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Live Reporting

Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    I'll sign off now on what has been a very good night for Rangers. It wasn't a rip-roaring classic at Ibrox. However, the tension made it a compelling occasion and Rangers knocked in two very good goals to give them a commanding lead.

    Hibernian blew at 2-0 lead at home in the play-off final last season; can they reverse the situation this time? We'll find out on Saturday when the teams meet for a high noon showdown at Easter Road.

    Make sure you join us for that one. Good night.

  2. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    John Grant: "@RangersFC @BBCSportsound Super Rangers. A nice lead to take to Easter Road. One foot in the play-offs final? #bbcscotfootball"

    tom and 20 others: "You just have to keep reminding yourself that supporting hibs is, if nothing else, character building. #bbcscotfootball"

    Robbie Devenney: "Repeat of the 4-0 home win from earlier on the season is on the cards, can feel it #bbcscotfootball"

    bringthemonjpn: "#bbcscotfootball Super result for Rangers. The home advantage was huge. The second leg should be a cracker. Hibs won't lie down"

  3. Post update

    Never mind his players, Stuart McCall sounds absolutely cream-crackered... He's the kind of manager that prowls on the touchline, kicking every ball, the whole time roaring instructions, which almost certainly can't be heard.

  4. Post update

    Rangers manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "I think the scoreline flattered us. You could tell Hibs were the fresher side. Our energy levels dropped late on and full credit to our lads who defended ever so well. When questions have been asked in big games since we came, the lads have stood up. There is a real steely determination there.

    "It was a tough slog but we got two quality goals. That's two clean sheets against Hibs back-to-back now and we'll need to be ready again on Saturday."

  5. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson

    "Motherwell will be laughing because these teams will go at it hammer and tongs again on Saturday. Whoever gets through will need to pick themselves up and go again for two more tough matches."

  6. Post update

    That's six meetings between these sides now and it's honours even, with three wins apiece. BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson points out that the team scoring first has prevailed on each occasion.

  7. Post update

    Alan Stubbs has to sound positive in these interviews but he must be disappointed with his team's performance. They didn't create much, despite having a lot of the ball, and lost all composure when they were chasing the game.

  8. Post update

    Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs on BBC Radio Scotland

    "The tie is far from over. We'd like to score first on Saturday and then we'll see. It will be an entertaining game, I'm sure of it.

    "I thought we played some decent stuff but we were a little bit rushed in the final third. For the chances we had, we didn't work the keeper enough. But overall, I can't fault the way we played. The reason were are 2-0 down is because we should have done better at defending those situations."

  9. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "I couldn't believe Hibs kept doing the same thing from all of those corners. Rangers coped easily. What Rangers did well was to deny Hibs space and they didn't have a clue how to break them down. I enjoyed watching Hibs in the first half but I don't think they handled the second half well at all. On Saturday it will be the same, Rangers can sit back and hit on the break."

  10. Post update

    The Rangers defence was highlighted as a potential weak link before kick-off but they protected goalkeeper Cammy Bell with a determined focus tonight and Marius Zaliukas must have headed away 10 of the 13 corners Scott Allan fired in for Hibs.

  11. Post update

    Well, it's not quite over since we have a second leg to come on Saturday but Rangers are in a very, very strong position now. The work-rate and concentration from the home side was impressive and they conjured up two excellent goals in a game of few chances.


    Rangers 2-0 Hibernian

    The ball is held up in the corner for a while then referee Calum Murray brings the match to a close. Advantage Rangers; big time.

  13. Post update

    It's a first corner of the night for Rangers as Richard Forster's fizzing shot is tipped over by Mark Oxley.

  14. Post update

    Paul Hanlon and Haris Vuckic collide, with the Rangers man wiping out the visiting defender.


    We're getting four minutes of stoppage-time as Hibs get yet another corner. Same old story, as the home side clear. Liam Craig is then cautioned for hauling down a counter-attacking opponent.


