Rangers 1, Hibs 0: Stubbs’ men rue missed chances

Rangers defender James Tavernier's free-kick beats Mark Oxley. Pic: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Rangers defender James Tavernier's free-kick beats Mark Oxley. Pic: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
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Hibs fell six points behind Rangers in the Championship table after a sensational second-half strike from James Tavernier gave the title favourites victory at Ibrox.

The Easter Road side were left to rue a couple of big misses from Jason Cummings and the otherwise impressive Liam Henderson while the match was still goalless.

The hosts had the first half-chance of the match in the ninth minute when a heavy Fraser Fyvie passback put Mark Oxley in trouble and Martyn Waghorn charged down his clearance, but Hibs eventually snuffed out the danger.

Three minutes later, Waghorn headed a Barrie McKay corner over as the visitors lived dangerously in the early exchanges.

However, Hibs gradually found their way into the game and, in the 16th minute, Martin Boyle nicked the ball off dithering Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, only for Danny Wilson to get back and make a vital saving tackle.

Cummings then had a good opportunity for the Easter Road side in the 21st minute when he met Dan Carmichael’s cross from the left just outside the six-yard box but his acrobatic left-foot volley was blocked by Rangers skipper Lee Wallace.

Boyle then flashed a low shot just wide from the edge of the box in the 36th minute as Hibs continued to assert themselves.

Rangers were always a threat, though, and David Gray had to clear a Waghorn shot off the line in the 43rd minute after a McKay corner caused panic in the Hibs area.

The away side should have gone in front just before the break when Boyle slipped a lovely ball across the face of goal but Cummings shot straight at Foderingham.

There was an early scare for Hibs in the second half when Jason Holt sent Nicky Law’s cross towards goal but Oxley dived to his left to claw the ball out for a corner.

At the other end, Liam Fontaine saw a glancing header from a John McGinn free-kick tipped away by Foderingham in the 62nd minute.

Hibs had another golden chance a minute later when Cummings put Henderson through on the edge of the box, but the on-loan Celtic midfielder skied his effort.

The visitors were made to rue those misses in the 65th minute when Tavernier curled a sensational free kick from wide on the left over Oxley and into the far corner of the net.

Hibs almost found an instant response when Carmichael burst down the left and cut the ball back for Henderson, but he scuffed his effort badly wide.

Oxley had to make a fine save to stop Wallace increasing the home side’s lead, but Rangers were worthy of the points after an impressive second-half display.

Rangers (4-3-3): Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Holt (Shiels 67), Halliday, Law; Miller (Clark 83), Waghorn, McKay (Oduwa 59). Unused subs: Kelly, Ball, Hardie, Walsh.

Hibs (4-4-1-1): Oxley; Gray (McGeouch 50), Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson; Boyle, Fyvie, McGinn, Carmichael (Malonga 76); Henderson (Stanton 88); Cummings. Unused subs: Reguero, Bartley, Dunsmore, Martin.

Ref: Steven McLean

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