RANGERS were knocked out of the SWPL Cup after falling to current holders Hibernian at Ainslie Park.
Hibs controlled a lot of the early going, keeping Rangers pinned in their own half. However, it was Chantelle Brown who had the first good opportunity of the first half. A Hayley Sinclair cross dropping to her feet outside the box, with the shot going just wide of the post.
Midway through the first half, Rangers started keeping the ball better, limiting the home side to few chances to push forward, with Khym Ramsay coming out quickly to squash any chances. Brown was continuing to cause the Hibs defence problems, stealing the ball continuously in the early stages.
The home side got a corner in the 35th minute, with Ramsay called into action. A swinging cross from the left was headed towards the Rangers’ goal but was punched away by the ‘keeper. It was a first half where the Rangers defence had to work hard to keep the score level. Ramsay was also in inspired form despite an injury that looked like it may end her match early.
On the 57th minute the hosts took the lead. A short corner was swung in and a near post header from Lucy Graham beat Ramsay. The goal had boosted Hibs and Rangers had to ride out a storm in the immediate aftermath of the opener to ensure the deficit stayed at one.
On the 70th minute, a high cross into the Rangers’ box provided a problem for the defence. The ball fell to Katey Turner but she was denied as Ramsay pulled off a point blank save.
Lisa Swanson came on late in the game as she returned to playing duties after suffering from injuries at the start of the season. The veteran striker was busy and a handful for the opposing defence but unfortunately could not find a route to goal.
As the clock approached the 90th minute Rangers passed up on a huge chance to get the game level. Jade Gallon worked her way past the Hibs’ defence to the by-line before firing a hard and low cross along the six-yard box. The oncoming Holly Napier just could not stretch her leg far enough to get the vital touch that would have provided an equaliser.
It was a hard day for a Rangers side that battled against a very strong and experienced Hibernian side who controlled most of the game. There is now a two week break before Rangers return to action, giving manager Amy McDonald and her team time to re-group after this quarter-final exit.