    Darren McGregor is booked for hack at Lewis Stevenson. A chance for Hibs to fling a free-kick into the danger zone. As they've done all night, Rangers head it clear.

  17. Post update

    Jason Cummings tumbles under the challenge of Marius Zaliuks right on the 18 yard line but the Rangers defender got a couple of studs on the ball at full stretch.

  18. Post update

    Rangers pack men behind the ball and make a couple of solid blocks inside the penalty area before Hibs captain Liam Craig hammers a speculative long-ranger high over the crossbar.

  19. Post update

    More volleyball from the Rangers fans and they're not giving it back this time. Cammy Bell takes his sweet time to take a goal kick with the new one.

  20. Post update

    Rangers fans indulge in a bit of volleyball with the match ball as Scott Allan waits to take corner number 12 for the visitors. Kris Boyd heads this one away...

  21. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "Hibs are fizzling out at the moment. Their cohesion has gone and they're hurrying everything."

  22. Post update

    Worth the booking?

    Kenny Miller picks up a yellow card for his troubles as he celebrates his goal with the Rangers support

    Kenny Miller picks up a yellow card for his troubles as he celebrates his goal with the Rangers support.


    Rangers add another defensive buffer to their midfield, with Ian Black replacing Dean Shiels. Kenny Miller then gets an early rest, with forgotten man Kris Boyd getting a rare outing.

  24. Post update

    Hibs' Lewis Stevenson pulls a cross back from the left and Jason Cummings is there first but can only balloon a terrible shot high into the stand behind the goal.


    Nicky Clark, who opened the scoring, gets a warm round of applause as he makes way for Stevie Smith. Is that Operation Shore-up starting from Rangers?

  26. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    Daniel Kelly: "#bbcscotfootball The dream continues, the return could just be on in three successive seasons! Come on Rangers!

    Keith McAdam: "Hibs need to get back to there passing game. They have been dragged down to Rangers level of scrappy play. #bbcscotfootball"

  27. Post update

    Corner number nine is followed by number 10 for Hibs, with Dominique Malonga doing well to control Scott Allan's driven delivery only to shoot over on the turn.

  28. Post update

    With the volume inside Ibrox cranked right up, Rangers have their tails up and Hibs' early composure on the ball has completely evaporated. The men in white look rattled right now. If they lose another, the tie is over, surely?


    Hibs make a change in midfield, with Dylan McGeouch on for Scott Robertson.


    The cheers briefly turn to jeers as Kenny Miller is booked for his wild celebration.

  31. GOAL

    Rangers 2-0 Hibernian (Miller)

    Ibrox erupts! Dean Shiels has a shot charged down and the ball spins to Lee Wallace who nods it back into the mix and Kenny Miller is there to steer in a composed finish from an angle with the outside of his boot.

  32. Post update

    Rangers break and Nicky Law stands up a nice cross to the back post, with Fraser Fyvie saving a certain goal by out-muscling Haris Vuckic in the six yard box.

  33. Post update

    Corner number eight for Hibs is repelled - Rangers are yet to have one - the ball is worked back in and keeper Cammy Bell has a wee flap at it but the home side clear again.

  34. Post update

    Dominique Malonga bustles his way into the box and picks out Liam Craig but the move is halted when the Hibs skipper's lay-off to Lewis Stevenson is not weighted properly, allowing Haris Vuckic to clear for a corner.

  35. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "When it's scrappy like this, I think it suits Rangers."

  36. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie must have heard me say he'd been quiet so far as he lashes a shot in from 25 yards but the midfielder's effort is well wide of the target. It's all a bit disjointed at the moment.

  37. CLOSE!

    From the second corner, Dominique Malonga is all alone but slightly off-balance and can only head narrowly over from eight yards or so. Big chance...

  38. Post update

    Scott Allan, being bombarded by paper missiles, swings in a corner for Paul Hanlon to attack at the back post but the ball is deflected wide.

