Head coach Malky Thomson praised Rangers’ patience as a Chelsea Cornet goal gave them a 1-0 win over Hibernian, then admitted they had been “surprised” by the hosts’ game plan.
Cornet scored with 15 minutes to go against her old side to make it three wins from three for Rangers.
“It’s a great win, a fantastic win,” said Thomson.
“We understood it was going to take a bit of time to get the goal. Once we got the goal the girls relaxed and we started passing the ball about and made Hibs come out a bit, as we hadn’t planned for them to sit in as much as they did and hit us on the counter, so that was a bit of a surprise.”
After wins over Hearts and Spartans, this was Rangers’ first real test of their title credentials.
The game came alive after 20 minutes when Daina Bourma hit the deck inside the box after Leah Eddie’s challenge, but the referee waved away the penalty claims and booked the French defender for diving.
After that it was Hibs who had the best chance of the half when Charlotte Potts headed off the crossbar, and only a find goal-saving tackle by Kirsten Reilly denied Siobhan Hunter on the rebound.
It was becoming apparent that one goal was going to win it. Zoe Ness fired over for Rangers while, at the other end, Eilidh Adams shot straight at the goalkeeper when perhaps a through ball to Shannon Leishman was the better option.
The game needed a moment of quality, and it arrived when Rangers’ Brogan Hay scampered down the right and sent a teasing ball in for Lizzie Arnot. Her effort was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Sophie Allison, but Cornet reacted quickest to nudge the ball over the line.
Hibs could have hit back instantly when Rachael Boyle’s low shot was saved, and in the last moments of the game the ball fell to Adams in the box but the ball bounced off her thigh and Rangers got it to safety.
Hibernian: Allison, Leishman, Muir, Hunter, Potts, Eddie, Cavanagh, Gallacher, Notley, Murray, Boyle; Boyce, Adams, Mutch, McCafferty, McEachran, Handley, Morrison.
Rangers: Fife, Docherty, Bourma, Brownlie, Vance, Reilly, Ness, Arnot, Gemmell, Cornet, Westrup; Cunningham, Hay, Devi, Girasoli, McQuillan, MacDonald.