SCOTTISH CUP: Martyn Waghorn hits hat-trick as Rangers progress

Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates scoring his hat-trick
Rangers' Martyn Waghorn celebrates scoring his hat-trick

Martyn Waghorn fired home a hat-trick as Rangers cruised into the last 16 of the William Hill Scottish Cup with a 5-1 thrashing of Cowdenbeath at Ibrox.

Mark Warburton’s team raced into a two-goal lead after Lee Wallace and Barry McKay both netted inside the opening 33 minutes.

Cowdenbeath pulled one back with an exquisite Dean Brett free-kick just before the break but Waghorn claimed the match ball with three second-half goals – including two penalties – as Rangers booked their place in Monday’s fifth-round draw.

The former Wigan forward has now overtaken Peterhead’s Rory McAllister to become Britain’s top scorer in all competitions this season with 25 goals from 27 games.

Warburton was as always pleased to see his team win yesterday’s tie, and to come away from the fourth round match progressing to the last 16 of the competition.

“I’m delighted with the result. Cowdenbeath were tough opponents,” he said.

“We’ve already seen over the weekend that the cup, both north and south of the border, brings many upsets and we had to prepare well, train well and deliver a performance and we did that.

“We controlled the game from the start, which we wanted to do, we started very fast but if we have a complaint it’s that we weren’t clinical enough.

“We had lots of good play and possession but we didn’t test their goalkeeper enough in the first-half.”

It wouldn’t be the Rangers manager if he did not have something to complain about – and Warburton did emphasise that he was far from happy at the interval.

“We could have got more from the first 45 minutes. We could have scored four or five goals but come half-time we weren’t happy, so the margins are fine at this level but we have to take our chances and get the rewards,” he added.

“In the second half we started really brightly, there was an immediate chance and a good save from the ‘keeper, we then got the goal and we got very strong as the game went on.”

With the fifth round draw due to take place at Hampden Park tonight the Ibrox boss would not be drawn on potential opponents.

“I don’t mind about who we draw next. We’re looking forward to the next round, whoever we get,” Warburton said.

“I think it was important today to deliver a good performance.

“We’ve had a good festive period beating Hibernian and Dumbarton and followed it on today. We’ve been up against a variety of opponents and venues and we’ve coped with it.”