Motherwell put up a fight but lost out to Spartans for the second week in succession.
Image: Motherwell FC
Goals late in the first half from Elena Santoyo-Brown and Zoe Johnstone put the hosts in control at the interval, but Donald Jennow’s side fought their way back into contention in the second 45.
Claire Adams’ goal gave hopes of a comeback, before Georgie Rafferty’s red card was followed by a decisive strike from Becky Galbraith to seal a 3-1 win for Spartans.
Morgan Hunter, Kirsten Rolph and Caitlin Russell all dropped out from the team which lost at Ravenscraig to the same opponents in the SWPL Cup last weekend, with Anna Vincenti, Natasha Roberts and Mhairi Fyfe all taking their place.
The first clear chance at Ainslie Park fell to the visitors. A corner kick was met by Kerry Montgomery in the air, but her header sailed over the crossbar.
Down the other end, Spartans came close from chances from Clelland and Santoyo-Brown, before the latter broke the deadlock with five minutes left in the first half.
Douglas played through the scorer, who was able to slot under debutant ‘keeper Vincenti.
Just minutes later, it was two. Clelland’s cross from the right fell to Johnstone, who swept home to double the hosts’ advantage.
The second half saw the visitors get back into things when Adams struck, but Motherwell’s task became the more difficult when Rafferty saw red soon after.
They then saw hopes of a comeback extinguished, as Becky Galbraith headed in Tara McGonigle’s cross to seal the points.
Motherwell: Vincenti, Knox, Roberts, Rafferty, Crilly, Montgomery, Rice, Adams, McEachran, Fyfe, Gardner.
Subs: McManus, McLeod, Trialist.