Football

Gers storm back to restore lead

Gers storm back to restore lead (©PAphotos)
Gers storm back to restore lead (©PAphotos).

Rangers flexed their title credentials by staging a remarkable comeback against Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League winning 4-1 to restore their four-point advantage over Celtic.

Anthony Stokes left the Scottish champions reeling when he claimed the SPL's fastest ever goal after 12 seconds - beating the record previously held by Saulius Mikoliunas for Hearts back in 2006 - but it was not enough for Hibs to maintain their impressive assault on the Old Firm's dominance this season.

Rangers hit back through a double from Kenny Miller and goals from Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo to end the Edinburgh club's unbeaten run of 13 league games and bring their own tally of goals to 19 for the month of December.

Some fans had yet to take their seats in the stand when Hibs surged into the lead with just 12 seconds on the clock. Merouane Zemmama threaded a pass through to Stokes who drilled an angled drive past Allan McGregor and into the back of the net.

Rangers attempted to force their way back into the game and Kyle Lafferty delivered a decent cross for Miller only for the striker to nod narrowly wide of target.

Miller made amends for that miss with 21 minutes gone when he raced onto a Boyd pass before rifling past Yves Ma-Kalambay in the Hibs goal from 20 yards to level the scoreline.

Miller then went to ground in the area claiming he had been bundled over by Chris Hogg but referee Iain Brines was unimpressed by the claims and no penalty was forthcoming. Hogg then appeared to handle in the box but, again, the match official was unmoved.

But Rangers were celebrating again when they took the lead after 37 minutes. Derek Riordan was dispossessed on the right flank by Madjid Bougherra, who whipped a cross to the feet of Boyd for the striker to lash high into the net from eight yards.

Ma-Kalambay was picking the ball out of the net shortly after the break. The Hibs goalkeeper came off his line to block but was caught cold by Nacho Novo's cross-cum-shot from the left with 53 minutes gone.

There appeared to be no way back for Hibs when Rangers claimed their fourth of the day after 67 minutes. Boyd was the provider for Miller, who shrugged off Sol Bamba to send a low shot trickling over the line, with Ma-Kalambay helpless.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Kyle Lafferty
Football
Anthony Stokes
Premier League
Merouane Zemmama
Madjid Bougherra
Kenny Miller

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