Rangers have opened a five-point cushion over Glasgow City at the top of SWPL1 as Malky Thomson’s side took another step towards a historic title triumph with a 4-0 win over Hamilton last night.
A double from Kayla McCoy and goals from Zoe Ness and Kirsty Howat, making her return to action after ten months on the sidelines, extended Rangers’ lead at the top of SWPL1 as they aim to end Glasgow City’s dominance of the women’s game in Scotland.
Having beat City at the weekend to retake top spot in the table, Thomson made five changes to his side with Megan Cunningham replacing the suspended Jenna Fife, while Janni Arnth, Brogan Hay, Zoe Ness and Kayla McCoy came into the starting XI.
Rangers took only six minutes to open the scoring, Kayla McCoy making no mistake when she fired beyond the Accies keeper from Brogan Hay’s enticing ball.
As the Gers continued to pile on the pressure, it took until the 20th minute for the lead to be doubled, Zoe Ness heading home at the front post from Lizzie Arnot’s corner.
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The Light Blues were cruising by this point and just two minutes later, Brogan Hay was causing chaos in the Hamilton defence again before picking out McCoy to net her second of the evening and have Rangers 3-0 up.
With Rangers dominant in the opening 45, the second half saw the long-awaited return to action of Kirsty Howat after she suffered an ACL injury back in April 2021.
A 30-minute run-out for Howat ended in the biggest cheer of the night when she completed her dream comeback with Rangers’ fourth goal 15 minutes from the end.
After Arnot’s shot blocked by Currie, Howat reacted fastest to knock the rebound into the net and send Rangers soaring clear at the top of the table.
Speaking to Rangers TV after the game, Howat was delighted to have made her return after so long out, paying tribute to the players and staff at the club who helped during her rehab.
“I am delighted to get on the park, delighted to get 30 minutes under my belt and then obviously getting the goal tops it off and I can’t wipe the smile off my face,” she said.
“It has been nine months since I was last on the pitch and ever since that night getting back on the pitch has been my goal.
“Every single person in the club from medical staff, physios, doctors, coaches and the girls have been amazing. They have got around me from the day it happened right to the end there and it was great to be able to celebrate with them after I scored the goal.”
Next up for Malky Thomson’s side is an Old Firm cup clash this weekend in the Scottish Women’s Cup before a return to league action in ten days against Motherwell.
In case you missed it, here’s our match report from the win over Hibs in the Premiership last night