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Ranger's boss Warburton furious at Halliday red

Morton 0-2 Rangers

By Andy Newport

Published 26/01/2016

On strike: Barrie McKay keeps cool to hit Rangers' second goal
On strike: Barrie McKay keeps cool to hit Rangers' second goal

Rangers boss Mark Warburton blasted referee Barry Cook for the controversial red card shown to midfielder Andy Halliday at Cappielow.

His Ibrox side were forced to play out the final 20 minutes of their 2-0 win over Morton a man light after Halliday's dismissal.

The former Middlesbrough and Bradford star raised a defiant arm in the direction of the home fans as his team-mates lapped up their second goal scored by Barrie McKay after Kenny Miller had earlier opened the scoring.

But Cook, on the advice of linesman David McKniff, bizarrely viewed his fist-pump as an offensive gesture and showed him a second yellow.

That left Warburton outraged, especially as Halliday - who has already had a red card against Hibs last month overturned - is now banned for the meeting with third-placed Falkirk on Saturday with no right of appeal.

Warburton - with a heavy dose of sarcasm - said: "I've been told that the player was sent off for making an offensive gesture which had incited the Morton fans.

"The player made that fatal mistake of celebrating the second goal. It was scandalous behaviour on his part.

"We will look at it and say all he has done is shown his passion for the game and for the club.

"We have watched it from every angle and are bemused and frustrated. We have lost an important player to a second yellow and you can't appeal for what we find the most frustrating decision."

Warburton, though, was pleased to see his side re-establish their five-point lead at the top of the Championship.

"The term is win ugly," said the boss. "Morton are a very good side, well organised and this is a very tough place to come to. To come here and win 2-0 is really pleasing."

Morton: Gaston, Pepper, Kilday, O'Ware, Russell, Barr (Scullion 84), McKee, Forbes, McCluskey (Tidser 78), Johnstone (Samuel 82), McManus.

Subs Not Used: Lamie, Miller, McGowan.

Booked: Tidser.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace, Zelalem (Forrester 58), Halliday, Law (Shiels 59), Waghorn, Miller (Ball 75), McKay.

Subs Not Used: Bell, Clark, Hardie, Thompson.

Sent Off: Halliday (72).

Booked: Tavernier, Wilson, Halliday.

Goals: Miller 26,McKay 70.

Attendance: 5,778

Referee: Barry Cook.

Belfast Telegraph

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