RANGERS came from behind to pull off perhaps their most remarkable victory at Easter Road this evening.
For long spells, it was backs to the wall with Hibernian missing countless chances, but those old fashioned battling qualities from Gers were there in abundance as goals from Josh Windass and Alfredo Morelos canceled out Lewis Stevenson’s opener.
The opening minutes of the match were frantic, with both sides trying to win the battle in midfield. From some slack Gers defending on nine minutes however, Hibs took the lead.
Simon Murray had begun the game in lively fashion, and, after evading Bruno Alves out on the left, dribbled along the by-line and found the incoming Lewis Stevenson.
The long-term Hibs full-back made no mistake with his finish, which was low to Wes Foderingham’s left to send the home support into raptures.
Things went from bad to worse on 13 minutes as Kenny Miller seemingly pulled a hamstring, and had to be replaced by Daniel Candeias.
Fortunately for Rangers, the game began to settle a little from that point, and managed two efforts on goal, albeit they were from long-range and off-target, from James Tavernier and 18 year-old Jamie Barjonas, who was making just his second start.
Then came a truly golden opportunity for Gers through Alfredo Morelos. Declan John’s corner was deep and found the Columbian all alone at the back post. He got his head to the ball, but somehow managed to direct it off target with goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and the entire home defence stranded.
At the other end, Foderingham was called into action with two smart saves in the space of a minute. Firstly, Paul Hanlon’s long run into the area went unchecked, and he stung the palms of Foderingham. Then, Martin Boyle got away from Declan John to go one-on-one with the keeper, but he stood tall and made a superb block with his foot to keep the deficit at one.
Barjonas had another effort from distance before, with three minutes to go before the break, Rangers drew themselves level through a superb Josh Windass goal.
Some outstanding industry from Jason Holt saw him feed Windass to feet as he entered the area on the left-hand side. He still had plenty of work to do, but his finish was quite superb to hand Gers what was seemingly going to be parity at the interval.
But simple parity became utter ecstasy in injury time. From the right, Alfredo Morelos took on Paul Hanlon inside the area. The Columbian twisted, turned and from the tightest of angles, somehow found the back of the net as the away end went wild with delight with a din which would surely have been heard all over Edinburgh.
Into the second half, and within four minutes of the restart, Hibs really should have been level. Again, Martin Boyle did the damage down the right, and his cross was there to be tapped home by Simon Murray. Somehow, he failed to connect inside the six-yard box, and Rangers got away with one.
The game was still swinging from end to end, and Morelos could have put the game beyond doubt when the most wonderful cross from James Tavernier found him at the back post. He totally miscued his header however allowing the Hibs defence to gt back and clear the danger.
Gers were then handed another let-off as Brandon Barker’s shot for Hibs came back off the inside of the post after he danced his way into the area, before the same player hit the post once more, this time from distance before the ball rebounded to Anthony Stokes in an offside position.
The on-loan Manchester City winger was having some game since coming on at halt-time, and flashed another effort just over the bar as Hibs continued to threaten.
Somehow, Rangers saw this through, meaning they have now won four games on the bounce.
RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Alves, Wilson, John, McCrorie, Holt, Barjonas (Bates, 72), Miller, Windass, Morelos (Herrera, 84)
SUBS NOT USED: Kelly, Hodson, Kranjcar, Candeias, Pena.
HIBERNIAN: Marciano, Hanlon, McGinn, McGeouch, S Murray (Whittaker, 88), Stevenson, Boyle, McGregor, Ambrose, Stokes, Shaw (Barker, 50)
SUBS NOT USED: Dabrowski, Bartley, Slivka, F Murray, Porteous.
REFEREE: Kevin Clancy