Jason Cummings hits treble as Rangers see off Falkirk

Jason Cummings grabbed a hat-trick as Rangers booked their place in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals with a 4-1 romp over Falkirk at Ibrox.

The former Hibernian striker won the trophy with Hibernian two years ago and ensured his new side will return to Hampden by claiming the match ball with his first ever senior treble.

Aaron Muirhead had briefly draw Paul Hartley’s side level after Cummings’ opener but it was his mistake just before half-time which ended the Bairns’ hopes of reaching the last four as he put through his own net.

With Jamie Murphy out injured, Cummings was given his chance to stake a claim ahead of next week’s Old Firm clash, while Bruno Alves was also making his first start since limping off against the Hoops before New Year.

And it took just 16 minutes for Cummings to make his mark.

Both he and Josh Windass made the same run in behind as Daniel Candeias fed the ball through but it was the Scotsman who collected.

Space was opened up for him as Windass peeled off to the back post and Cummings took the invitation to drive on before flashing the ball past Robbie Thomson from a tight angle.

Falkirk responded well as Craig Sibbald drove wide from 20 yards out but that warning was not heeded by the hosts as the Bairns levelled through Muirhead on 20 minutes.

Gers will feel the defender should have been off the park before he deflected Sibbald’s strike past Jak Alnwick after appearing to aim a punch at David Bates’ midriff as the teams waited for Louis Longridge to deliver a free-kick from out wide.

But in the end it mattered not as Gers quickly regained control.

They were back in front within 60 seconds as Andy Halliday fired in a cross from the left for Cummings, who sorted his feet well before prodding past Thomson.

And while Longridge’s decent free-kick attempt was tipped over by Alnwick, Muirhead went from hero to zero as he gave Gers their third.

James Tavernier sent Candeias down the line after taking a quick free-kick and the Portuguese winger swung his low cross towards the near post. Alfredo Morelos could not connect with his attempted back-flick but the ball bounced in off the Bairns skipper.

The stadium announcer had mistakenly credit the goal to Cummings and the striker was denied for real 10 minutes after the restart as he was foiled by a brave block from Peter Grant, while he could not beat Thomson after being put through by Sean Goss.

Alfredo Morelos should have extended the Light Blues’ lead with 18 minutes left but was prevented by another Thomson block.

But Cummings did grab his third on 76 minutes as he followed in to bury the ball home after the luckless Morelos had seen another low drive parried by the visitors’ stopper.

There was even time for the Colombian striker to have one more failed attempt as he raced through on goal, only to this time see Thomson push the ball away as he tried to round the keeper.

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