Rangers Ladies made it eight games unbeaten with an 5-1 win over Aberdeen, thanks to a first half performance which head coach Hind described ‘as good as we’ve played so far’. Mary Anne Orr reports from Petershill.
The home side started the game with a determination and desire to take the game to Aberdeen, with Cunningham showing Rangers intent with two shots on goal in the opening minutes. Her first strike, an effort on the turn, fired just wide of the target, while the second was blocked by the Aberdeen defence.
It was no great surprise that Rangers broke the deadlock after quarter of an hour played, as Kathryn Hill picked up the ball on the left flank and drove inside before unleashing a shot from the edge of the box which rocketed into the bottom corner of the Dons goal.
Aberdeen pushed forward trying to find an equaliser and at one point had the ball in the back of the net, however the Aberdeen striker’s run was deemed offside. From this, Rangers countered and quickly doubled their lead. Kathryn Hill with another edge of the box strike finding the back of the net.
The Light Blues kept pressing forward and after a series of corners, were rewarded for their effort with a third goal. A corner taken by Cunningham was met by the head of Megan Sneddon, and the Scotland international headed home scoring her fourth goal in four games.
Sneddon almost added to her tally as the first half continued with a great effort from long-range which was diverted away from the target by the post. The woodwork got in the way again as, after a poor clearance from Aberdeen, Megan Foley cut forward but her attempt was foiled by the cross-bar.
Kathryn Hill almost sealed a hat trick as just before the interval she met a cross from Karen Penglase, but she was unable to get her shot away.
After the restart, the Gers kept up their strong play and it wasn’t long before they found the net again. An excellent ball from Hollie Thomson found Megan Foley in front of goal and lobbed her shot over the keeper to make it 4-0.
After her midweek goal against Hibernian, Karen Penglase took her chance after driving through the Aberdeen defence but her shot failed to find the target as it went narrowly wide.
Aberdeen worked their way towards the Rangers goal but Penglase was on hand to clear the danger. But it wasn’t long before the visitors pulled a goal back. The Dons were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and after clearing the initial shot, Rangers weren’t quick enough to press the ball and the follow-up shot was fired into the bottom corner of the net.
After conceding the goal, Rangers made two changes, Michelle Barr and Megan Foley replaced by Sophie Riley and Rebecca Storrie.
In the closing stages of the game, Aberdeen tried to build on their goal as they pushed play towards the Rangers end, however Rangers matched their efforts. Karen Penglase forced a save from the Dons’ Keeper in the dying moments of the game and Sneddon was close to converting the corner but the ball was well held in the end after a goal mouth scramble.
With what would amount to be the last real play of the game, substitutes Storrie and Halliday worked well to create Rangers’ fifth goal. Storrie worked her way forward and an excellent cross met Halliday who finished well. The final whistle brought Rangers another three points and extended their unbeaten run to eight games now. Next up for Rangers is city rivals Celtic at Lennoxtown next Sunday.
After the match, Rangers head coach Angie Hinds said: “We played well as a team, but the foundation for this was our midfield. I thought they were very good, dominant in the air. Defensively they won a lot of the ball for us and their movement in possession was, at times fantastic. I was really pleased with the goals we scored and the contribution that the players coming off the bench made too.”
Rangers: Ramsay, Barr (Riley), Paterson, McGill, Penglase, Thomson, Sneddon, Cunningham (Swanson), Ross, Foley (Halliday), Hill (Storrie).
Subs not used: Hughes, J.Condie, Lindsay