Rangers made their superiority count in a routine 4-1 Scottish Gas Scottish Cup fourth-round win over League Two Dumbarton
Philippe Clement’s men returned to competitive action following the winter break and dominated on a poor, rain-soaked pitch before midfielder John Lundstram headed in at the back post in the 35th minute.
Striker Cyriel Dessers knocked in from close range just four minutes from the interval.
Stevie Farrell’s spirited side limited their cinch Premiership opponents to fewer clear-cut chances in the second half but Gers skipper James Tavernier scored a penalty in the 78th minute and, although Matthew Sheils headed in a consolation for the home side, Gers substitute Scott Wright restored the visitors’ three-goal lead moments later with a powerful finish.
The sodden Dumbarton Stadium pitch passed a lunchtime inspection and the tiny stadium with one stand was packed to its 2,000 capacity with dozens of ticket-less fans outside the ground.
Dumbarton’s back-up goalie Harry Broun was in for loan keeper Jay Hogarth, who was unable to face parent club Rangers.
For the Gers, Robby McCrorie took over from number one Jack Butland in goal but there was a familiar look to the Rangers side with new loan signing Fabio Silva on the bench.
The pitch cut up from the start as rain cascaded and Broun soon had to make a save from Dessers before Gers attacker Rabbi Matondo lifted a Ross McCausland cut-back over the bar.
Dessers drove another two efforts over the bar as the visitors’ dominance continued although, in a rare attack by the hosts, McCrorie had to move smartly to make a save from Michael Ruth at his near post for a corner that came to nothing.
It was a Rangers corner from midfielder Todd Cantwell which brought the opening goal, defender John Souttar heading on and Lundstram finishing at the back post.
The goal relaxed the Light Blues and Dessers made no mistake with his left foot after latching on to a cross from Tavernier, taking his tally to the season to 10.
Matondo came close with an effort at the start of the second half before Borna Barisic, Ryan Jack and Tom Lawrence came on for Ridvan Yilmaz, Cantwell and Nico Raskin.
Still the rain came teeming down.
From a well-worked Dumbarton corner just after the hour-mark Ryan Blair had a shot from the edge of the box blocked for a corner which caused no damage other than to remind the Light Blues there was still work to do.
Silva replaced Dessers before before referee Alan Muir judged that Dumbarton’s Carlo Pignatiello had fouled Matondo inside the box, with Tavernier powering in the penalty.
Shiels’ header from a Ryan Wallace free-kick with two minutes remaining gave the home fans something to cheer about.
However, Wright, on for Matondo, finished off a pass from McCausland for Gers to finish on a positive.