There are many words that could be used to describe Rangers performance against Raith Rovers this afternoon, and those five give you an idea of just how good the Light Blues were at times.

For the third match in succession, they scored five goals, and as so often has been the case, they could have had even more in this display of some of the most fabulous football seen at Ibrox in many a year.

Mark Warburton made one change to the side that thumped Queen of the South 5-1 last Sunday as Kenny Miller dropped out to be replaced by Nathan Oduwa, and the Tottenham loanee was to go on to have quite an impact in what was his first start at Ibrox.

In brilliant sunshine in Govan, it was the visitors who began the brighter of the two sides as they forced a pair of corners in the opening minutes with former Ger Jon Daly coming close to getting his head on them both.

It wasn’t to be long though before Rangers were threatening at the other end, and a foul by Mark Stewart on James Tavernier earned the Light Blues a free kick 25 yards from goal out to the right of the area.

Andy Halliday shaped to shoot, but instead he fed the ball short for Martyn Waghorn who in turn found skipper Lee Wallace lurking just inside the penalty area, and he evaded a challenge before curling a beautiful effort past Kevin Cuthbert to hand his side a fourth minute lead.

That sparked a chorus of the now customary ‘Magic Hat’ song around Ibrox as the fans rose to what was another wonderful goal from their side.

The superb football the fans have become so accustomed to was soon on show, and in some style as Rangers threatened to blow Raith away in the opening minutes.

Firstly Gedion Zelalem picked up a loose ball in midfield and skinned defender Kyle Benedictus before feeding Martyn Waghorn but his shot from an angle was wayward and well off target.

Then came a move of the highest quality as Tavernier interchanged beautifully with Halliday, Waghorn and Holt to move from midfield to the penalty box in the most stylish of fashions before the full-back’s shot was pushed clear by Cuthbert.

A Kyle Benedictus foul on Gedion Zelalem brought about another Rangers free-kick in a dangerous area, but Tavernier’s effort found only the face of Grant Anderson, and a lengthy delay in proceedings followed as he was patched up.

Zelalem was having a real influence on proceedings, and he was close to scoring for Rangers for the first time when, in typical fashion, Nathan Oduwa glided into the penalty area before finding Zelalem who in turn beat the dazed Anderson, but his shot on goal found only Cuthbert and the chance had gone.

Some of the passing football from Gers was a joy to watch at times, and another lovely passage saw Jason Holt spray the ball out wide on the left for Barrie McKay before he found Wallace who was a matter of inches away from his second goal of the afternoon with another curling effort which ended this time on the wrong side of the post.

Waghorn was next to try his luck for the home side when he connected with a Tavernier cross into the area, but his effort was headed down into the ground and easily clutched by Cuthbert.

Wallace then made it a trio of curling efforts on goal as he and McKay linked up once more courtesy of a terrific flick from the young winger, but Cuthbert had no issues in gathering the effort.

Oduwa and Zelalem combined time and again in the first half, and another such piece of teamwork saw the on-loan Arsenal man feed his usual North London rival 30 yards from goal with his back to the target. He majestically turned away from the incoming Benedictus before shooting for goal but Cuthbert again was there to deny the Gers.

It was looking as if Warburton’s men were going to go into the interval without the two goal lead they would have deserved for their considerable efforts, but before referee Brian Colvin could blow his half-time whistle, Oduwa spotted a run into the box from Tavernier whom he found with a stunning clipped ball and the full-back did the rest to rattle home his sixth goal of a remarkable season so far for him.

Rangers were served a warning at the beginning of the second half that there were in fact two teams in the game as Wes Foderingham was forced to pull off a save right out of the top drawer to deny James Craigen from range.

Big Jon Daly did well for the Fifers to hold-off Danny Wilson, and he fed Craigen to let fly from 25-yards and with the ball looking destined for the postage stamp, Foderingham somehow got his fingertips to it to divert it behind for a corner.

That was Raith’s best moment of the game, but what followed in response from the home side was a moment of complete brilliance from Nathan Oduwa.

Picking up in midfield, he firstly beat Benedictus, then Ryan McCord and then Iain Davidson to get himself through on goal.

Unselfishly, he squared for Waghorn in the middle who couldn’t quite turn the ball home, but Barrie McKay arrived at the back post to finish off the move from all of a yard out.

Again, the football from Rangers was on a different planet at times, and their good play soon won a penalty kick when Martyn Waghorn latched on to a first-class through ball from Tavernier before the striker was bundled over by Lewis Toshney.

Waghorn dusted himself down and sent Cuthbert the wrong way as once again Rangers threatened to run riot.

And once again, they duly did as Nathan Oduwa left Ibrox in raptures following some more dazzling skill as he left Davidson on the seat of his pants again before looking set to score before being bundled over by Toshney for another spot kick.

A carbon copy of goal number four saw Waghorn make it five by again firing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner as Cuthbert made a dive for his right.

There were further opportunities for Rangers to make the margin of victory even greater, and last year’s top scorer Nicky Law might have done better when he headed a Halliday cross just over the top of the bar.

In the closing minutes, Waghorn had two great opportunities to complete his hattrick, but firstly Cuthbert denied him and then his composure deserted him as the score remained at 5-0.

Regardless, Warburton’s “send them home happy” demand was fulfilled and then some once more as Rangers moved five points clear at the top of the Championship.

Rangers: Foderingham; Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace; Halliday, Holt (Law, 61), Zelalem (Miller, 61); McKay, Waghorn, Oduwa (Hardie, 70).

Subs not used: Kelly, Thompson, Aird, Ball.

Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Thomson, Toshney, Benedictus, Anderson (Megginson, 62), McCord (Matthews, 56), Stewart, Davidson, Daly, McKeown, Craigen.

Subs: Laidlaw, Petrie, Bates, Ellis, Mackie.

Referee: Mr Brian Colvin

Attendance: 44, 050

Article Copyright © 2020. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to

5 - 0

Wallace 4′Tavernier 45′McKay 55′Waghorn 64′ 69′


73% 27%

All Stats & Lineup