Wednesday 22 November 2017

McCoist relieved to salvage replay

Hamilton 3
Rangers 3

Ally McCoist refused to blame injuries to key players as holders Rangers came close to crashing out of the Scottish Cup at Hamilton yesterday.

Only a dubious penalty -- converted by Kenny Miller -- allowed the Glasgow giants to scrape a fourth-round replay against Accies, with both teams bidding to face St Mirren in the next round.

Rangers were also left counting the cost of injuries to both Steven Davis and top goalscorer Kris Boyd in the first half of the 3-3 draw.

McCoist hopes neither faces a lengthy lay-off but admits that the club's mounting casualty and suspension worries are causes for concern; however, he said that Rangers have no choice but to cope.

"Injuries are part and parcel of football," said the assistant boss. "We could do without them but hopefully they are not long-term."

Rangers appeared to be cruising as goals from Steven Whittaker and Miller provided what looked like a comfortable advantage.

But Simon Mensing pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, before Marco Paixao and Mickael Antoine-Curier both netted in first-half stoppage time to hand Accies a shock lead.

Rangers did hit back through Miller again after the break, but were forced to settle for a replay at Ibrox, even though their hosts had Richard Hastings sent off for a second yellow card nine minutes from time.

McCoist added: "It was everything you would expect from a Scottish Cup tie; there was enough crammed into that game for a few cup ties.

"The first 45 minutes were a bit bizarre because we were 2-0 up without really playing well; I couldn't see where it came from.

"But I also didn't see Hamilton scoring three goals in 10 minutes. It was a strange feeling to go from being delighted to a little down, and we had work to do at half-time.

"The goals we lost were poor but you ask the team a question at half-time and I thought we were a lot better in the second half. Both teams probably deserve another crack.

"It's a home tie now and we are pleased to have another crack."

Hamilton boss Billy Reid thought his team were the better side and insists they deserve plenty of credit for their efforts, regardless of how Rangers performed.

He said: "The first half was crazy. The first goal was sloppy, the second was clinical but that's Kenny Miller. We got the goal back and then dominated the game.

"At times Rangers were chasing shadows. It took a penalty to undo us. I've not seen it. Whether it's right or wrong, he has made the decision and we stand by it."

Irish Independent

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