Sunday, November 7, 2010
A solid second half paced Maurice Edu and Rangers to victory as they put away last place St. Mirren on Sunday afternoon at St. Mirren Park in Paisley.

Edu started and went the distance in the Rangers midfield.

It was a critical victory for the Light Blues who needed a win after Celtic's beatdown of Aberdeen on Saturday when the Hoops hung nine on the Dons.

Although Walter Smith's men only mustered a third of the output produced by their Old Firm rivals, it was still plenty enough to claim the three points against the Saints.

Edu was active from the get go firing a shot on goal that was deflected out for a corner kick in just the first minute.

Another header on goal later in the half should have been converted by the former Maryland standout but instead both teams went to the locker rooms tied at the half at zero goals a piece.

Like so often this season, Rangers were a much better team in the second half and similar to the Celtic match a couple weeks ago, an early second half own goal opened the scoring for the Light Blues.

Three minutes after the break, Steven Davis' intended cross for Kyle Lafferty was headed into the St. Mirren net by Saints defender Marc McAusland who was probably a bit unnerved by the lurking presence of the Northern Ireland man.

The visitors could now smell blood and perhaps no team is better than building off an opponent's mistake than Rangers.

Ten minutes later Steven Naismith doubled the margin when he easily pushed in Lafferty's cross from the left side. Much of the credit for the strike, however, should go to Davis who had played in a perfect ball to Lafferty.

Now clearly rolling, Smith's men added their third and final goal of the match and who else but Scottish Premier League leading scorer Kenny Miller to get the final tally.

It came at the expense of another mistake by McAusland who was looking to play a timid back pass to his goalkeeper only to see Miller swoop in, dispossess the rattled defender and fire home for his 15th SPL goal of the year.

The hosts did score a consolation goal eight minutes later from the penalty spot which was converted by Michael Higdon.

St. Mirren were awarded the kick after Davis was whistled for a hand ball in the area. It was a slightly dubious call but there was no changing the mind of the referee and Higdon converted from the spot.

From then on, Edu and company locked down the match and rode away with the three points.

The win keeps Rangers at the top of the SPL standings with 31 points through 11 matches.

Up next for the Glasgow club is a midweek home date on Wednesday against Hibernian.