RANGERS simply could not score against Hamilton as they dropped three points at home despite a deluge of chances.
Alfredo Morelos had nearly a dozen of his own but he couldn’t find the back of the net as Accies launched a second half smash and grab at Ibrox. Graeme Murty’s side executed total dominance in the first-half but were punished for their misses as soon as the second-half began.
David Templeton left Rangers two years ago and came back to haunt his former side after Ross McCrorie gifted him in a rare error to slot his team ahead on 47 minutes. Then a mix up at the back allowed Darren Lyon to tap a second home ten minutes from time in a luckless afternoon for the Light Blues.
Rangers started heavily on the attack and perhaps when Josh Windass skied a good looking chance just after kick-off it could have been eyed as a warning of what was to follow. That was before James Tavernier whizzed a dangerous ball across the face of goal with seven minutes gone. No one could connect at the near post though.
With 13 minutes on the clock Morelos was on the deck in the penalty box having his protests for a spot kick waved away by Greg Aitken. Windass had released the Colombian with a superb curving ball around the defender on the right after dashing away down the wing on the break. The striker tangled Ioannis Skondras before falling to the ground as he tried to get his shot away.
Morelos was without a goal in eight and looked keen to get himself back on the scoresheet as he went close three times in five minutes. The first chance coming after latching on a Kenny Miller shot which fell just short of the target before he tried, and narrowly failed, to turn it over the line. Then Windass curled a cross onto the head of the 21-year-old and he somehow headed over with the goal gaping. He rounded off his trio of chances by skimming the base of the right post with a well taken shot on the angle.
Ryan Jack was then afforded mountains of room to run into on the edge of the area but rather than taking it on the volley he elected to take a few touches and try and place his shot beyond Gary Woods. The keeper easily held his eventual effort.
Accies started to work their way back into the game as the match neared the half hour mark. Martin Canning’s men hadn’t registered a chance yet but with the Gers unable to find a goal despite their dominance his side seemed to grow in confidence.
Foderingham was called into action for the first time on 36 minutes when Antonio Raul Rojano got to the by-line to fire a cross into the six-yard box from the right. With no defenders in front of him the Gers number one had to construct a save quickly to parry it clear before Jack averted anymore danger.
On the stroke of half-time Morelos smashed a header off the crossbar as the Gers went closer still to scoring. McCrorie put the rebound wide. How Rangers went in at the break without a goal is remarkable but for all their possession and control they could not find the back of the net.
The second-half started with an unexpected turn as Hamilton took the lead two minutes into it. McCrorie must have thought there was a Rangers man behind him as he tapped back into his own half and into the path of David Templeton. The former Ibrox man had nearly the whole half to run into unchallenged and he ran down Foderingham, dummied the keeper to take it round him and tapped the ball over the line. Suddenly Murty’s men had a whole new task on their hands.
Templeton had the chance to make it two for him and his team five minutes later but lashed his strike from the corner of the box a yard wide of Foderingham’s upright.
Windass went through on 57 minutes to collect a ball over the top from Wilson but Woods scooped up the ball at his feet as the forward lined up the shot. Scott McMann nearly turned the ball over his own line just after the hour mark when Morelos flashed a ball across the face of goal and the ball deflected up off the defender. The Gers were making heavy work of getting back into the game.
With 22 minutes left to draw level and find a winner Morelos went agonisingly close as his back-heel fell just a few inches short of making it over the line. Daniel Candeias sent the low ball in from the right and as he ran away from goal the former HJK striker opted to try the tricky move to turn the ball home with the back of his right foot.
Morelos was racking up the chances and just seconds before being substituted he found himself with just the keeper to beat from a Miller ball but lifted the ball over the bar.
With the Colombian seeming like he would have no luck in front of goal Murty sacrificed him and Miller, bringing on Ryan Hardie and Eduardo Herrera and shifting to a 4-4-2 for the final 20 minutes to freshen up the attack.
It was a move that didn’t matter though as the Rangers defence went to pieces to allow Rakish Bingham to hold up the ball and break free down the left channel. He raced free with Darren Lyon up to support him and Wilson didn’t seemed to spot the Accies youth product over his shoulder. One ball across the box and Lyon lashed the ball past the helpless Foderingham with just 10 minutes left to play.
Windass nearly grabbed one back when Woods was forced to scramble and turn the 23-year-old’s header around the base of the post and Tavernier had a well-placed free-kick saved in injury time but nothing could go the right way for Rangers as the final whistle blew.
RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Wilson, McCrorie, Hodson, Candieas, Holt, Windass (Nemane 88’), Jack, Miller (Herrera 72’), Morelos (Hardie 72’)
Subs not used: Alnwick, Kranjcar, Bates, Barjonas.
Yellows: Holt 25’
HAMILTON: Woods, Skondras, McMann, Thomas, Imrie, Docherty (Gillespie 84’), Gogic, Templeton (Redmond 63’), MacKinnon, Raul Rojano ((Bingham 77’), Lyon.
Subs not used: Fulton, Donati, Cunningham, Sarris.
Goals: Templeton 47’ Lyon 80’
Yellows: Gogic 35’
Red: Gogic 90’