Forgotten Warrior toast of Scottish football

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TALK OF a COUNTRY . . . Zimbabwe international striker David Moyo (left) races to celebrate an historic goal, which helped Hamilton beat giants Rangers 1-0 at Ibrox in Glasgow on Wednesday night, in the biggest shock of the Scottish Premiership campaign this season. – Daily Record

FORGOTTEN Zimbabwe international forward, David Moyo, is the toast of Scottish Premiership after scoring the golden goal which powered bottom side Hamilton Academical to the biggest shock of the season at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old striker chose one of European football’s iconic stadiums, Ibrox, to score the priceless goal that virtually ended the hopes of 54-time Scottish champions, Rangers, of adding another league title this season.

The shock result could also effectively signal the beginning of the end of the two-year romance between English legend, Steve Gerrard, and Rangers which, at some point this season, promised to deliver the championship back to Ibrox.

However, the wheels have fallen off the Rangers train, in recent weeks, with Gerrard’s men also crashing out of the Scottish Cup at the hands of lowly Hearts at Tynecastle at the weekend.

That Scottish Cup loss forced Gerrard to issue a public statement, reiterating his commitment to Rangers amid concerns he would walk away at the end of the season, but the home league loss to Hamilton was an even bigger blow which will now likely push the Liverpool legend out of Ibrox.

Hamilton had only won once at Ibrox in the league in 94 years and, stuck at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership by the time they arrived at Ibrox on Wednesday night, the narrative was largely about how much they would concede in what many felt would be a hammering.

However, the Accies produced the shock of the season as Moyo robbed Connor Goldson and then toe-poked the ball home for the priceless goal in the second half.

Hamilton, who had been win-less in their last eight matches going into this game, then held on to their advantage to claim one of the greatest victories in the club’s 146-year history.

This was only Moyo’s second goal this season, since arriving at Hamilton in August on a season-loan deal, with the other one coming when he scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over Motherwell on December 29.

Motherwell were in third place, back then, when Moyo headed home the winner for the Accies to open his account for the Accies.

While a return of just two goals in 19 league appearances appears a poor one, it’s easy to forget that the Zimbabwean forward has only made seven starts in the league with 12 of his appearances for Hamilton coming as a substitute.

Born in Harare on December 17, 1994, Moyo has played for the Warriors only once when he was thrown into battle in an international friendly against Morocco in Casablanca on November 16, 2014, as a teenager.

He was played in midfield, rather than his preferred role as the spearhead of the attack, in that game which also marked the arrival of Macauley Bonne as a Warrior with the later scoring in his first appearance for his country.

Since then, Moyo drifted away from the international football radar and has been busy building his professional club career which started when he was offered a two-year scholarship with English side Northampton Town in the summer of 2011.

After a prolific record playing for the club’s youth side, Moyo burst into the first team and made his debut on November 3, 2012, just a month before he even turned 16, in the 1-1 draw with Bradford City in the FA Cup.

He then moved to St Albans, in the English National League South, where he caught the attention of Scottish Premiership side Hamilton who brought him on board last year on a season-long deal.

His strike on Wednesday sent Gerrard’s men spinning 13 points adrift of leaders Celtic and has given Hamilton fans hope their side can again stage another Great Escape to avoid relegation this season.

“To come to Ibrox and keep a clean sheet is phenomenal,” Hamilton manager Brian Rice told the Scottish media. “I don’t know how many times Hamilton have done that in their history. I’m absolutely delighted.

“I think it’s a result that has shocked everyone — except myself. I always believe you put a team out to try and win the game.

“I’m not saying I thought we would win 1-0, but I think you have a chance if you have belief in your team and set them out properly.”

But, for Gerrard, this was yet another massive blow in a season which started with a lot of promise but has been fading with some of the Rangers fans venting their anger at their team after Wednesday’s shock loss.

“Well look, we are playing bottom of the league and we have just lost to the bottom of the league so I think you know how I’m feeling,” Gerrard told Rangers TV.

“I didn’t think I could feel worse than I did against Hearts but I do right now.

“The story of the game is that we were the better team and we created lots and lots of chances but we didn’t have the quality to take those chances.

“And when that happens you leave yourself edgy at the back and you also give the opposition the chance to snatch three points away from you and that’s what Hamilton have done.

We have spoken to them (the players) and the dressing room is very quiet. We had a discussion. I’m asking questions, I’m asking for reasons why we have played ourselves into this rut and why confidence is so low because we have real good players in the dressing room and these don’t look like the players that were doing ever so well a short time ago.

“We all have to stick together and roll on and play ourselves out of it because we have played ourselves into it and we have ourselves to blame.”-Herald

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