Rangers out of Scottish Women's Cup after controversial Old Firm defeat
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers out of Scottish Women's Cup after controversial Old Firm defeat

Rangers are out of the Scottish Women’s Cup after a 2-1 defeat against Celtic in Airdrie this afternoon saw the Gers’ bitter rivals score a controversial winner in the closing stages of the game.

Gers boss Malky Thomson made four changes to the side that beat Hamilton in midweek as Jenna Fife, Brianna Westrup, Sam Kerr and Jane Ross all came into the starting XI with Megan Cunningham, Janni Arnth, Zoe Ness and Kayla McCoy dropping to the bench.

It was Celtic who took the lead early on despite the Light Blues dominating much of the play when a mix-up in defence allowed ClarissaLarisey to score with 27 minutes played.

However, Rangers didn’t let their heads go down, restoring parity 12 minutes later through Demi Vance’s header.

The Gers had spurned several chances to pull level before Vance’s goal, Lizzie Arnot, in particular, causing problems for the Celtic defence.

With the sides going in level at the break, Rangers will probably have felt a little disappointed with the scoreline but it was clear the Gers had been the better side in the opening 45.

The midfield duo of Ciara Grant and Sam Kerr were making a real difference for the Light Blues in the middle of the park and were helping Thomson’s side take control of the game.

Rangers picked up where they left off after the break, Brianna Westrup going close with an early chance as the Light Blues pushed forward looking to take the lead.

Jane Ross was next to have a chance to get the Gers in front when Hay’s cross found her but the Scotland international couldn’t get a shot away as Celtic scrambled to clear their lines and avert the danger.

Celtic started to get back into the game and have more of the ball, putting the Rangers defence on the back foot and forcing a couple of saves from Jenna Fife with the prospect of extra-time looming.

With 15 minutes remaining, Celtic forced the ball in as they took the lead for the second time in the game, Fife failing to deal with a ball into the area before it was bundled home from close range.

The Gers players pleaded for a free-kick, claiming there was a foul on the Rangers keeper, but there was nothing given and the Light Blues were left facing a frantic 15 minutes to avoid a Cup exit – replays showing there was a foul on Fife and the goal should have been disallowed.

As Rangers threw everything they had to get an equaliser for the second time in the game, Kirsty Howat and Kayla McCoy joined the action as Malky Thomson put every attacker at his disposal on for the closing stages.

However, there wasn’t to be late drama as the Gers now turn their focus to their historic SWPL1 title challenge and dethroning Glasgow City.

Rangers: Fife, Docherty, Vance, Middag, Hay, Ross, Arnot, Kerr, Westrup, Grant, Swaby.
Subs: Cunningham, Arnth, Ness, McCoy, Bell, Howat, Maclean

Meanwhile, Rangers title hopes could rest on James Tavernier keeping up his incredible goal involvement stat.

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