KENNY MILLER became only the 16th post war player to score 100 goals for Rangers as his strike proved the difference between the two sides in Inverness.
The striker’s beautifully taken volley won the game for the Gers and took all three points away from the trip to the Highlands to give his side a crucial away win.
It was a testing night for the Light Blues who has to work hard for their victory with Inverness providing a nervy end to the encounter.
Three minutes were on the clock when Inverness whipped a ball into the danger area from a dead ball for Lonsana Doumbouya to get on the end of. And the Caley striker jumped highest to nod over from a few yards out.
That chance sprung the Gers into action and Waghorn carved out a chance of his own a minute later. He skipped into the box down the right to dribble through a sea of legs and produce a close range shot at the near post. It was straight at Owain Fon Williams though.
Liam Polworth was next to challenge the Light Blues goal. Ten minutes had elapsed when he jinked about on the edge area to make room for himself, shake off James Tavernier, and fire a low range effort at Wes Foderingham. The keeper scramble to the ball and held well.
Rangers were struggling to make a real breakthrough which was perhaps summed up when Waghorn decided to go it alone from 30 yards just before the 15 minute mark. In space, the striker let the ball bounce a couple of times, before lashing a rising shot at Fon Williams goal. It was always rising though and whistled over the crossbar.
James Tavernier found McKay from the right with a deep cross on 20 minutes but the winger angled his volley just wide of the upright.
But if you were searching for the perfect volley Miller produced it moments later to give the Gers the lead with his centenary goal for the club. Lee Wallace stormed forward from defence to swirl an accurate cross into the box, it evaded the Inverness defence and found Miller lurking at the back post. The striker needed no invitation to put his laces through it and fire a rocket into the back of the net.
They could have made it two within minutes when Clint Hill rose to nod at Fon Williams and then Waghorn had the keeper’s parry hooked away from under his nose as he took aim.
Rangers pushed on but couldn’t double their lead before Ross Draper cut in from the right just before the break to threaten an equaliser. The midfielder dragged the ball inside to test Foderingham low at his near post.
Miller came out the traps early in the second period to shave the base of the post with a fizzing shot. Waghorn had squared to him on the right of the area before the striker shaped up his low drive.
Much like the beginning of the first-half Doumbouya was threatening in the air. He beat Rob Kiernan to nod over once again. The Gers responded quickly to the scare and tore down the other end with Tavernier crossing onto the penalty spot where Jason Holt was waiting. With the goal gaping the midfielder blazed his chance over.
Despite much of the second-half possession Rangers couldn’t find a chance to place on target. Holt and Waghorn threatened but their efforts fell short.
With 21 minutes left to play Warburton pulled McKay and Waghorn off to be replaced by some fresh legs in the form of Joe Dodoo and Joe Garner.
But the change seemingly swung the home side into action and they poured forward on the counter on 73 minutes. Aaron Doran got in behind the Gers defence and skipped through on goal. Foderingham committed himself to the save but the ball fell loose and Hill was forced to clear off the line to keep Rangers lead alive. Inverness were to frighten the Gers twice more in quick succession as the game reached a tense ending.
Five minutes from time sub Alex Fisher had a golden opportunity to level things up for Inverness. He was unmarked in the Gers penalty area but could only put his header wide.
RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Hill, Kiernan, Wallace, Halliday, Holt, Kranjcar (Windass 74’), McKay (Garner 69’), Miller, Waghorn (Dodoo 69’)
Subs not used: Gilks, Forrester, Hodson, Senderos
Goals: Miller 22’
Yellows: Waghorn 50’
INVERNESS CT: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, Warren, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Doran 66’), Tansey, King (Mulraney 66’), McKay, Doumbouya (Fisher 78’)
Subs not used: Mackay, Horner, Boden, Cole
Yellows: McKay 33′, Draper 51′, Warren 84′