Martyn Waghorn bagged a hat-trick with his 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season. His first was also the seventh penalty he’s scored this season. The striker added to that on 22 minutes and then wrapped things up nine minutes from time for Gers.

And James Tavernier produced an eighth to boost his impressive tally from right-back just after the half hour mark.

With Falkirk drawing on Friday evening it means Mark Waburton’s side created some daylight between them and the second placed team.

Inside two minutes Lee Wallace had played in Barrie McKay down the left and he squared a ball into the feet of Jason Holt. The diminutive middle man turned and held off the Morton defender but couldn’t out muscle him enough and saw his shot bounce wide from a deflection.

Six minutes later Gedion Zelalem went for goal and got the first shot on target of the game. The Arsenal loanee has been vocal about his need to chose to shoot more often. He had options but opted to go it alone through the middle and his strike from just outside the box tested Derek Gatson somewhat, as he got down to his right to save.

On 12 minutes Rangers had their opening when Nathan Oduwa was hauled down by Ross Forbes on the by-line. Waghorn stepped up to take the resulting penalty and with his usual accuracy he stroked the spot kick into the bottom corner.

Morton tried to respond, pressing down the left channel but Tavernier put an impressive series of defending together to brush their advances off. And then Foderingham had to merely collect a shot from Alex Samuel after the Gers defence charged it down.

10 minutes after his first, Waghorn doubled his tally for the afternoon with a superbly taken goal. McKay squared to him, from the left, seven yards out and he held strong to turn and slot the ball, on a tight angle, into the far corner.

Provider should have turned scorer on 26 minutes when McKay tapped wide with the goal gapping. Zelalem and Oduwa had linked up well, the former dinking a ball over the top to the Spurs boy on the by-line. He looped it into McKay and with the ball flashing across the face of goal he failed to connect well enough and put it out for a corner.

Just three minutes later Morton had their best chance so far to peg one back. Forbes curling a left-footed free-kick inches wide of the upright.

Rangers were averaging a goal nearly every 10 minutes and Tavernier was the latest on the scoresheet on 33 minutes. In fact the right-back started the move from his defensive birth and ended it superbly. McKay and Zelalem combined and Zelalem played in Tavernier, who dinked the ball over the keeper for his eighth of the season.

The home side had to respond and Samuel had two great chances, in a row, to do so. First bursting through the middle, only to see Rob Kiernan dive to ground to deny him. And then he cut in from the right and looked likely to get his side on the score sheet, before he drilled his shot wide.

Waghorn should have had his hat-trick five minutes before the break but was denied by Gatson who stood strong to deny him. The clearance from Connor Pepper had bounced off Oduwa and into the path of the striker but he couldn’t profit.

At the other end Foderingham was intent on keeping a clean sheet for his side as he made an outstanding double save. First he parried a shot from the right and when the clearance fell to Denny Johnston he somehow managed to recover and react by palming the effort away.

The first chance of the second half fell to Johnston. This time he darted in from the left and flashed the ball wide to remind Rangers this game wasn’t over yet.

Waghorn was determined to make it three for the afternoon. On 54 minutes it was the last ditch challenge of Michael Millar that wiped the ball from under his feet, as he prepared to pull the trigger yards out.

With half an hour left on the clock Ross Forbes brought down Zelalem just outside the area. Tavernier and Andy Halliday stepped up but it was the midfielder who went for goal with his left foot – curling a low effort straight into the arms of the keeper.

Oduwa was still causing problems for the The Ton. He drove at the defence on 65 minutes and squared to sub Kenny Miller who took his time to pick his spot and attempt to curl a strike past Gaston, who was forced into a good save.

Morton were struggling for chances but if they were to score it looked likely to be Johnston who would provide it. He had two decent chances – his first intercepted by the Gers backline and then a long range strike on 73 minutes was deflected out for a corner.

With nine minutes left on the clock Waghorn did ensure he was taking home the match ball. He fired into the roof of the net from close range to wrap up the afternoon for the Light Blues.

In fact Dean Shiels should have made it five when he cracked a strike off the base of the post in the 88th minute.

RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, Wilson, Kiernan, Wallace, Halliday, Holt (Miller 62′) Zelalem (Shiels 62′), McKay (Law 77′), Waghorn, Oduwa

Subs not used: Kelly, Ball, Clark, Aird

Goals: Waghorn 12′ 22′, Tavernier 33′ 

MORTON: Gaston, Kilday, Lamie, O’Ware, Miller, Forbes (McCluskey 67′), Johnston, Tidser, Pepper, Barr ( Sabajo 76′) Samuel, (MacDonald 67′)

Subs not used: Adam, McKee, Scullion, Russell

Yellows: Forbes 60′

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Waghorn 12′ 22′ 81′Tavernier 34′


33% 67%

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