Rangers 5-1 Cowdenbeath: Martyn Waghorn scores Scottish Cup hat-trick
By Charlie McFaulds
Last Updated: 11/01/16 9:54pm
Rangers eased their way into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with a 5-1 victory over Cowdenbeath at Ibrox.
The tie, which was watched by a crowd of 20,915, appeared to be a mismatch on paper, and so it turned out to be as Martyn Waghorn scored a hat-trick after goals from Lee Wallace and Barrie McKay had set Rangers up for the win, while Dean Brett netted for the visitors.
Rangers created an early chance when Waghorn controlled the ball on the right side of the box and rolled a pass back to James Tavernier, who shot over the bar from 16 yards.
Waghorn then curled a shot just over the target from around 20 yards before Cowdenbeath 'keeper Jamie Sneddon blocked a close-range shot from Kenny Miller after Jason Holt slipped a pass into the penalty area.
The breakthrough came on 19 minutes when Wallace took a return pass after an exchange between Waghorn and Miller, and the left-back slipped the ball through the legs of Sneddon from 12 yards.
The visitors were almost gifted a quick lifeline when Dominic Ball was caught in possession just inside the Rangers box, but Tavernier got across quickly to divert the ball behind from the toe of Gordon Smith.
At the other end of the pitch Wallace exchanged passes with Miller before Fraser Kerr blocked the shot inside the box, and Pat Scullion later diverted a Gedion Zelalem effort from a similar range wide for a corner.
But McKay doubled the advantage when he ran from the halfway line down the left flank at two backtracking defenders and swept a low shot towards the far corner past the diving Sneddon.
Seven minutes later the League One side pulled a goal back in style when Brett curled a free-kick from 22 yards over the wall and into the net via the underside of the bar after Ball had lost control and pulled down Greig Spence.
Seconds after the interval, Waghorn drifted inside the box to the goal-line and cut back a pass to Miller, and his shot from four yards was cleared off the line by Bradley Donaldson before Sneddon got down to push away a dipping effort from the Englishman a minute later.
But Waghorn (48) would not be denied and he held off Kerr inside the penalty area to blast home from 15 yards after Zelalem flicked Miller's low cross into his path.
Waghorn added the fourth from the penalty spot seven minutes later after Kerr took out Tavernier with a sliding challenge.
With 12 minutes remaining, Waghorn completed his hat-trick when he netted a second penalty after Tavernier had weaved his way into the box and gone down as his shot was blocked by Kerr, with substitute Chris Kane sliding across to challenge.