It doesn’t matter how they go in, as long as they go in. “You don’t dream of scoring goals from half a yard out that hit off you and go in, you dream of scoring good goals,” reflected Jamie Murphy, who scored for the third game in a row on Saturday but found the net for the first time in Rangers’ raucous backyard of Ibrox. “I’m just delighted. Whether it was a scuff or a good finish, I will take it.”

Murphy had plenty of reason to be chuffed with his 41st minute breakthrough. He seemed to run the length of Edmiston Drive before finally getting a shot away and squeezing the ball through a tangle of frantic, flailing legs to break Hearts’ sturdy resistance and set Rangers on their way to a commanding triumph.

“I couldn’t get a clean shot away so I was trying to wait until that happened and I was just lucky that it went in the net,” added Murphy.

That the nails were still being nervously nibbled as the 90th minute approached said more about the home side’s profligacy than any threatening advances from a Hearts team which had enjoyed a brief flurry of menace in the first-half but didn’t muster much thereafter.

That must have been a source of frustration for Craig Levein because when they did get into mischievous territory, there was a hesitancy in the Rangers defence which could have been exploited more.

As it turned out, the hosts were well worthy of the three points which, for a few hours, reduced the gap at the top to six points before Celtic’s win at Aberdeen yesterday put more daylight between the sides again.

Throughout the course of an engaging, sprightly tussle, the Rangers players dished out as many shots as a Mexican tequila bar during happy hour while Jon McLaughlin, the hard-press but inspired Hearts keeper, produced more blocks than the assembly line at a Lego factory to add to the sense of groaning, grumbling frustration in the stands.

There was more than a sigh of relief, then, when Russell Martin prodded home a second goal in the 88th minute to put a much better complexion on affairs.

With the guile of Murphy and the drive and industry of Greg Docherty, Rangers held this game in a double nelson for the majority of its duration.

“It’s always a worry when it’s 1-0 and you want to get the extra goal and kill teams off,” conceded Murphy.

“I never thought we were really in trouble. We were the better team on the day and we kept trying and trying and got the goal in the end. The manager knows that and he tells us that we are never going to give up, no matter what happens.

“Whether we are behind or in front, we are going to go right until the end and that is expected here.”

For Murphy, who continues to add a clinical edge to his inventive approach play, it was another good day at the office as he got off the mark in the stadium he would regularly visit as a Rangers-supporting young ‘un.

“It was really special (scoring at Ibrox),” he said with a smile. “Many a great player down the years have scored here so I am lucky enough to be playing here at the moment and doing well. Brian Laudrup was the first person that I admired and remember watching.”

Like his manager, Graeme Murty, Murphy refused to get drawn into any discussion revolving around a title race.

With Celtic establishing that nine point advantage again with victory at Pittodrie, Rangers continue to face the kind of sizeable reeling in job that Chief Brodie. Quint and Hooper embarked on.

It’s St Johnstone up next tomorrow night and for Murphy it’s just a case of onwards and upwards.

“It is just about us at the moment and we want to win every game that we play, no matter who it is against,” said the 28-year-old. “No matter if it is home or away, we want to win every game.

“For us, it is another one ticked off the list and we will look forward to Tuesday. It (the title) is not something we are thinking about.

“Hearts are a good side, they came here and set up to stop us playing a bit and do their own thing. We managed to do it with a good performance and a clean sheet as well.”

Amid the Ibrox cheers, there were plenty of jeers too, with the howls and hisses being reserved for the former Rangers man Steven Naismith, who was given a frosty reception when he emerged off the Hearts bench in the second half.

“It’s not the first time I’ve been booed in a stadium and I had the wife and kids shouting and bawling at me all week anyway,” he said with a wry grin.