Rangers Women recorded their first win since June 24 after a convincing 5-2 triumph over Hamilton Accies in their final home game of the season at New Tinto Park.
Image: Rangers FC
The win ended a run of five games without collecting all three points. The result also confirmed Hamilton’s relegation from the Scottish Building Society SWPL 1.
With this being the last game at New Tinto Park, Rangers kicked it off in style three minutes in. Captain Claire Gemmell took control of a high ball just within the Hamilton half before she chipped a fantastic ball over the top of the oppositions’ defence. Carla Boyce ran onto the end of the pass and as she outmuscled the defender, she hit a shot just over the reach of Lauren Grant to make it 1-0.
Hamilton nearly equalised quickly, with a few close opportunities, forcing Jade Baillie into some fine saves. Bu,t after those few chances, the tempo of the game settled and the home side finally took charge of the game.
Rangers used their possession to their advantage and after 17 minutes they doubled their lead. Boyce found Sarah Robertson down the wing, releasing her as she ran into the visitor’s box. Her cutback found the left foot of Jade Gallon, and she tapped the ball into the net for the second of the afternoon.
Hamilton attacker Katie Rice came close to bringing one back for the away side and her long range effort was heading for the top-left corner of the goal until Baillie came across with a great save. Baillie was called into action again soon after, as Accies striker Lori Gardner found herself free in the box, but the keeper was quick off her line to bloke Gardner’s shot.
Minutes later Rangers made it 3-0. A corner from Gemmell was met at the front post by the head of Amy Muir and her glancing header flew into the net to ensure they had complete control of the first half.
It was a very calm start to the second half, until 14 minutes in when Hamilton finally managed to breakdown the strong home defence. A loose ball from a corner found a free Gardner, who stuck her foot onto the ball from six yards out to bring home back.
Any momentum gained for the visitors was quickly stifled six minutes later by Boyce. Muir played Robertson down the wing and as she cutback Robertson played a pass across the box. Boyce initially missed the ball leaving it to Jade Gallon to have a shot at goal, which was blocked by an Accies body. The resulting loose ball rolled back over to Boyce who slotted home for 4-1.
With just over 20 minutes left the visitors restored some hope of survival, as another loose cross into the Rangers box landed to the feet of Gardner. Much like her first, she didn’t waste the chance to score her second and bring it back to 4-2.
As the game came to its closing stages Rangers could have scored on a few opportunities, making it hard for Hamilton to get any forward momentum. Four minutes from time, the inevitable fifth goal came for the home side. Substitute Lauren Gallon played a one-two with Amy Muir down the right wing and her pass came into the line of captain Gemmell, who placed the ball into the Hamilton goal.
That was it for the game as Rangers signed out of New Tinto in style, hopefully giving them a final push for the end of the season, with away trips against Forfar and Hibernian. If they bring that kind of performance to those games they could secure fourth place in the league.
RANGERS: Baillie, Muir, Eddie (Coakley 57’), Donnelly, Inglis, Gemmell, O’Hara, Hay (L.Gallon 75’), Robertson (McCartney 71’), Boyce (Napier 71’), J. Gallon
UNUSED SUBS: Ramsay
SCORERS: Boyce (3’, 61’) J. Gallon (16’), Muir (25’), Gemmell (88’)
HAMIILTON ACADEMICAL: Grant, Quinn, Connolly, Fraser, McIntosh, Anderson, Hay (Brown 55’), Gardner, Bulloch (Lyle 55’ (MCann 74’), Rice, Ross
UNUSED SUBS: Hopkins, Lyons, Fitzsimmons, Quigley
SCORERS: Gardner (58’,69’)
YELLOW: McIntosh 82’