JOSH WINDASS thumped in his second hat-trick of the season as Rangers came back from a goal down to overwhelm Hamilton Accies 5-3 at the SuperSeal stadium this afternoon.
The dynamic midfielder celebrated signing his new contract during the week with a devastating display against a team who have yet to win this year.
However, it was the Accies who got off to a flying start in the fifth minute when Darren Lyon seized upon an error from Declan John to slide a low left-foot effort wide of Wes Foderingham.
Four minutes later, Alfredo Morelos thumped a header off the crossbar before he set up Jamie Murphy for the leveller only 60 seconds later.
His low left-foot cross was perfection and the on-loan winger slammed the ball beyond helpless Gary Woods.
Nine minutes later, the keeper made a dreadful mistake to present Graeme Murty’s men a gift of a goal.
Windass tried his luck from 20 yards, but the ball was heading straight into the chest of Woods before he fluffed his catch and sent the effort spinning over his shoulder into the net.
Accies came back, though, and ex-Ranger David Templeton equalised in the 22nd minute with a well-placed effort from the edge of the box that flashed wide of Foderingham as he dived in vain to his right.
Five minutes later, the visitors were back in front after Woods had blocked a Murphy drive. The winger collected the rebound to set up Morelos for an easy chance.
In the 35th minute, Murphy again conjured up an opportunity and this time Windass walloped the ball beyond Woods.
It remained that way until 18 minutes from the end when Morelos timed a superb pass into the tracks of Windass who claimed his threesome from close range.
Three minutes from time, Scotland international defender Russell Martin handled in the box and Dougie Imrie smashed the penalty-kick award high into the roof of the net.
The win puts the Ibrox side on 52 points and ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference.
However, they are still nine adrift of Celtic who were held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone at Parkhead later in the afternoon.