Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rangers continue in hunt for SPL crown

The Rangers maintained pace with Celtic in their quest for the Scottish Premier League championship with a 3-2 defeat of Hibernian. Due the SPL's unique "split" near the seasons end the match had a peculiar tinge to it as regardless of Sundays outcome Hibs cannot finish outside of the bottom half of the table.

With Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor not selected to Walter Smith's squad, the Gers once again paired Andrius Velička with Kris Boyd up-top and Maurice Edu continued his role in the midfield. The match started with a quick up-beat for the Rangers and Steven Whittaker volleyed a loose ball in from just outside the area only two minutes after the start. After a number of squandered chances by the Gers, the match was leveled four minutes past the half hour when Lewis Stevenson cross was nodded in by Steven Fletcher. Following the equalizer opportunities to score slowed with the next strike coming seven minutes after the restart when Steven Whittaker found Andrius Velička with the Lithuanian international finishing perfectly. With seventeen minutes remaining Maurice Edu proved himself to be opportunistic as he latched onto a rebound from close range to give Walter Smith's men a two goal lead.
John Rankin ripped the ball into back of the net from twenty-plus metres with six minutes remaining but it was as close as Hibs would get and the match concluded with the Rangers winning 3-2. Pleased with the victory, all credit is due to Hibernian who with little to play for but a mighty effort forward.