RANGERS Ladies’ SWPL Cup hopes ended after a heavy defeat to Hibernian Ladies yesterday at Ainslie Park. The current holders ran out 5-0 winners in a match where the Blue Belles never really got going.
Hibs scored three goals in the first half which gave Rangers a monumental task in the second half. Rangers were much improved in the second period but the home side’s class shown through as they added another two goals to their tally.
Rangers were on the back foot from the start as Hibs began strong. It took only 10 minutes for the opening goal to be scored. Abi Harrison put a dangerous ball in to the box and it was converted past Jordyn Elliot by Amy Gallacher.
Harrison then doubled Hibs’ lead five minutes later. A long free kick over the top of the defence found Harrison all alone. She finished with a chip over the helpless Elliot.
It was, despite the score line, a stellar performance by Elliot in the Rangers goal. She was on hand to deny Harrison and Michie from adding even more early goals to the deficit with some excellent saves.
Hibs added another goal before the break. Lucy Graham powered a header into the net to give Rangers a mountain to climb in the second half.
The home side started strongly in the second half again but it was left to Elliot to once more hold them at bay. The Rangers ‘keeper was pulling off some fine saves and having a performance where she didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
Rangers, however, were improved in the second half. The defence was much more solid as the coaching staff made some tweaks at the break. Lisa Swanson and Courtney Otto were introduced for Sarah Robertson and Claire Farquhar to give the attack something different.
Swanson put in a tireless performance using her pace and strength to try and cause problems in the Hibs’ defence.
Chelsie Watson came close to scoring after a nice cutback from Hannah Robertson. Watson had a curling effort from the edge of the box saved by the Hibs ‘keeper as Rangers looked to reduce the difference.
Hibs would however score a couple of goals in the second half to add to their lead. Harrison got her second goal of the game before former Ger Katey Turner got Hibs’ fifth in the dying moments of the game. A disappointing result but the League Cup holders were just too good on the day.
Rangers now turn their focus back to league action this coming Sunday as they play host to Celtic in a very important derby at New Tinto Park.