Boyd back on the mark as Rangers sink Clyde

IT was the night the prodigal son came home … but it wasn't Barry Ferguson who was the name on the lips of the Rangers fans.

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Rangers striker Kris Boyd celebrates with Dean Shiels after completing his hat-trick
Rangers striker Kris Boyd celebrates with Dean Shiels after completing his hat-trick

Instead, Ibrox rose to acclaim another returning hero, Kris Boyd, getting the first goals of his second spell at the club and doing so in style, a clinical hat-trick only the beginning of Clyde's problems on an evening to forget for Ferguson and his players.

Rangers netted five times in their opening three competitive fixtures this term, with a lack of cutting edge the most alarming of the deficiencies that have been exposed thus far. Goals were not in short supply last night, though.

Allowances must be made for the level of opposition. Ally McCoist's side will not face a team of Clyde's low calibre in their remaining Championship fixtures this term.

But this was much more like it from Rangers as Boyd bagged three, Lee McCulloch and Lewis Macleod hit doubles and Fraser Aird marked his return to the starting line-up with his first goal of the campaign.

Less than 12,000 turned up at Ibrox to see the Light Blues book their place in the third round of the Petrofac Training Cup but it was a night of positives for McCoist, with even the 8-1 scoreline not fully illustrating the gulf in class.

The evening started with smiles and handshakes all round, with former Rangers stars Ferguson and assistant Bob Malcolm being given a warm welcome on their returns to Ibrox.

The goodwill ended on the first blow of the whistle, with Rangers ruthless as they romped to victory. McCoist had hailed the impact of Fraser Aird and Nicky Clark in the hard-fought win over Falkirk last Friday, when the second-half subs provided a much-needed spark to a side that was abject for much of the Championship clash.

So it was no surprise to see the pair both being handed starts last night as McCoist showed how seriously he was taking this competition with a strong line-up.

When Rangers return to Championship action this weekend against Dumbarton, Aird and Clark will surely be very much in their manager's thoughts once again.

WITH Kenny Miller absent through injury, Clark made the most of his chance to impress with a bright display alongside Boyd at the head of the attack.

The pair quickly formed an impressive partnership that Clyde couldn't handle and Aird gave Gers some much-needed pace down the flanks.The signs were ominous for the Bully Wee from the early stages as Rangers dominated possession and were able to manoeuvre themselves into shooting positions with relative ease.

It didn't take long for the home side to open their account for the night and it was the goal their fans had all been waiting for, Boyd scoring for the first time since making his Ibrox return this summer.

It was a typical Boyd goal, his movement perfect and finish clinical as he and Rangers got off and running. More would soon follow.

Having been denied his maiden goal in the win over Falkirk, and become frustrated with a lack of chances and lack of creativity in McCoist's side against Hibernian and Hearts, Boyd was back in the groove and he doubled his tally on the half-hour mark.

A quick-thinking dummy over Macleod's pass deceived the Clyde defence and when Clark put the ball in his path with a neat pass, the rest was elementary for the SPL's all-time record scorer.

By then Rangers were already well on the way to victory thanks to Aird.

Lee Wallace got the assist, his cross from the left finding Aird in the box, but the Canadian's tame shot shouldn't have beat Jamie Barclay as the ball eventually squirmed over the line.

If the keeper was at fault for Rangers' second of the night he could do nothing about their fourth and fifth.

McCulloch blasted the ball into the net from the edge of the area but he was outshone by his midfield counterpart as Macleod scored the best of the lot, his terrific curling effort the highlight of a dominant first half from Rangers.

THERE was no respite for Clyde as their misery continued, the scoreboard ticking over three more times before they could finally trudge from the field.

It could have been worse, as Aird and McCulloch were both denied by Barclay while Nicky Law's clever dink hit the post.

But when the floodgates opened again, they did so in style. Macleod fired his second of the game with a crisply struck drive to make it six before McCulloch got his second in spectacular fashion, the skipper finding the top corner from 25 yards.

When number eight arrived, it was the one Ibrox had waited for for some time, Boyd completing his hat-trick and punching the air in delight.

He was back doing what he does best. Rangers will need plenty more of the same in the coming months.

The net did rustle once again but it was at the other end this time, Kevin Watt blasting high past Simonsen from a tight angle.

It wasn't even a consolation for Clyde. And it didn't take the shine off for Rangers.

Football

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