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Gers survive an early scare to romp past Ayr

Ayr United 1-6 Rangers

By Ronnie Esplin

Graeme Murty praised his Rangers side after they responded in fine fashion to an early scare against Ayr United to romp to a 6-1 William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round win.

Alan Forrest, brother of Celtic winger James Forrest, took advantage of a mistake by Gers goalkeeper Wed Foderingham in the 10th minute to give the League One side a shock lead.

However, amid snow flurries at Somerset Park, returning striker Alfredo Morelos levelled on the half-hour mark and the Ladbrokes Premiership side were ruthless after the break.

Jason Cummings struck from close range in the 65th minute before a double from attacker Josh Windass, either side of Morelos' second, preceded a last-minute counter from loanee Jamie Murphy.

"I thought we showed good patience and character," said Murty, whose side will host Falkirk in the next round.

"Those are the things, allied to the weather and the crowd, that can make you freeze as a footballer, make you push a little too hard. But we kept our discipline and composure well.

"We scored the goals when we needed to score them. We've had games previously when we haven't scored when we've been on top. We managed to do that today which allays a few fears for the players."

Murty believes there is more to come from his side.

He said: "I would say parts of it were as well as we've played but I still think we can get better in our basics and fundamentals. Some of our play is exhilarating as a coach. You see the tempo we move the ball at, the quality we have in the side.

"I was going to give Jamie Murphy a load of stick because the only thing missing from his game was a goal."

Ayr boss Ian McCall missed the match - after undergoing an operation for a detached retina - leaving assistant Neil Scally in charge, and he claimed the scoreline was hard on his players.

He said: "We were still in the game up until 65-70 minutes and then Rangers got their second goal and after that it obviously wasn't great from our side."

SCOTTISH CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW: Celtic v Greenock Morton; Aberdeen v Kilmarnock; Motherwell v Hearts; Rangers v Falkirk (To be played March 3/4)

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