RANGERS fell to a 2-0 defeat against Hibernian on Wednesday night, despite a defiant first half at New Victoria Park.
It was end-to-end play from the first whistle as Rangers tried to send the ball through to Lauren Davidson but twice within the first ten minutes, the striker was flagged offside before she could get her run on goal underway.
At the other end, Rangers’ keeper Elliott was making her presence known with demanding shouts whenever the home side tried their luck on her goal.
The first clear shots for both sides came with ten minutes played. Hibernian’s Abi Harrison found herself just left of the penalty area and she crossed to Rachael Small who was in a perfect position to shoot but the Hibs’ midfielder rocketed the ball wide.
As the play resumed with Rangers possession, it switched to the other side and a signature mazy run from Rachael O’Neill was played to Brogan Hay but the youngster was quickly crowded out and had to release it back to O’Neill.
Rangers’ left-back was inches away from opening the scoring as she blasted the ball towards to back post but the Hibernian goalkeeper, Jenna Fife, got a hand to it and forced the corner.
Rangers’ next chance came from Davidson after Caitlin O’Hara battled well to win the ball in the centre circle and played it wide to Hayely Sinclair. The midfielder slotted the ball through the defence to Davidson who watched as her attempt rolled just past the post.
As the game was approaching half time, the goalkeepers for each side both made crucial saves to keep the score goalless.
A misplaced pass from Hibs allowed Lauren Davidson to break and with just the keeper to beat she unleashed her shot, however the Fife got down low and saved for a corner.
At the other end, a defensive mishap allowed Hibernian through and Elliot had to react quickly, sticking out a leg to make the save as McLauchlan fired the ball towards goal.
Hibernian came out strong in the second half, and despite Rangers having a spell of pressure in the opening ten minutes of the second period, Hibs took the lead with an hour played.
Siobhan Hunter played a low ball through the defence and Small was able to burst through and latch on before slotting the ball past Elliott.
Rangers tried to get back into the match and pushed their way up field but a shot from Chantelle Brown from the edge of the box didn’t have the power to trouble the Hibs keeper, while Davidson found the side netting.
The Light Blues were punished for being unable to convert their chances when Hibs broke on the counter attack and after some passing play amongst Hibs front three, Harrison found space to shoot and doubled their lead.
Rangers made a number of changes to try and get back into the match but were ultimately unable to find the back of the net, as Hibernian saw out the match to take the three points.
Rangers will try to turn the result around this Sunday as they play Hibernian for the second time in a week, this time hosting the Edinburgh outfit at New Tinto Park.
RANGERS: Elliott, O’Neill (Rice 72’), Watson, Coakley, Muir, Gemmell, O’Hara, Sinclair (Robertson 77’), Hay (Templeton 85’), Brown, Davidson (Napier 89’)
Subs not used: Viollaz, Cunningham, Ross, Donnelly
HIBERNIAN: Fife, Hunter, Robertson, Michie (Notley 77’), Smith, McLauchlan, Murray, Turner (Gallacher 66’), Harrison, Small (Cornet 88’), Brownlie
Subs not used: Reid, Leishman, Tweedie
Goals: Small 60’, Harrison 76’