Waghorn double downs Hamilton in Premiership

GLASGOW: Martyn Waghorn bagged a brace as Rangers defeated Hamilton 2-1 to win their third consecutive Scottish Premiership game for the first time this season. Waghorn scored either side of half-time to put Rangers on course for victory at New Douglas Park on Friday. Dougie Imrie pulled one back for Hamilton late on but Rangers held on to strengthen their grip on second place as they move seven points clear of Aberdeen, having played two games more. However, the Glasgow club still trail runaway league leaders Celtic, who play Dundee on Saturday in the first of three games in hand, by eight points.
Rangers had made just one change from the win over Hearts as Kenny Miller was replaced by Waghorn for a rare start.
Waghorn was the Ibrox club’s top scorer last season as he grabbed the goals that helped fire them back to the Scottish Premiership.
However, the 26-year-old has found his chances limited this term and was making his first start since the 1-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle on October 14.
Waghorn, whose only league goal had come against Hamilton in a 1-1 draw at Ibrox on the opening day, seemed determined to make the most of his opportunity and quickly teed up Lee Hodson for an early effort that Hamilton keeper Gary Woods gathered after he initially spilled it.
The former England under-21 international then looked to curl a shot past Woods, but Michael Devlin bravely blocked his effort before Jason Holt saw a low drive turned round the post by the Hamilton stopper.
A brilliant pass from Joe Garner released Waghorn, who took a touch before stinging the palms of Woods with a shot from the edge of the box.
The former Wigan striker wasn’t to be denied for long though as he gave Rangers the lead a minute before the break with a brilliant header.
Waghorn started the move himself with a ball wide left to Holt, whose cut-back from the byline had plenty of pace which the English forward used to plant a fantastic looping header into the net via the crossbar from 14 yards out.
A great passing move saw Rangers move further in front in the 52nd minute.
Barrie McKay’s perfectly-weighted pass sent Lee Wallace scampering down the left wing and he picked out Waghorn alone in the six-yard box, where he volleyed a left-foot effort past Woods.
With 13 minutes left Imrie gave Hamilton hope.
A mistake from Andy Halliday saw him lose the ball next to his own corner flag to Danny Redmond who crossed for the veteran winger to sweep the ball home from close range. — AFP