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Gers go clear after second-half blitz

Rangers 4-0 Dumbarton

By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers eased three points clear of Hibernian at the top of the Scottish Championship with a comfortable 4-0 win over Dumbarton at Ibrox.

After a goalless first half - and the start to the second half delayed as some home fans were relocated from one stand to another due to a safety issue - midfielder Jason Holt opened the scoring with a header before striker Martyn Waghorn hammered in number two on the hour-mark.

The home side took further advantage of their game in hand when substitute Nathan Oduwa, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, added a third in the 80th minute with his first goal for Rangers.

Dumbarton defender Steven Saunders was then shown a straight red card by referee Crawford Allan for denying Gers skipper Lee Wallace a clear and obvious goal scoring opportunity with Andy Halliday hammering in the penalty to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Unsurprisingly, Dumbarton's emphasis was on defence.

Their wall of white shirts was almost breached in the ninth minute when Wallace took a Barrie McKay pass inside the box but his left-footed thunderbolt from 10 yards was pushed away by goalkeeper Mark Brown for a corner which came to nothing.

Dumbarton were defending with increasing desperation and in the 35th minute Brown made a fine point-blank save, gathering the ball at the second attempt, after Clark had got his head to a James Tavernier cross.

Moments after the restart Holt had the easiest of tasks heading in Tavernier's cross for his seventh of the season.

When Waghorn hammered in number two from 25 yards for his 19th of the campaign the three points were secure and Warburton brought on Jordan Thompson and Miller for Gedion Zelalem and McKay.

Tavernier then headed a Wallace cross off the underside of the bar before Brown tipped a Thompson drive over.

Oduwa came on for Waghorn in the 76th minute and four minutes later he swept in a Wallace cross from eight yards out after good work by Miller.

When Wallace was tripped by Saunders, Halliday took the opportunity to hammed in the penalty and remind Hibs that the Ibrox men are up for the title fight.

RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Ball, Kiernan, Wallace, Zelalem (Miller 62), Halliday, Holt, Waghorn (Oduwa 77), McKay (Thompson 62), Clark.

Goals: Holt 47, Waghorn 60, Oduwa 81, Halliday 88 (pen).

Subs not used: Aird, Kelly, Hardie.

DUMBARTON: Brown, Saunders, Wright, Barr, Docherty, Cawley (Lindsay 63), Gallagher, Routledge (Brown 63), Gibson, Craig (Brophy 67), Fleming.

Sent off: Saunders

Subs not used: Buchanan, Waters, Ewings, Ross.

Man of the match: Waghorn

Match Rating: 8/10

Referee: Crawford Allan

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