Motherwell 0 - 2 Rangers: Two see red as Gers retake second place

Rangers returned to second in the Ladbrokes Premiership at the expense of Aberdeen after a hard-fought three points at Fir Park, in an encounter which saw Willie Collum send off a man from each side.

Kenny Miller opens the scoring for Rangers at Fir Park. Picture: SNS/Craig Williamson

Rangers striker Kenny Miller helped to shoot down Motherwell for the second week running as the Ibrox side claimed a 2-0 win at Fir Park.

The veteran hitman grabbed a last-gasp double to kill off Well in last week’s William Hill Scottish Cup clash.

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And he followed that up with the opening strike 18 minutes from the end of an action-packed Ladbrokes Premiership duel.

Emerson Hyndman - making his first Gers start - then finished off Mark McGhee’s men in the 87th minute.

There was drama before that though as both sides finished a man down after Gers winger Michael O’Halloran and Well frontman Scott McDonald both saw red for dangerous tackles during a fiesty first-half.

The win sees Mark Warburton’s side climb back above Aberdeen into second, while Motherwell missed out on the chance to claim a place in the top six.

O’Halloran has cut a frustrated figure this term with first-team opportunities hard to come by, but he did himself no favours with his reckless challenge on Carl McHugh just five minutes in.

The Rangers wide man caught the Well midfielder high up on the thigh as they went after a bouncing ball and referee Willie Collum dished out a straight red card.

The sending off rattled Gers but Motherwell failed to capitalise. Craig Clay fired wide after Andy Halliday lost possession outside his box, while McDonald twice failed to get a toe to a pair of teasing Chris Cadden deliveries.

The Light Blues were lucky they did not lose another man after 11 minutes when Rob Kiernan flew in late on Stevie Hammell, with the centre-back collecting just a booking.

But Collum did reach for red once again after 26 minutes and, like O’Halloran’s foul, McDonald only had himself to blame.

The Australian seemed in no danger as he gathered on half way, but when he took his eye off the ball it gave Miller the chance to nick in and steal possession. McDonald tried to react but his challenge was poorly timed, catching the Gers striker halfway up his ankle.

With the numbers evened up, Rangers were finally able to build some pressure. Hyndman saw a shot parried away by Craig Samson before he teed up Miller, who was denied by another decent save.

Gers continued to push as play resumed after the interval, with Lee Wallace beating Samson after a perfect pass from Miller - only for a combination of Stephen McManus and Hammell to clear on the line, while Well’s Louis Moult clipped a shot over Wes Foderingham’s bar at the other end.

But Samson was increasingly the busier keeper as he was forced to turn away a Halliday strike and Jon Toral’s deft header. There was nothing even he could do, though, as Gers went ahead on 72 minutes.

Hyndman - who created last week’s winner - was the architect again with a sublime pass in behind the Steelmen’s defence for Lee Wallace.

The skipper could have shot himself but unselfishly squared the ball across goal. Substitute Martyn Waghorn made a mess of his finish but Miller made sure as he rammed home from three yards out.

And 20-year-old Hyndman capped off his full debut with an clinical finish after Josh Windass burst forward from midfield.