Rangers went back to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox thanks to a Kenny Miller double. With Celtic not due to play Motherwell at Fir Park until tomorrow, the Gers took full advantage by opening a one-point gap at the top, with three goals coming in the space of six first-half minutes.
Kilmarnock gave Rangers an early scare when they took a 17th-minute lead through Jamie Hammill, as Allan McGregor was beaten for the first time in five games. But goal machine Kris Boyd soon had Rangers on level terms, before a double from striker partner Miller sealed the win.
Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies said his side had gifted Rangers the points. "We got ourselves in a great position and got a goal and then we had a crazy six minutes and lost three goals," Jefferies said. "Three individual errors at the goals have cost us the game."
Rangers manager Walter Smith felt his side had deserved the win. "I was a little bit disappointed, with the amount of pressure we had, not to have added to it in the second-half," he said. "But overall, after going a goal down, I'm delighted to get the win."
The game started with Rangers well on top and Boyd had a couple of early chances to add to his tally of 20 league goals. In the fourth minute, he ran on to a through ball from Miller, but his low angled drive did not have enough power to beat Alan Combe. Four minutes later, Pedro Mendes found the striker lurking in the box, only for Boyd to scuff his shot which went straight to the keeper.
However, it was Kilmarnock who took a surprise lead through Hammill in the 17th minute. Garry Hay did well to beat Kirk Broadfoot down the right-wing and Hammill was there to meet his cross and knock the ball high into the net.
It was the Scottish Premier League's top scorer who got Rangers level with half an hour gone. Madjid Bougherra headed a Mendes corner at the back post to Boyd whose volley was too powerful for Combe to keep out. Three minutes later Boyd turned provider as he set up Miller to put Rangers ahead. Boyd's flick-on took a touch off Frazer Wright into the path of Miller, who finished with a low drive past Combe.
Miller got his second in the 35th minute. The Scotland international snuck behind the Kilmarnock defence to meet a perfect through pass from Mendes, which he stroked beyond the helpless keeper for a clinical finish. Kilmarnock goal-scorer Hammill had the first chance of the second-half when good work from Craig Bryson found him at the edge of the box, but McGregor was not troubled by his low drive. Portuguese international Mendes showed great skill to cut in from the left and fire in a fierce rocket shot, which Combe did well to usher wide after 63 minutes.
Hammill was again presented with a chance in the 84th minute when substitute Mehdi Taouil played him in, but he could not beat the outrushing McGregor at the near post. Miller should have had his hat-trick with two minutes left as he raced down the right-wing and cut in, but Simon Ford got an outstretched leg to block his curling effort.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle clean sheet
Dundee United and Aberdeen played out an entertaining 2-2 draw while David Proctor and Ritchie Foran secured a 2-0 win for Inverness Caledonian Thistle over Hibernian. Terry Butcher's side remain bottom, but are just a point behind Falkirk who lost 2-1 to Hamilton. Hearts and St Mirren drew 1-1.