Celtic 31 25 60
    3 Dundee Utd 31 11 55
    4 Hibernian 31 8 50
    5 Motherwell 32 2 48
    6 Hearts 32 -8 41
    7 St Johnstone 31 -5 38
    8 Aberdeen 30 -9 34
    9 Hamilton 32 -17 33
    10 St Mirren 32 -12 28
    11 Kilmarnock 31 -19 26
    12 Falkirk 32 -25 25

    see also
    Smith seeks fans' title backing
    03 Apr 10 |  Rangers
    Accies worthy of a point - Reid
    03 Apr 10 |  Hamilton
    SPL photo gallery
    03 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier


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