Rangers 1-0 Hibernian
(Tavernier 66 mins)
James Tavernier’s stunning free kick secured three points and maintained Rangers 100 per cent record in the Championship with a 1-0 win over Hibernian.
That goal however was worth more than maybe the full back realises at this minute. It sent out a message to the full house at Ibrox that Mark Warburton’s side are the real deal in the race for the Championship and it may also influence more than a few disenchanted Rangers fans to return to the gates with their season ticket money.
Hibernian were not there just to make up the numbers and could have headed back to Edinburgh with much more, had they a better cutting edge in the final third.
Jason Cummings and the impressive Liam Henderson both had a couple of guilt edged chances each to give Hibernian at least a point in a game they were very much in for long spells.
The build up to Tavernier’s strike must have left Dylan McGeouch raging with referee Steven McLean as the new signing from Celtic was penalised for a hand- ball from a cross that was no more than a foot away from his body.
McGeouch protested, but the Ref waved him away to allow Tavernier to set his sights on his fourth goal of the season.
I’m sure there are more than a few goalkeeping experts that may question Hibs goalie Mark Oxley’s positioning for the free-kick, but more should be made of the execution from Tavernier that brought the majority of the 49,220 to their feet.
The home side had good chances in the game with Martyn Waghorn denied a goal when his shot was cleared off the line by David Gray and Jason Holt’s effort touched past the post by Oxley in the second half.
Hibernian probably deserved a point for all their efforts, but the day belonged to Rangers and Tavernier. In previous seasons Rangers would have squandered a point in a game of this nature, but under Mark Warburton they are improving day by day, week by week.
Rangers go top with a crucial win over the team many regards as their greatest rival for the title. Next up, Queen of the South, and if they can win that one next Sunday, the Ibrox club might have to hire more people to take season ticket requests before August is over.