Scottish Premiership
Rangers1Hamilton1

Rangers 1-1 Hamilton Academical

Ali Crawford (third right)
Ali Crawford (third right) gave Hamilton a first half lead

Rangers needed a Martyn Waghorn goal to secure a draw on their return to the Scottish Premiership against an impressive Hamilton side.

The sense of anticipation at Ibrox was evident, but Ali Crawford's crisply executed strike altered expectations.

Substitute Harry Forrester's arrival enlivened the hosts, and he created the equaliser with a glorious pass with the outside of his foot for Waghorn.

Rangers' frustration was exacerbated by Waghorn suffering a hamstring injury.

The striker pulled up clutching his right leg and departed in evident discomfort, leaving his side to play the last eight minutes with 10 men, having already used their three substitutes.

Hamilton though were rewarded for being typically robust and well organised.

The Championship flag was unfurled before kick-off and Rangers' line-up only contained three new signings - Clint Hill, Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar - as they looked to build on last season.

They started as though there was four years' worth of energy providing them with momentum. The attacking intent was evident as they sought to pin Hamilton back.

Elements of the play were familiar; the ball travelling through the thirds before the wide men moved infield to open up passing corridors around the 18-yard box.

The arrivals of Barton and Kranjcar provided an alternative route, though, and the latter swept a pass upfield to Waghorn, but his fierce strike was pushed away by Hamilton goalkeeper Remi Matthews.

Continuity has been a strength of the visitors - like Rangers, they started with only three new signings, while 10 of the squad were youth academy graduates - and they trusted their game plan. Having endured the opening spell, they began to establish their own ambition.

Crawford nutmegged Barton before seeing his shot deflected wide. It wasn't an isolated moment of skill, and when Hill's clearance landed at his feet, he turned Kranjcar and clipped a left-foot shot into the top corner.

Martyn Waghorn
Rangers played the final 10 minutes a man down after Martyn Waghorn limped off

With Rangers' play lacking crispness and high tempo, Hamilton settled into a sense of command. There was aggression to their play, too, and three of the back four were booked before half-time. It was the home side who needed to think about the vigour of their play, though.

Rangers were more dynamic after the break, with Waghorn curling a good chance wide and Hamilton defending desperately on occasion. It took the introduction of Forrester to deliver the necessary deftness of touch to break the visitors down.

The midfielder was only off the bench for a minute when he sculpted a brilliant ball behind and across the Hamilton defence with the outside of his right foot, and Waghorn coolly converted from close range.

Hamilton were not wholly subdued, and Donati's header from Crawford's free-kick demanded a diving save from Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

Forrester, though, was an elusive and increasingly influential figure. After a swaying run, he drilled a low shot just wide, then from another of his crosses, the ball was cleared to Barton, whose shot was pushed away by Matthews.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton told Sky Sports: "It was the type of game we're used to. They were hard working and hard to break down. We knew they would be well-organised and frustrate us.

"There were positives in terms of dominating the football. Possession for possession's sake is pointless, we've got to use it to penetrate and we never really did that in the first half. We lacked a bit of real quality and commitment in the final third."

Hamilton Accies player-manager Martin Canning told Sky Sports: "We scored a great goal through Ali Crawford and we were reasonably comfortable.

"The shape of the team was excellent, the boys worked hard and did everything we set out to do. We had to sit in at times an defend properly, but we tried to take all three points."

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Kiernan
  • 3Hill
  • 5Wallace
  • 19KranjcarSubstituted forForresterat 61'minutes
  • 8Barton
  • 16HallidaySubstituted forRossiterat 76'minutes
  • 33Waghorn
  • 9MillerSubstituted forO'Halloranat 61'minutes
  • 10McKay

Substitutes

  • 14Dodoo
  • 15Forrester
  • 17Hodson
  • 18Rossiter
  • 23Holt
  • 25Gilks
  • 29O'Halloran

Hamilton

  • 1Matthews
  • 6Gillespie
  • 3KurakinsBooked at 40mins
  • 89SarrisBooked at 38mins
  • 4DevlinBooked at 36mins
  • 21DonatiBooked at 54minsSubstituted forLyonat 68'minutes
  • 7Imrie
  • 8DochertySubstituted forHughesat 90'minutes
  • 11CrawfordBooked at 45mins
  • 17Longridge
  • 9D'AcolSubstituted forBrophyat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 20Brophy
  • 22Lyon
  • 27Want
  • 28Cunningham
  • 30Boyd
  • 33Hughes
  • 34Woods
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
49,125

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home20
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 1, Hamilton Academical 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Hamilton Academical 1.

Attempt missed. Harry Forrester (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Ronan Hughes replaces Greg Docherty.

Attempt missed. Jordan Rossiter (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Michael O'Halloran (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Antons Kurakins (Hamilton Academical).

Harry Forrester (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Antons Kurakins (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Joey Barton (Rangers).

Georgios Sarris (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Rob Kiernan (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Antons Kurakins.

Attempt missed. Antons Kurakins (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Foul by Jordan Rossiter (Rangers).

Darren Lyon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jordan Rossiter (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical).

Attempt blocked. Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Remi Matthews.

Attempt saved. Joey Barton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Georgios Sarris.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jordan Rossiter replaces Andy Halliday.

Attempt missed. Joey Barton (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Antons Kurakins.

Attempt blocked. Michael O'Halloran (Rangers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

Attempt missed. Darren Lyon (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Darren Lyon replaces Massimo Donati.

Attempt missed. Harry Forrester (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Georgios Sarris.

Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) header from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Wes Foderingham.

Attempt saved. Massimo Donati (Hamilton Academical) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Foul by Joey Barton (Rangers).

Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 1, Hamilton Academical 1. Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Forrester.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Harry Forrester replaces Niko Kranjcar.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Michael O'Halloran replaces Kenny Miller.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Joey Barton.

Attempt blocked. Eamonn Brophy (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee11003123
2Partick Thistle11002023
3Motherwell11002113
4Hamilton10101101
5Rangers10101101
6Aberdeen00000000
7Celtic00000000
8Hearts00000000
9St Johnstone00000000
10Kilmarnock100112-10
11Ross County100113-20
12Inverness CT100102-20
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