RECAP: RANGERS 3 - 0 HIBERNIAN
DaMarcus Beasley was back in action for the first time since December and Rangers returned to their goal-scoring ways with a solid thrashing of third place Hibernian on Sunday at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.
In a somewhat surprising move, head coach Walter Smith actually gave Beasley the starting nod but then substituted him out at halftime in place of Kyle Lafferty.
Fellow American Maurice Edu made the bench for Sunday's affair but did not see any playing time.
Any questions that Beasley would show rust in his first match back were immediately put to the rest as the Indiana native won several free kicks in the first ten minutes.
Hibernian had little answer to counter the winger's speed as he wreaked havoc on their defense. If anything, Beasley's teammates were the ones showing rust as they failed to find the former PSV Eindhoven man with passes as he streaked into the area.
Although the Light Blues were unable to get on the scoresheet in the first half, Smith will certainly take away the fact that Beasley will be a lethal weapon at his disposal during the season's stretch run.
The hosts finally scored in the 50th minute after a nice one-two combination between Stevie Whittaker and Lafferty. Whittaker blasted a shot that found the back of the net and Rangers were on their way.
Scottish Premier League leading scorer Kris Boyd got in the act in the 71st minute when he converted a penalty kick. Hibs' Sol Bamba had taken down Kenny Miller in the area and Boyd cooly slotted the ball home for his 20th goal of the season.
Miller then scored a goal of his own in stoppage time when he fired in a shot from 15 yards after receiving a pass from nacho Novo.
The victory extends the Rangers lead in the league standings to 10 points after second place Celtic drew over the weekend.
Next up for Beasley and Edu is a Scottish Cup fifth round replay versus St. Mirren on Wednesday.