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More agony for Rangers as Hibs pile pressure on McCoist

Rangers 1-3 Hibernian

Rangers failed their second serious examination of the promotion race as Jason Cummings' double inspired Hibernian to victory at Ibrox.

The Ibrox side have already been beaten at home by Hearts but lost further ground on the Scottish Championship leaders as they surrendered three first-half goals to Alan Stubbs' side.

Cummings put Hibs ahead after 26 minutes, Hibs full-back David Gray headed home the second on 31 minutes before Cummings finished off a clever counter attack to put the Leith side three up.

Rangers would need to show their fighting spirit if they were to get back into the match but the only aggression came from defender Bilel Mohsni as he seemed to get into a heated argument with a group of his own fans as he made his way up the tunnel at half-time.

Nicky Law did pull one back for the hosts with a well-placed volley 10 minutes into the second-half but they never looked capable of pulling off a remarkable escape.

Ally McCoist has overseen a list of underwhelming performances during his four-year reign and many will now ask if he is the man to take the club back to the top flight given his side now trail Hearts by six points after just seven games.

Hibs, however, will hope the win will reignite their promotion push as they rise five places to fifth.

The teams walked out to a lively atmosphere which at first looked as if it would be the soundtrack to a competitive encounter.

Rangers should have taken an eighth minute lead when Smith found Kris Boyd in the box. The striker, though, was denied by a solid Liam Fontaine block.

But the cheers which had greeted McCoist's men before kick-off were soon a distant memory as angry boos filled the Ibrox air.

First Peralta – starting just his third game of the season – allowed a routine punt from Oxley to bounce over his head. Before he could regroup, Cummings had left him on the seat of his pants as the Hibs striker darted through on Steve Simonsen.

The keeper managed to get a hand to his shot but it still trickled over the line before Peralta could make his futile last-ditch attempt to clear.

The boos turned into outright outrage five minutes later as Smith failed miserably to cope with a Lewis Stevenson cross to the back-post as he allowed Gray to power home the second with his head.

And there was mutiny in the air as Hibs made it three six minutes before half-time. Ian Black - as is his habit - surrendered possession in the heart of the pitch.

Hibs knocked it up to the impressive Dominique Malonga and the Frenchman eased past Gers skipper Lee McCulloch before sliding the ball wide to Stevenson who feinted to shoot after cutting inside. Instead he laid it off to Cummings who rolled home another with a tidy finish.

Belfast Telegraph


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