Hamilton 3-5 Rangers: Josh Windass' hat-trick helps visitors move into second in Scottish Premiership
By Kalika Mehta
Last Updated: 18/02/18 7:32pm
Josh Windass scored a hat-trick as Rangers beat Hamilton 5-3 to move into second place in the Scottish Premiership table on goal difference.
There were five goals in the opening 27 minutes as Darren Lyon (5) opened the scoring for the hosts - latching on to a loose ball in the box.
Five minutes later the visitors were level as Jamie Murphy (10) steered Alfredo Morelos' pull-back into the net before Windass (19) stroked Rangers into the lead after Hamilton goalkeeper Gary Woods tipped the ball into his own net.
Former Rangers striker David Templeton (22) drew the Accies level but Morelos (27) restored the away side's lead after a lethal breakaway.
The goal-crazy first half continued as Windass (34) grabbed his second when he directed Murphy's pass into the far corner and he completed his hat-trick on 72 minutes after a quick throw-in caught out the Hamilton defence.
Hamilton: Woods (4), Sarris (5), Tomas (5), Van der Weg (5), Skondras (4), Lyon (6), Jenkins (5), Ferguson (5), McMann (5), Templeton (7), Ogboe (5).
Subs: Imrie (6), Bingham (5), Rojano (N/A)
Rangers: Foderingham (6), Tavernier (6), Bates (5), Martin (5), John (6), Murphy (9), Docherty (7), Goss (7), Windass (9), Candeias (7), Morelos (8).
Subs: Cummings (N/A), Miller (N/A), Halliday (N/A)
Man of the match: Josh Windass
With time running out, Russell Martin was penalised for a handball in the box allowed hosts captain Dougie Imrie to score from the spot and round off a brilliant game.
Hamilton made a fast start to the match as Lyon made the most of some poor defending to send the home fans wild.
Their joy was short lived though as Morelos got away from his marker on the right and timed his pull back to Murphy to perfection, with the winger faultless in front of goal.
Windass put Rangers in front at New Douglas Park as his speculative shot from the edge of the box was parried into his own net by Woods.
An excellent piece of control from Templeton gave the 29-year-old time to place the ball low into left corner of Wes Foderingham's net to bring the match back to 2-2 but Murphy turned provider, feeding Morelos after his initial shot was blocked, as Rangers regained their lead.
With both sides continuing to attack, Windass grabbed his second just past the half-hour mark with Murphy picking up his third assist of the match.
After a breathless first half, it took until the final 20 minutes of the match for Windass to claim his hat-trick, as Candeias' quick thrown in found Morelos, who had time to cross to a free Windass in the box and the midfielder coolly added the visitors' fifth goal.
Imrie pulled a goal back from the hosts late on but Hamilton remain just two points above bottom-of-the-table Ross County - though they have two games in hand.
Man of the Match - Josh Windass
In a goal-laden match, Windass' precision in front of goal was the difference between the sides as he proved a constant threat and nuisance to the Hamilton defence.
Hamilton host Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premiership as Rangers play Hearts on Saturday, March 24.