FOOTBALL : Kris Boyd showed why Rangers fans are desperate for him to remain at the club as his double secured a 2-1 victory over St Mirren and allowed the Scottish champions to reclaim second spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Kris Boyd showed why Rangers fans are desperate for him to remain at the club as his double secured a 2-1 victory over St Mirren and allowed the Scottish champions to reclaim second spot in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
The striker netted in the opening minute and again in the second half at Ibrox to bring his tally for the season to seven goals and – despite a late consolation from Stephen O’Donnell – his brace ensured Rangers moved ahead of Hibernian with a game in hand.
Boyd may be tipped for a departure if cash-strapped Rangers offload key personnel in January but supporters made their feelings clear at this match with a banner declaring: ‘Boyd must stay, Boyd must play, home and away’.
Boyd made the most of his return to the first team when he fired Rangers into the lead with just 17 seconds on the clock. John Fleck’s shot from the edge of the area was parried by Paul Gallacher straight to Nacho Novo, he touched on to Boyd and the striker could not have been better placed to rifle home from inside the six-yard box.
Rangers should have doubled their advantage when Gallacher blocked a shot from distance from Fleck and Boyd pounced on the rebound but he was uncharacteristically off-target and lashed narrowly past the upright.
With Rangers failing to capitalise on their early lead, the visitors could have hauled themselves level when Andy Dorman picked out Garry Brady and his chip came off the inside of the post and back into play before being hastily scrambled to safety.
The Buddies were gaining in confidence and threatened again when Billy Mehmet cut inside from the left and drilled a low shot towards goal that Allan McGregor did well to block.
Rangers then squandered a decent chance when Fleck’s corner was inadvertently knocked on by Jack Ross to the feet of Lee McCulloch but he volleyed well over from close range to the groans of the home crowd who knew he should have done better.
Gallacher was picking the ball out of the back of the net again with 57 minutes gone. DaMarcus Beasley’s pass found Novo and he rolled across the face of goal to where Boyd was waiting to stab home from close range.
Boyd then rattled a shot off the keeper’s legs before Saints pulled a goal back with two minutes to go when substitute O’Donnell fired home amid claims of handball from furious Rangers players.