Steven Gerrard’s Rangers returned to the top of the Premiership after a slim home win over Hamilton Academical.

With Celtic losing earlier in the day to Hibs, Rangers’ three points were enough to move them above Kilmarnock on goal difference.

Daniel Candeias fired Rangers into an early lead moments after Kyle Lafferty had headed the ball off the post.

But they struggled to add more despite their dominance, with Hamilton offering little at the other end.

The win also ended a run of three games without a victory across all competitions for Gerrard’s side.

Hamilton remain in 10th, four points above the drop zone.

Rangers back to winning ways

After stumbles against Aberdeen and Dundee, Rangers had relinquished the lead in the Premiership, while Thursday’s Europa League loss to Rapid Vienna meant an exit from Europe.

However, Celtic’s 2-0 defeat to Hibernian at Easter Road gave Rangers the chance to reclaim top spot and they did not falter as Candeias struck within three minutes.

But Gerrard may well be concerned by his side’s lack of cutting edge, having now scored just one goal from open play in the last six games.

The home side looked like they would blow the visitors away in a storming start. Lafferty – in for suspended top-scorer Alfredo Morelos – got to James Tavernier’s delivery but headed it off the post with the goal gaping.

But soon after Candeias pounced inside the area after Lafferty had a shot blocked by Matt Kilgallon, sending the rebound past goalkeeper Gary Woods.

Despite dominating the rest of the half they could not build on their lead before the break.

Candeias saw another effort blocked amid a goalmouth scramble, while Woods saved well from Eros Grezda, Gareth McAuley and Lafferty.

Scott McMann’s low effort at Allan McGregor was the best that Accies could muster.

The longer it stayed 1-0, the more the home crowd grew nervous. However, despite some jittery moments, Rangers held on for the three points.

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 36McAuley
  • 31Barisic
  • 17McCrorieSubstituted forMiddletonat 58′minutes
  • 21CandeiasSubstituted forHallidayat 81′minutes
  • 37Arfield
  • 8Jack
  • 35Grezda
  • 11LaffertyBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 3Worrall
  • 13Foderingham
  • 15Flanagan
  • 16Halliday
  • 23Coulibaly
  • 40Middleton
  • 44Dallas

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowan
  • 6KilgallonSubstituted forPennyat 88′minutes
  • 4GordonBooked at 68mins
  • 46Sowah
  • 3McMann
  • 9BinghamSubstituted forBrustadat 74′minutes
  • 12TaiwoSubstituted forBoydat 83′minutes
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 39mins
  • 7Imrie
  • 10Keatings

Substitutes

  • 5Tshiembe
  • 17Penny
  • 20Marsden
  • 21Want
  • 22Monlouis
  • 30Boyd
  • 31Brustad
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
49,055

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home15
Away2
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home22
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Booking

Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers).

Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Arfield (Rangers).

Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven Boyd (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Alex Penny replaces Matthew Kilgallon because of an injury.

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

(Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Eros Grezda (Rangers).

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gareth McAuley (Rangers).

James Keatings (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Steven Boyd replaces Thomas Taiwo.

Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Andy Halliday replaces Daniel Candeias.

Borna Barisic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Connor Goldson.

Attempt blocked. Fredrik Brustad (Hamilton Academical) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.

Attempt missed. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Aaron McGowan.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Thomas Taiwo.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Fredrik Brustad replaces Rakish Bingham.

Attempt blocked. Scott Arfield (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical).

Booking

Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Eros Grezda (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

Attempt saved. Kyle Lafferty (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

goal

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