Rangers hadn’t played since late September, and maybe this was the reason why their first half performance wasn't anywhere near their second half display. The second 45 minute display from Rangers was something completely different, and blew away a Hibernian side that was very much in the game until that point.
Three quick goals in under twenty minutes left Hibs reeling, and memories of last week’s victory against Aberdeen were soon to be history. Rangers captain Ross McCrorie headed the opener, then Ryan Hardie scored two quick fire goals in a manner that had the Rangers fans purring with delight, despite the drizzly and blustering conditions.
Both sides started pretty evenly with some crisp passing, but it was Ryan Hardie who tested the Hibs defence first, when Scott Roberts sent the ball into the penalty area and Hardie sent into the side netting from the corner of the six yard box. Max Ashmore then went close when he struck from twenty five yards, but the ball took a deflection and went out for a corner kick.
Hibs then countered by going up the field and winning a corner kick themselves. Fraser Murray sent the ball to the back post for the unmarked Oli Shaw and the big striker rose, but sent his header closely over the cross bar.
Hibs were very comfortable in possession and passed the ball well, but it was Rangers that were creating the chances. Fortunately for the visitors, these chances were mostly from outside the penalty area.
Ross Lyon had an effort blocked, then Tom Walsh, Jamie Mills and Hardie all saw their long range strikes go close. A glimmer of the home side’s class shown through when a long cross field ball was played to Scott Roberts who then played forward to Mills. The defender continued on his run to the Hibernian bye line, sending the ball in for Hardie, but his ten yard strike took a deflection and went out for a Rangers corner.