Gers' magnificent seven
A Kris Boyd hat-trick helped Rangers to come from behind to record the biggest win of the season with a 7-1 defeat of ten-man Hamilton at Ibrox on Saturday.
Hamilton's attacking 3-4-3 formation appeared to be working wonders when the visitors took the lead through James McArthur after just two minutes, but that goal stung the hosts into action.
On 11 minutes Kenny Miller, on his return from injury, equalised. And Boyd's hat-trick and goals from Kyle Lafferty, Nacho Novo and Steven Davis made it a magnificent seven as Hamilton's Martin Canning was sent off.
With Celtic not playing Hibernian until Sunday, Rangers are now just four points behind their Old Firm rivals.
Rangers manager Walter Smith was happy with his players' response after losing an early goal.
"We were delighted to get back in the game so early with two excellent finishes from Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd to put us in front," Smith said.
"When Hamilton lost a man it obviously made it a bit easier for us to create chances. From our own point of view it was a terrific result."
Hamilton manager Billy Reid said the sending off had a big influence on the scoreline.
"It is hard enough playing against Rangers or Celtic with 11 players let alone ten," Reid said.
"It's a sore one to lose seven goals. The biggest problem we had was our back three didn't cope well with Miller and Boyd, who I thought were brilliant today."
It took Hamilton just 90 seconds to take the lead. The ball fell to McArthur after Allan McGregor made a hash of attempting to punch clear a cross and the midfielder lobbed the ball over the keeper and into the net.
Miller soon got his name on the scoresheet, the striker sending a stinging volley past Tomas Cerny after the Hamilton defence failed to clear a corner.
Rangers then took the lead after 28 minutes. Miller found Boyd in the box and his angled low drive on the turn sailed past Cerny in goal.
Boyd got his second of the game in the 50th minute from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the box by Martin Canning as they both chased a long kick-out from McGregor.
The defender got his marching orders before Boyd sent Cerny the wrong way with his spot-kick.
Beasley came close with a shot from 12 yards out before Boyd completed his hat-trick. Ferguson found Davis down the right wing with a floated pass and the Northern Ireland international played a perfect pass across the goal for Boyd to sidefoot home.
Lafferty, on for Boyd, made it five with ten minutes remaining. Fellow substitute Novo cut the ball back from the by-line and the Northern Ireland striker was there to sidefoot past a Hamilton defender on the line.
Novo then made it six. The Spaniard slipped the ball past Cerny two minutes from time after he got on the end of a superb cross from substitute Aaron Niguez, who was making his debut.
Davis made it a magnificent seven for Rangers in the final minute. Lafferty's header from the by-line was knocked on by Niguez and Davis was there to smash the ball past Cerny from a couple of yards out.
Elsewhere the SPL has launched an investigation after Motherwell's game against Hearts and Kilmarnock versus Aberdeen were called off due to frozen pitches despite both clubs having undersoil heating.
St Mirren leapgfrogged Hamilton at the bottom of the league with a 2-1 over Falkirk.
Dundee United defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-1.