MARK Warburton equalled Bill Struth’s 95-year record by clinching his eighth straight win as Rangers manager as his side ruthlessly exposed Queens, who were controversially reduced to ten men two minutes into the second half.
It’s fair to say that the Light Blues were in control, leading 1-0 – although the Dumfries side had missed a glaring chance just before half-time – when Derek Lyle was dismissed.
He and Rob Kiernan came together and touched foreheads, then Lyle pushed again with his head and that was enough for Crawford Allan, the fourth official, to inform referee Bobby Madden that a red card was in order.
Even Warburton admitted it was a harsh decision and Rangers were very quickly out of sight as they racked up five goals for the second game running.
Martyn Waghorn got two of them from the penalty spot, while Jason Holt and Barrie McKay were also on target after top performer Andy Halliday had scored in 28 minutes.
His goal was indicative of the pace and precision that Mark Warburton is demanding of his side and there was little Queens could do about it.
It started at the back with Wes Foderingham feeding Lee Wallace on the left side and he quickly found McKay.
A quick pass infield found Waghorn and then McKay was off and running, bursting for the penalty area looking for the return pass.
Halliday was quick on the uptake and raced ahead of McKay to take a perfectly weighted pass and clip a lovely left-footed finish past Robbie Thomson.
It was superb football and the Rangers fans roared their appreciation.
At that point it had been a day of patience for the Ibrox men, who had to work hard to create the openings they craved against a well-organised Queens side and did not reach the heights of previous performances.
But it was all too easy in the second half when it threatened to become a very punitive day for the Palmerston side.
Gedion Zelalem, Halliday and McKay saw lots of the ball as they passed and probed, always looking to keep possession and seek the right opening rather than play a hopeful pass.
That patience nearly paid off in the 17th minute when Queens were undone on the left side with terrific interplay between Wallace and McKay, with the former pulling a left-foot shot across the face of Thomson’s goal.
James Tavernier was not far away with a powerful drive from the edge of the box two minutes later, then Jason Holt hit a shot at Waghorn, while trying to squeeze one through a busy penalty box in 26 minutes after a delightful Rob Kiernan through ball was laid off by Miller.
There was a sense that the goal was coming but having made the breakthrough, Rangers did not build on it immediately. Indeed they were fortunate not to lose an equaliser in first-half injury time.
Alex Harris played a terrific ball inside Danny Wilson for Ryan Conroy, who had a clear run at Foderingham in the inside-right channel but instead of shooting he tried to pass to Lyle, who was crowded out and a great chance was lost.
The plot was then lost by Lyle two minutes into the second half when he stupidly got himself sent off – even if it was harsh – and James Fowler probably feared there and then that his side were not going to retrieve the situation.
Fowler, however, could not have envisaged just how bad the day was about to become as Rangers blew his side away in a 13-minute spell.
Andy Dowie gave away a penalty in 52 minutes when he bundled over Dom Ball, who seemed certain to convert Tavernier’s cross and Waghorn made no mistake from the spot.
In truth Dowie was lucky he escaped with a yellow card as it seemed he had denied a goalscoring opportunity.
Seven minutes later Miller and Zelalem linked sweetly on the edge of the Queens box with the latter playing a great pass into Jason Holt. His first shot was blocked by Thomson but he followed up to fire home the rebound.
Then in 65 minutes Miller was involved again as he found Waghorn on the left side and he cut the ball back perfectly for McKay to sweep in the fourth goal.
It was all too easy for Rangers, who looked like breaking through at any point, although it was another penalty that gave them their fifth goal in 76 minutes.
Kyle Hutton, released by Rangers in the summer, brought down Nathan Oduwa 25 yards out and Ian Russell clearly handled the ball as Halliday tried to lift the free kick over the wall.
Waghorn took the responsibility again and hit the other side of the net this time as he claimed his second goal of the game.
A pretty much perfect day was partially spoiled when Queens were allowed to score a consolation goal nine minutes from time.
The Rangers defence was caught square as Dowie played a ball over the top for Aidan Smith, who got away from Kiernan before firing past Foderingham.
It mattered little. Rangers had destroyed their closest challengers thus far to maintain their 100 per cent record and move two points clear at the top of the table.
Queen of the South: Thomson; Dowie, Brownlie, Higgins, Marshall; Harris, Millar (Hutton 65), Jacobs (Pickard 65), Conroy (Smith, 55); Lyle, Russell. Subs not used: Atkinson, Kidd, Moxon, Heffernan.
Rangers: Foderingham; Tavernier (Aird 71), Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace (Ball, 33); Holt, Halliday, Zelalem; McKay, Waghorn, Miller (Oduwa 65). Subs not used: Kelly, Law, Shiels. Hardie.
Referee: B Madden