Rangers remain on course for a historic SWPL1 title after beating Glasgow City 3-1 this afternoon to go two points clear with a game in hand over their closest rivals.
After last weekend’s game was postponed, the Gers made two changes from their previous outing against Hibs – Nicola Docherty and Megan Bell coming to the starting XI at the expense of Brogan Hay and the injured Rachel McLauchlan.
New signing Ciara Grant was also named in the matchday squad for the first time, with the Irish international taking a place on the bench.
Malky Thomson’s side took control of the early stages of the game, winning a couple of early corners and keeping Glasgow City on the backfoot without being able to break the deadlock.
Lizzie Arnot had Rangers’ closest effort of the opening ten minutes, doing well to cut inside from the right and fire an effort at goal but it went just wide of Lee Alexander’s post.
Rangers’ early dominance eventually paid off though, Arnot scoring the opener with a stunning strike from distance that left Alexander rooted to her goal line.
With Rangers in the lead, the Light Blues really tightened their grip on proceedings, keeping Glasgow City pinned into their own half and pushing hard for a second goal.
When City did break, they looked dangerous and probably will have felt they should have done better when Chinchilla.
Her cut-back to Fulutudilu was moved on to Davidson but the Glasgow City star couldn’t get her effort on target just as the opening 45 reached the midway point.
There was some concern for Rangers when Chelsea Cornet needed treatment on what appeared to be an ankle injury but the Gers star would quickly recover and return to the fray as the Light Blues kept looking for a second before the break.
Ten minutes before half-time, Jane Ross forced a smart safe from Alexander, reacting quickest to get a shot away and win a corner; Rangers finally getting their second from the resulting set-piece when Niamh Farrelly headed into her own goal from Arnot’s wonderful delivery.
After the restart, City came the closest they had to getting on the scoresheet when poor defending at a free-kick allowed both Perea and Walsh to have headers at goal that the Gers somehow managed to scramble clear.
Rangers didn’t seem to acknowledge the wake-up call, allowing City to get more and more of the ball and leave the Light Blues tying to find a way to ease the pressure.
Rangers were reduced to ten with just over 20 minutes left, Jenna Fife shown a straight red for taking out Fulutudilu with the City forward clean through on goal – Megan Cunningham coming on for Bell with Glasgow City awarded a free-kick in a very dangerous area.
Cunningham’s first involvement would see the keeper watching Lauder’s free-kick sail harmlessly over the crossbar as the Gers braced themselves for a tough final 20 minutes.
However, ten minutes after Fife was dismissed, Rangers killed the game off when Jane Ross headed home from inside the area – moments after the Gers had rattled the post.
With the third goal going in, it killed any hopes of a comeback for Glasgow City and left Rangers cruising back to the top of the SWPL1 table and a step closer towards ending City’s dominance of the women’s game in Scotland.
There was a late consolation for the visitors though, substitute Clare Shine bundling the ball over the line from a free-kick at the back post.
Rangers: Fife, Docherty, Vance, Middag, Bell, Ross, Arnot, Cornet, Kerr, Westrup, Swaby.
Subs: Cunningham, Brownlie, Hay, Ness, McCoy, Howat, Grant.
Whilst fans might be licking their wounds after defeat to Celtic, the Ibrox squad can look to the team of 2011 for inspiration when it comes to the rest of the campaign.