Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games in the SPFL and the IRN-BRU Cup.
5 – Rangers returned to second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership after beating Hamilton Academical 5-3 at the SuperSeal Stadium on Sunday. The Light Blues have recorded five wins out of five away from home in 2018, racking up 18 goals in the process. Josh Windass became the first Gers player to score a league hat-trick since their promotion in 2016 – Sone Aluko was the last Rangers player to score a top-flight hat-trick, against St Johnstone back in May 2012. Rangers extended their unbeaten run in Hamilton to 23 matches – their last defeat against Accies in Lanarkshire was in December 1938.
4 – Kilmarnock defeated Motherwell 1-0 at Fir Park to climb into the top six of the Ladbrokes Premiership. Killie have picked up four wins out of four so far in February; this is the first time they have managed four consecutive wins since February 2010. Coincidentally, both runs started with a 1-0 home victory over Celtic. Steve Clarke’s side have won nine of their last 12 matches in all competitions – their only defeat since the start of December came against Aberdeen at Pittodrie in January.
5 – Dumbarton made it to their first national cup final in over a century after a 2-1 IRN-BRU Cup semi-final victory over The New Saints. The Sons’ last appearance in a national cup final came in the Scottish Qualifying Cup final in 1911, when they lost 1-0 to Dunfermline Athletic at the Royal Gymnasium Ground in Edinburgh. The Sons’ last appearance in the final of a standalone national tournament was the 1897 Scottish Cup final, when they were beaten 5-1 by Rangers at Hampden. The performance of Stephen Aitken’s side in this season’s IRN-BRU Cup is particularly incredible given their previous lack of success. The Sons have won five matches to make it to this year’s final – that’s as many victories as they had previously achieved across the entire 26-year history of the competition.
4 – Inverness Caledonian Thistle will be Dumbarton’s opponents in the IRN-BRU Cup final – the Caley Jags defeated Crusaders 3-2 in the second semi-final. The Caley Jags have a flawless record in the semi-final of this competition – Sunday’s win over their Northern Irish opponents was their fourth win in four Challenge Cup semi-finals.
5 – Livingston breathed fresh life into the Ladbrokes Championship title race thanks to a 4-1 victory over leaders St Mirren at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Livi are now 11 points behind the Buddies at the top of the table with a game in hand, while Dundee United lurk 14 points behind Saints with three games in hand. David Hopkin’s side are the division’s form side, having picked up four wins and a draw from their last five league matches.
5 – Forfar Athletic thumped Stranraer 5-1 to climb out of the relegation places in Ladbrokes League 1. At one point, Forfar looked in danger of getting cut adrift at the foot of the table, but they have picked up three wins in their last five matches to climb above Albion Rovers and Queen’s Park. The Loons ended a run of seven matches without a win over The Blues – their last victory against Stranraer came in the Championship play-off semi-final in May 2015.
5 – Clyde defeated Cowdenbeath 2-0 at Broadwood to continue their impressive recent run of form in Ladbrokes League 2. The Bully Wee have recorded five consecutive league victories to move themselves well clear of relegation worries and perhaps even a slight chance of the play-offs. Michelle McManus was topping the charts with ‘All This Time’ the last time Clyde won five or more in a row in the league – that was a seven-match winning streak from December 2003 - February 2004 as the Bully Wee came agonisingly close to gaining promotion to the top flight.