  39. Post update

    More trickery as Haris Vuckic creates some room for a shot on the edge of the box and his fierce, low effort is well stopped by Mark Oxley.

  40. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie gets a spot of treatment after a knock to his ankle. The former Aberdeen man has been the quietest of Hibs' midfield quartet.

  41. Post update

    Hibs have moved star man Scott Allan out to the left for now, with Liam Craig going into a central role. Is that an attempt to outfox young Andy Murdoch, who has been following the Championship player of the year like a shadow?

  42. Post update

    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox

    "Rangers hold a slight advantage and potentially a significant mental edge now. Hibs don't need to chase the game, not with a second leg at Easter Road still to come, but they do need to be more creative and put Cammy Bell under more pressure. Rangers have looked most threatening on the counter attack, and when Vuckic is on the ball, but still fragile in defence. Both managers can say to their players to approach the second half in the same manner, because the game is still finely balanced."

  43. KICK-OFF

    Rangers get the game up and running again. No changes in personnel.

  44. Post update

    Clark makes his mark

    Nicky Clark sends Rangers into the lead just before half-time

    Here's the moment Ibrox went wild... Nicky Clark (14) gets on to the end of Ricky Foster's cross to send Rangers into the lead just before half-time.

  45. Post update

    And what about Rangers? How will they approach the second 45 minutes? Stick or twist? They were getting the runaround in spells there but in Haris Vuckic they have the most dangerous player on the park and there may be more room for him if Hibs commit numbers forward.

  46. Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

    bringthemonjpn: "#bbcscotfootball The perfectly timed goal no more than Rangers deserved for a plucky first half performance. Now the main event..."

  47. Post update

    Hibs manager Alan Stubbs

    Hibs boss Alan Stubbs will have been pleased with his side's slick passing but he'll want to see some end product in the second half. What will his message be at half-time? There's no need to go chasing things since there is a second leg to come on Saturday.

  48. Post update

    BBC Scotland' Tom English at Ibrox

    "I thought Hibs, for the most part, were the better side, with a lot of nice possession but they weren't really asking Cammy Bell any questions. They've thrown the heavy guns at Rangers but not created a lot and now they have a problem. It was a fantastic goal and Rangers will have all the confidence now."


    Rangers 1-0 Hibernian

    Always a nice time to get a goal, and more so when your team has been second best for most of the match. Hibs have looked the brighter side but they trail to that Nicky Clark strike, set up by a piece of Haris Vuckic magic.

  50. GOAL

    Rangers 1-0 Hibernian (Clark)

    Hibs stand off Haris Vuckic on the edge of the box and the Rangers playmaker lofts and audacious pass over the top for Richard Foster to run on to. The full-back drills it in low and hard and there is Nicky Clark with a nice flicked finish inside the six yard box.

  51. Post update

    Scott Allan bombs a corner into the six yard box for the visitors and it looks like Hibs defender Paul Hanlon heads it straight over but the officials give another corner. The second delivery is knocked behind and the third causes a few problems before being scrambled away.

  52. Post update

    Kenny Miller may be getting on a bit but the veteran Rangers striker has still got the energy to get back and help out his defence when required, this time heading clear at the back post, with David Gray waiting to pounce.

  53. Post update

    He does. But it's a poor effort, straight into the defensive wall.

  54. Post update

    Haris Vuckic twists away from Lewis Stevenson and is brought down by the Hibs left-back. Will the Rangers playmaker fancy a crack from the free-kick?

  55. Post update

    Nicky Law curls the free kick towards the back post from the left and Hibs keeper Mark Oxley does well to fend it away.


    The first booking goes to Hibs midfielder Scott Robertson for blocking off Nicky Clark on the left edge of the penalty area.

