Kris Boyd was the hero for Rangers as his late goal sent them into the last eight of the Scottish Cup after a 1-0 win over St. Mirren in their fifth round replay. The first game ten days ago had finished goalless and the replay was heading the same way before Boyd netted his 22nd of the season in the 86th minute.
Rangers' Steven Naismith could have given his side the lead early on when he picked up Boyd's perfectly weighted reverse pass, but he scuffed his shot wide of the post. Spanish striker Nacho Novo also came close, but he snatched at a half-chance which sailed harmlessly over the bar.
However, the Buddies rarely looked flustered against their more illustrious opponents, and Michael Higdon should have done better with a header from Dorman's corner that he sent looping over the bar.
Centre-back Madjid Bougherra surprisingly provided some of Rangers' most potent attacking play, and after some nice trickery on the right wing he sent in a cross that Boyd fired wide under pressure. The Algerian was involved again minutes later when he picked out Naismith in the box only for the Scotland striker to hit his shot directly at Mirren goalkeeper Paul Gallacher.
Rangers had the ball in the net in the 48th minute only for it to be ruled out for offside. Naismith found Novo on the right, and he fired in a cross that hit off Boyd and past Gallacher, but the flag was already up. Gallacher then produced a superb one-handed save from Boyd's vicious volley after Kyle Lafferty laid the ball off to the hit-man at the edge of the box.
As in the first-half, Dorman again found Higdon unmarked in the box from a corner but the forward headed over. St Mirren were growing in confidence and McGregor had to race out of his goal to save with his legs from Billy Mehmet after he raced into the box past left-back Steven Smith.
Kenny Miller replaced Novo and immediately set about trying to break the deadlock with a chipped shot from 20 yards, but it didn't trouble Gallacher in the end. But Boyd ended the goal drought four minutes from time. Smith's long ball was flicked on by Kirk Broadfoot and Boyd held off his marker to fire a shot into the roof of the net past the oncoming keeper.
"It's massive to get into the next round of the cup," Boyd told Sky Sports 1. "There were a few tired legs out there but it keeps the momentum up for the big game on Saturday against St Johnstone.
"Sometimes you get games like that, when the goalkeepers are on top. I think Gal (Paul Gallacher) did that but we managed to scramble one at the end and we're delighted to be in the next round of the cup. We've done the job, it wasn't pretty but we got into the next round."
Buddies boss Gus MacPherson said: "I'm bitterly disappointed, it's another late goal which I know we can defend better. I can't criticise the players though, I thought they were outstanding today. On another day we could have sneaked a goal to defend."
In their Scottish Premier League clash Hibernian missed the chance to close the gap on second-placed Celtic as doubles from Cillian Sheridan and Liam Craig condemned them to a 5-1 thrashing by St Johnstone.