Football

Miller nets late winner

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Kenny Miller's red-hot goalscoring streak continued as he came to the rescue of Rangers with a last-minute goal in a 2-1 win against Hamilton in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and delivered a confidence boost ahead of the Champions League clash with Manchester United.

The signs were good for Walter Smith's men when Nikica Jelavic netted his first goal for the club early on, before Accies looked set to earn a deserved point thanks to an own goal from Madjid Bougherra.

But Rangers ensured maximum points would be heading back to Ibrox when Miller came off the bench and had the final say with a dramatic last-gasp goal to maintain his 100% goal tally in the SPL so far this season.

Hamilton made an early claim for a penalty when Nigel Hasselbaink went to ground in the box after finding himself sandwiched between David Weir and Sasa Papac but the pleas were ignored by referee Alan Muir.

Instead, it was Rangers - in their new all-black third choice kit - who surged into the lead with just six minutes gone when Jelavic claimed his first goal for the Scottish champions. Kyle Lafferty displayed some fine play, slipping the ball through the legs of Andy Graham, and racing down the left flank before picking out the big Croatian striker who bulleted home a header at the back post from 10 yards.

Accies could have levelled when a full-stretch Allan McGregor only just managed to tip an audacious long-range shot from Marco Paixao over the crossbar, before the Rangers goalkeeper was called into action to smother a deflected effort from Jon Routledge.

Hamilton continued to push for the equaliser after the restart and were rewarded for their efforts when they drew level after 56 minutes. Flavio Paixao played the ball out to his twin, Marco, on the left and he whipped a speculative cross into the box which was bundled into his own net by Bougherra at the near post.

Steven Naismith tested Tomas Cerny with a point-blank effort which the Accies goalkeeper did well to block, as Rangers desperately tried to restore their advantage.

With the champions now toiling in front of goal, Miller - who had netted in every SPL game so far this term - was thrown into the action in place of Lafferty and quickly set up Jelavic but he could find no way past Cerny this time.

Just when it appeared all hope was gone for Walter Smith's men, Miller grabbed the winner with a minute to go. The striker ran on to a Lee McCulloch ball before lobbing the goalkeeper and, despite getting a touch, Cerny could not prevent the goal.

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

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Topics:
Kyle Lafferty
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Madjid Bougherra
Kenny Miller

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