  57. Post update

    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox

    "Hibs have been the more assertive and composed side at Ibrox. It was typical of the sense of desperation of some of Rangers' defending that Marius Zaliukas fell over as Dominique Malonga ran at him, but both sides have looked capable of creating chances. It is not helping the Hibs goalkeeper Mark Oxley that the home fans are pelting him with the paper they used for a pre-match display, although Hibs can feel more at ease with this game so far."

  58. Post update

    Now Hibs race forward and Dominique Malonga dumps Marius Zaliukas on his backside with a bit of trickery then flashes the ball across goal. Jason Cummings is at the back stick but the ball just zips under his foot. Did he take his eye off it? Criminal, if so.

    The ball is worked back to Malonga and he goes himself this time only to slip when shooting and his tame effort is gathered up by Cammy Bell.

  59. Post update

    Rangers enjoy a wee spell pressure, with Hibs blocking a couple of efforts before Kenny Miller's fizzing effort from the right flies straight at goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

  60. Post update

    Scott Allan shows a great turn of pace to get from deep inside his own half to the edge of the penalty area and slips a neat pass through to Domnique Malonga. The striker's cut-back is scrambled clear for a corner.

  61. Post update

    There's a buzz of anticipation inside Ibrox as Rangers left-back Lee Wallace storms forward for the first time but his low pass forward is easily cut out by Liam Fontaine.

  62. Post update

    Nicky Clark makes some progress down the right flank for Rangers and plays a quick, deep ball across goal for Kenny Miller to chase. However, Paul Hanlon shadows the former Scotland striker, who can't quite get there.

  63. Post update

    Hibs skipper Liam Craig has another dig from distance, this shot rising over the top by a good distance. He's getting closer, though.

  64. Post update

    King takes his throne

    John Bornw, Paul Murray and Dave King

    Rangers director Paul Murray (left) and new chairman Dave King, who has passed the Scottish FA's "fit and proper" test, are in the Ibrox stands.

  65. Post update

    Hibs are pinging the ball around confidently, keeping Rangers pinned back, but a promising move fizzles out when David Gray's low cross is cut out by a defender in blue.

  66. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "At the moment, Rangers are playing far too many long balls."

  67. Post update

    A simple ball through the middle splits the Rangers defence and Jason Cummings is haring after it but across comes Darren McGregor, with an impressive turn of pace, to mop up the danger.

  68. Post update

    A Rangers break ends with Kenny Miller being bundled over by Scott Robertson. The free-kick comes to nothing...

  69. Post update

    The visitors are seeing more of the ball in these early exchanges, as an attempted flick from Dominique Malonga just fails to reach the onrushing Fraser Fyvie on the edge of the home penalty box.

  70. Post update

    Hibs string a few passes together in enemy territory and captain Liam Craig decides to have a pop from distance, with his shot from 30 yards skidding wide.

  71. KICK-OFF

    Hibs, in their white change kit, get the action started.

  72. Post update

    The players emerge from the tunnel and there's a helluva racket in the stadium. Not long to go now...

  73. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

    "This is the time for players to keep things simple, don't think too much about the consequences. There are some terrific players out there and I think they'll go toe-to-toe. We could be in for a real cracker."

  74. Post update

    BBC Scotland's Tom English at Ibrox

    "It's high-wire stuff now and there's no safety net."

  75. Post update

    Ibrox is filling up nicely as the players complete their warm-up routines. Hibernian will be backed by just 950 fans tonight, with Rangers restricting away tickets in the hope a noisy full-house can spur them on.

    In a tit-for-tat move, Hibs are cutting the allocation for visiting supporters at Easter Road, with Rangers only getting half of the South Stand, which they would normally fill.

    With both teams squabbling with the SPFL over pricing, season-tickets and the league imposing a 50% levy, they are positively falling over themselves to avoid a profit. But it's good news for all fans paying a £5 for tonight's entertainment.

  76. Post update

    Hibernian have used their down time to fit in a trip to Spain but Alan Stubbs' men were not loafing around by the pool and going to foam parties at night (are they still a thing?). The players were doing double sessions each day at La Manga, according to the manager. But there must have been some malarkey since he said it was a great bonding exercise.

