KRIS BOYD scored a birthday hat-trick as rampant Rangers romped to an 8-1 win over League Two side Clyde at Ibrox in the Petrofac Training Cup.

Still looking to find the net competitively for the first time since returning to the club in the summer, striker Boyd – 31 today – went about doing it in style.

And on a night when the Light Blues did little wrong against shellshocked opponents, his treble was one of many positives for the hosts to look back on.

For ex-Gers captain Barry Ferguson, now manager of the Bully Wee, his return to his old stomping ground was a painful one as his side was ripped to shreds.

In all honesty, the Cumbernauld outfit made Ally McCoist’s men look better than they had to be to progress to Thursday’s quarter-final draw at Lesser Hampden.

But they still showed great improvement on their most recent showings and displayed the same level of confidence they showed in the closing stages of their win at Falkirk on Friday.

That will do no harm at all as preparations for this weekend’s home Championship clash with Dumbarton kick off in the morning.

The first period was as one-sided a half as you’ll see in Govan this season and Rangers romped into a five-goal lead at the midway point without even hitting top gear.

They took a little time to find their range as Lewis Macleod bent a shot wide and Fraser Aird’s low drive after a one-two with the midfielder was kept out by Jamie Barclay.

Lee McCulloch also volleyed over when Macleod set him up before the deadlock was broken on the 15-minute mark.

Boyd celebrated wildly at Falkirk on Friday after finding the net late on and his joy turned to despair as he found his effort had been ruled out.

This time there was no such anguish as he got the first competitive goal of his second spell at the club with a fine finish.

Nicky Clark broke out of defence and with only Boyd ahead of him, he chose to charge forward rather than wait for his team-mates to join him.

Macleod offered him good support down the left as he crossed into Clyde’s half and for a moment it looked like the striker might pick him out.

But Clark found Boyd instead and although the ball ran slightly wider than planned, he placed the ball low under Barclay to make it 1-0.

It wasn’t long before the advantage was doubled as Aird, in his first start of the season, got his first goal.

Macleod fed Lee Wallace on the overlap and he cut back to Boyd, who dummied to tee up the 19-year-old.

Aird took aim and fired, with the ball eventually sneaking over the line after Barclay got a touch but couldn’t do enough to keep it out.

Wallace nearly hit the mark with a rocket which fizzed just past and Bilel Mohsni should have burst the net when Darren McGregor’s header was clawed away but he hammered over.

Undeterred, Rangers continued flooding forward and Boyd got his second of the night after another smart dummy when Macleod cut back.

Clark read it well and passed for his attacking colleague to slot a cool finish over the line and make it three.

McCulloch drilled in a fourth despite an away defender getting a touch on the edge of the area and almost stopping him in his tracks.

And Macleod rounded off a flawless first half from the hosts when he curled in the best goal yet from outside the area which Barclay had no chance of keeping out.

Bully Wee boss Ferguson was furious with the way his men had conducted their business so far and made a triple change for the restart with the outcome already settled.

And as much as Clyde could only really improve on their previous efforts, it wasn’t a great shock to see Gers ease off a little.

They still had the vast majority of chances though and Clark was kept out from long range while Barclay got a crucial touch on Aird’s shot from a tight angle to help it behind.

Nicky Law also hit the post with a delightful chipped effort which deserved more than to rebound away from the target.

A sixth goal was coming and when it did it brought Macleod his fourth of the campaign following earlier efforts against Hibernian and Falkirk.

It was a fine, crisp strike too as his grasscutter whistled in from just inside the area after good pressing forward by substitute Dean Shiels.

Boyd had ball in the net again seconds later but just as he did at Westfield last week, he turned to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside and didn’t complain about it.

Instead, it fell to McCulloch to get the seventh with an excellent turn and placed shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

And two minutes later Boyd finally did get his treble as he made another lung-bursting run to get on the end of David Templeton’s slipped pass.

That ensured he’d have his own trumpet to blow as well as some birthday candles but he didn’t have the final say in this one.

That honour went to visiting player Kevin Watt, who rifled home a consolation from an acute angle for his team in injury time.

RANGERS: Simonsen; McGregor, Zaliukas (Faure 65), Mohsni, Wallace; Aird, McCulloch, Law (Templeton 72), Macleod; Clark (Shiels 61), Boyd.

SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, Smith, Black, Murdoch.

SCORERS: Boyd 15, 33, 79, Aird 24, McCulloch 38, 77, Macleod 45, 65.

BOOKING: Zaliukas.

CLYDE: Barclay; Durie, Marsh, McQueen, McKinnon; Sinclair; Watt, Sweeney (Young 46), Gray (Frances 46), Ferguson; McManus (Daly 46).

SCORER: Watt 90.

SUBS NOT USED: Rajovic, Scullion, McColm, Capuano.

REFEREE: Andrew Dallas


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