Boyd wonder sends message to doubters

Hamilton 1 Rangers 3
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The Independent Online

He plays, he scores. Fans of Kris Boyd insist that the equation is as straightforward as that, and the striking enigma duly netted twice as Rangers came back from a goal down to win at a canter. The victory consolidates Rangers' second place in the Scottish Premier League, three points behind Celtic with a game in hand.

Celtic bounced back from their midweek mauling at Manchester United by beating Hibernian 4-2 to remain top.

Yesterday's goals will not, on their own, appease critics of Boyd, a former Scotland forward since calling time on his international career earlier this month because George Burley did not pick him.

The 25-year-old's first strike – Rangers' equaliser to Brian Easton's opener – was a penalty, earned by Kenny Miller, while his second, a header for 2-1, was scored from an offside position but was allowed anyway. Close followers of Boyd's record will also know that, as a general rule, he finds the net a lot more often against "little" teams like Hamilton than he does against "big" opponents, and not only because he tends to get more game time against the minnows.

That said, his raw statistics are phenomenal: 56 goals in 83 SPL games (63 of them starts) since joining from Kilmarnock in January 2006. Plus 20 cup goals in 20 starts in various cups for Rangers, and almost a goal every other game on average for six years for Killie before that. He may do little but score, but Boyd, does he score.

Swirling wind and driving rain did not dampen his enthusiasm yesterday, even when Easton's 26th-minute headed goal from a free-kick threatened to rain on the anticipated Rangers parade.

The visitors levelled when Trent McClenahan wrestled Miller over and Boyd converted the spot-kick. They went ahead early in the second half when Boyd nodded in Steven Davis's cross then effectively acknowledged he had been offside by barely celebrating.

Nacho Novo added a third after a defensive error gifted the ball to the Spaniard, who skipped forward and scored, as he would reportedly like to do for Scotland one day. Him and Boyd both is a safe assumption, albeit hard to envisage.