SPL - Rangers into Cup quarters

Wed, 17 Feb 21:51:00 2010

Kris Boyd netted an 86th minute winner to sink St Mirren 1-0 and fire Rangers into the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup - and a step closer to a domestic treble.

2009-10 SPL Rangers Kris Boyd - 0

Despite making six changes, Walter Smith's side dominated the match from start to finish, but found their dogged opponents difficult to break down.

But with extra-time looming, hitman Boyd latched on to a Kirk Broadfoot flick-on to thump the ball past Paul Gallacher and book the Gers' a cup date with Dundee United.

Saints had already shut out their much-fancied opponents at St Mirren Park and kept the hosts to a bare minimum of clear-cut chances in the first period.

Steven Davis's early sighter was straight into Gallacher's midriff, but when Boyd's superb reverse pass sent Steven Naismith away minutes later, the keeper was relieved to see the shot drift just wide of his far post.

Madjid Bougherra was a thorn in the Buddies' side all night and after he turned David Barron inside out, Boyd's volley was off-target from the Algerian's cross.

Bougherra was again was in the thick of the action as he found Naismith, but the striker hit his shot into the ground and with the sting taken out of the shot, Gallacher saved comfortably.

Despite Saints' battling rearguard action, the Gers came within a whisker of taking the lead just before the break.

Broadfoot rolled the ball to Davis, and as the visitors backed off, he crashed the ball narrowly over Gallacher's bar.

Rangers came out for the second half as they finished the first.

Boyd flicked the ball into the net shortly after the restart, only to be rightly flagged offside, and the striker then saw his fizzing volley tipped smartly over the bar by the alert Gallacher.

Saints had offered little attacking threat in the first 45, but Gers keeper Allan McGregor had to be quick to deny Michael Higdon after Andy Dorman's clever ball into the near post and the Rangers stopper did equally well to snuff out Billy Mehmet's shot after the St Mirren man's powerful run.

Gallacher matched his opposite number when he instinctively stopped a certain own goal from David Barron with his foot after Steven Davis burst through the Saints defence, but the keeper could do nothing about Boyd's winner.

With extra-time looking a certainty, Steven Smith sent a hopeful high ball into St Mirren territory, Broadfoot's flick found John Potter on the wrong side of Boyd and the SPL's record goalscorer gleefully smashed the ball home to break Saints' hearts.

Ian Hare / Eurosport

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