Rob Maclean: Murphy's timely form, Cosgrove red & Woods redemption

Jamie Murphy waves to supporters following Rangers' win over Hearts
Jamie Murphy is back among the goals with Rangers

BBC commentator Rob Maclean highlights a good weekend for some Premiership players and one to forget for another.

Murphy form right on time for McLeish

Jamie Murphy is shaping up as Rangers' best mid-season signing and has to be on the radar for a recall to the Scotland squad.

The club's January recruitment drive was a big improvement on what had gone before and none of the new arrivals have been a letdown.

Russell Martin's had a settling influence at the back, the poise of Sean Goss and the energy of Greg Docherty have both added to the midfield and although Jason Cummings has struggled to get much game time, he has scored a couple of goals.

It's Murphy, though, who's the pick of the bunch. He's quick and elusive in the wide areas and has now grabbed a goal in each of his past three games.

He danced through the Hearts defence to score in Saturday's 2-0 win and his sparkling performance won't have escaped the attention of watching Scotland head coach Alex McLeish.

Not a great first impression

Aberdeen's Sam Cosgrove is shown a red card by referee Bobby Madden
Aberdeen's Sam Cosgrove is shown a red card by referee Bobby Madden

His face was as red as his shirt and the card flashed in his face. Or it certainly should have been. Sam Cosgrove's embarrassing Aberdeen debut lasted only eight minutes.

That was how long there was between him leaving the bench and disappearing down the Pittodrie tunnel for a crazy, late lunge at Celtic captain Scott Brown.

You can't say the lanky 21-year-old striker, signed from Carlisle during the January transfer window, didn't make an immediate impact with his new team.

But he would have been hoping to have made a more positive impression rather than that moment of madness.

Not that Cosgrove's sending-off affected the game. Aberdeen were already 2-0 down and well on their way to a 10th straight defeat against Celtic.

Woods puts woes behind him

From howler to hero status in the space of seven days - you have to hand it to Hamilton Academical goalkeeper Gary Woods.

He juggled a Josh Windass shot into the roof of his own net to help Rangers to a 5-3 win in Lanarkshire last Sunday.

Gary Woods
Woods has not kept a clean sheet since November but he is at least back to winning ways with Hamilton

On Saturday, Woods redeemed himself with a stunning stoppage-time save which ensured Accies clung on to three priceless points against Partick Thistle.

The keeper clawed away Chris Erskine's late header and Hamilton celebrated their first defeat of the Jags in 14 attempts.

Their first win since the winter break also helped them climb out of second bottom spot, swapping places with Thistle.

Worrying trend for Thistle

Partick Thistle have lost late goals now on successive Saturdays and will slip to the bottom of the Premiership if they lose away to Ross County this coming Saturday.

Dundee's Simon Murray scored a 90th-minute winner at Firhill and that 2-1 scoreline was replicated at Hamilton, where David Templeton put the ball in the Jags' net in the 91st minute.

Two draws in those games would have kept them five points away from bottom spot. Now, as it is, they run the risk of swapping places with County if another result goes against them.

Not that Owen Coyle's County are in great shape either and the head-to-head could have a significant say in how the relegation scrap plays out.

In the shadow of the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, that's going to be a high tension 90 minutes.

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