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SWPL: Honours even as Hamilton and Rangers Ladies fight out a 2-2 draw

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This was always going to be a tough match for Hamilton as the Rangers team are well organised and are difficult to breakdown. The game was end to end from the start and only a terrific save by Khym Ramsey in the Rangers goal prevented Susan Fairlie giving Hamilton an early lead.

Rangers punished this miss within five minutes when a good run and cross from the left was headed home by the Rangers Lucy Clark.

Hamilton upped the pace and put some pressure on the Rangers defence, a great jinking run by Ashley McDonald created the space for her to thread a lovely pass through to Helen Templeton who turned inside and saw her well struck shot save by Ramsey.

On the half hour mark the pressure Hamilton were putting Rangers under finally paid off, the ball was worked down the left and laid back to Kirstin McGuire her shot was blocked but fell to the feet of Fairlie who finished at the second attempt.

Hamilton had to make a few changes in defence when Terri Donnelly was forced off with a knee injury. Moving Cheryl McCulloch back to centre half and bringing on Carolina Richardson up front.

The second half was only four minutes old when Hamilton were awarded a penalty after Templeton was brought down. Rangers’ defenders surrounded the referee and assistant complaining about the decision in the aftermath Rangers Lesley Condie was sent off.

The long delay from the award to the taking of the penalty did not help Fairlie and she could only watch in dismay as her shot came back off the post and was cleared to safety.

Rangers did not let the loss of one of their players prevent them from taking the game to Hamilton and within 10 minutes they were awarded a penalty of their own. Alana Marshall made no mistake from the spot and the visitors were once again in the lead.

Again Hamilton fought their way back into the game and created several chances before a well worked move of their own brought them their second equaliser of the game. Jen King who was outstanding in defence all day broke up a Rangers attack and strode forward over the half way line before splitting the visitors defence with a terrific through ball. Richardson latched onto the pass and rounded the keeper before firing high into the net.

Chances came and went for both teams after this and but again good saves from both keepers kept the score at 2-2.

This was a game that Hamilton should have won and if they had taken their chances they would have taken all three points. On the plus side they made more chances in this one game than they have in their previous three matches.

Manager Kevin Murphy summed the day up: “We are all disappointed not to have taken all three points today and we were left to rue not only our missed chances but the errors that allowed Rangers to take the lead on two occasions. We can take heart from the volume of opportunities we carved out but our focus for next week must be to take our chances and stop gifting the opposition easy goals. The players always respond well to setbacks and I am sure this group will bounce back for next week’s trip to Inverness.”

Report by James Crilly

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