  77. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson

    "Neither side is set up to go back to front and it could be very congested in the middle of the park. Players will need to be brave on the ball to boss that area. Both teams will rely on the full-backs for width; that could be the key battle - out wide."

  78. Post update

    BBC Scotland's Richard Wilson at Ibrox

    "It is the beginning of a critical test of nerve at Ibrox. Two clubs desperate to return to the top-flight, facing a two-legged play-off. Hibernian have been widely praised for their play this season, and they are the form side in the Championship in 2015, but they are still capable of moments of mental fragility.

    "Rangers are also flawed, particularly in defence, but have also shown moments of determined application in recent weeks. The tie is unlikely to be decided tonight, but the outcome will shape the psychology of the second leg, and expose any weaknesses in either side."

  79. Post update

    For anxious Motherwell fans, the omens from all of the other divisional play-offs are good, with Montrose, Stenhousemuir and Alloa all staving off the drop to a lower league.

  80. Post update

    I'd be amazed if any team is lacking in vitality tonight. With a final against Motherwell for a place in the Premiership awaiting the winners, there is so much on the line for two teams who will think they should always be at Scottish football's top table. One of them definitely won't be and, of course, both could yet be facing another season in the second tier.

  81. Post update

    The return match at Easter Road on Saturday lunchtime will be the seventh meeting between the teams this season! The visitors lead the way with three wins to two so far, including 3-1 and 2-0 successes at Ibrox on league duty.

    However, the most recent head-to-head went the way of Rangers, who brushed aside strangely lacklustre opponents 2-0 in Edinburgh in March.

  82. Post update

    Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We'll be flexible within the system, we can go 4-4-2, we go can with a diamond, we can go 4-1-4-1. It's over two legs and that does come into the mindset but we always look to be positive. We're in a position where it's all about winning. We need to find a way to get over the line.

    "Our preparation has been great. I'd take, all day long, a period of rest before two big games."

  83. Post update

    Rangers manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

    "We're happy to go with what we had at the weekend. We've had a couple of hard games and that might catch up on us but hopefully we can put on a strong performance. I don't think there is a favourite, the sides are that even. It could boil down to a bit of luck. I think we're as capable of winning tonight as at Easter Road on Saturday, the same goes for Hibs."

  84. Post update

    Hibernian captain Liam Craig
  85. Post update

    Rangers striker Kenny Miller
  86. Post update

    Rangers are unchanged from Sunday and it looks like both teams are going 4-4-2. Hibs adopted a back three on their last two visits to Ibrox but injuries to Jordon Forster and Keith Watson leave them short of central defenders.

    Bilel Moshni disappears from the home bench, with skipper Lee McCulloch back from a training ground knock.


    Rangers: Bell, Foster, McGregor, Zaliukas, Wallace, Murdoch, Shiels, Law, Vuckic, Miller, Clark. Subs: Robinson, McCulloch, Smith, Black, Walsh, Ferguson, Boyd.

    Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, Robertson, Craig, Allan, Fyvie, Malonga, Cummings. Subs: Cerny, El Alagui, Stanton, Handling, McGeouch, Djedje, Dunsmore.

  88. Post update

    The hosts secured their passage after a tense 1-1 draw against Queen of the South at the same venue on Sunday afternoon for a 3-2 aggregate victory.

    Hibs should be well rested since they haven't played since the final day of the 'regular season' on 2 May. We'll find out shortly if the difference in preparation has any bearing but Ian Murray, who played in just about every position bar goalkeeper for both sides, reckons Rangers have an edge with their match sharpness.

  89. Post update

    One down and one more to go this week. The play-offs continue and the stakes get higher and higher... Good evening and welcome to our coverage of the Scottish Premiership semi-final first leg, with Rangers hosting Hibernian at Ibrox.