SWPL league leaders Glasgow City ran out 2-0 winners in a hard-fought encounter with Rangers Ladies at Petershill Park. City new girl Denise O’Sullivan opened the scoring after an error from Rangers keeper Khym Ramsay in the first half, before substitute Eilish McSorley bagged City’s second. Rangers’ Lesley Condie was shown her marching orders late on as Glasgow City secured another three points and keeping their 100% record intact.
Rangers welcomed new signing Amy Harrison to the starting line-up, while City fielded their three latest signings Emily Thomson, Denise O’Sullivan and Julie Nelson.
Just five minutes into the game, Rangers keeper Khym Ramsay gifted Glasgow their first clear chance on goal after she miskicked her attempted clearance. The ball fell kindly to debut girl Denise O’Sullivan who took her time before slotting the ball past Ramsay and into the back of the net.
It wasn’t the way that Rangers had hoped the game was to go and on 11 minutes they could have been two goals down if it wasn’t for the brave goalkeeping of Ramsay.
A cross from the left flank by Sarah Crilly found Lisa Robertson in space just outside the Rangers box, her resulting shot was saved by Ramsay but she failed to keep a hold of the ball as Emily Thomson latched onto it, but the former Celtic player could only blast the ball off the midriff of Ramsay as she made herself large to prevent a certain goal.
Rangers began to produce their own chances, first Hayley Cunningham tried her luck with a 25 yard set piece straight at the City goal on 16 minutes, but her strike sailed just over the bar as Lee Alexander was scrambling back onto her line.
Megan Foley was then foiled by the brave keeping of Alexander who dove at the feet of the hard-working Rangers forward as she looked to latch onto the ball inside the six yard box.
With City’s defence standing resolute, Rangers continued to try their luck from distance. First Jill Paterson tried a long-range shot from a free kick, but the ball was well over before Cunningham had a go once again, it was on target but Alexander comfortably saved it.
On 34 minutes, Rangers were forced into making a substitution as new signing Amy Harrison went off injured and replaced by Rebecca Storie.
Two minutes later a wayward arm struck City midfielder Leanne Crichton in the face as she battled for the ball. As the midfielder hit the ground, the referee David Burns waved play on much to the derision of Crichton’s team mates.
Sarah Crilly was the next to test Ramsay’s resolved as she latched onto a deflected Leanne Crichton pass before jinking her way through the Rangers defence, but her shot was rather tame and it was gathered easily by Ramsay.
Rangers threatened the City goal with Megan Sneddon trying her lucky from distance after a slack pass by captain Leanne Ross, but the former Celtic midfielder’s shot failed to trouble Alexander as it went high over the bar.
With less than a minute to go until half time, the referee pulled City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black aside after he made his feelings known over a number of contentious decisions.
The last action of the first half was a sore one, well for Rangers’ Jill Paterson that is. With the ball bobbing about like a pinball outside the Rangers defence, City’s Lisa Robertson tried her luck only to see her powerful shot cannon off the face of Paterson who did her best planking impression as she hit the ground.
During the half time break City’s Lauren McMurchie was taken off as she was feeling the effects of game time earlier in the week, as she continues her battle back to full fitness following a lengthy lay-off. Eilish McSorley came on in her place.
Just four minutes after the restart, it was City who grabbed the game by the horns. With some good individual play for Emily Thomson down the right flank, the ball was switched across the pitch to Nicola Docherty. As the full back drove towards the Rangers box, she hit her shot early , but it was comfortably saved by Ramsay.
16 minutes into the second half and O’Sullivan gained possession of the ball thanks to a poor clearance by Rangers, as she rounded the onrushing Ramsay, her cross come shot was heading in only for a goal line clearance by Lesley Condie to deny City and O’Sullivan her second of the game.
But City were not to be denied a second time, as from the resulting corner, Eilish McSorley beat her marker at the front post to head past the helpless Ramsay from six yards out.
City made a further two changes soon after with Lisa Robertson coming off for Jo Love and debutant Julie Nelson making way for club captain Rachel Corsie, who returned to competitive action for the first time after nine months out through injury.(See here to get the best legal help from experienced New York construction injury lawyer for slip injury and various other accident settlements).
On 77 minutes, with City pressing further up the pitch, the visitors claimed for a penalty after Leanne Crichton went down in the box after being allegedly hauled back as she raced onto the ball, but the referee waved play on despite City’s protestations.
With nine minutes remaining, Rangers were reduced to ten players as Lesley Condie was sent off for foul and abusive language, after a free kick was awarded against her. By that time however, Rangers were out of the game.
The last action of the game came from that woman Denise O’Sullivan once more, after beating the offside trap she raced through on goal before lobbing Khym Ramsay but the Irish striker could only watch on as her shot cannoned off the crossbar. However, the ball fell kindly to team-mate Sarah Crilly, but the diminutive former Accies player’s follow up was blocked by Ramsay to deny City their third of the game.
The win sees Glasgow City maintain not only their 100% record at the top of the SWPL, but it also keeps a five point gap between them and Willie Kirk’s Hibernian Ladies side who they play next weekend at Petershill.
After the match, Eddie Wolecki Black said: “It was a very competitive game between two sides that wanted to start the second half of the season with three points. We were made to work very very hard, but thought the second half we were pretty dominant.”
On the two debutants Denise O’Sullivan and Julie Nelson, Black was pleased with their performances, adding: “She [O’Sullivan] did well and got us the first goal. She hit the bar late on, which was a good opportunity. Julie eased her way into the game and became far stronger the longer it went on.”
Rangers head coach Angie Hinds was pleased with her side’s performance in the first half, but was disappointed with the showing after the break. She said: “I think the first half we did well, I didn’t think there was much in it. I think it was competitive, but obviously we lost a stupid goal, but to be fair to Khym she has been fantastic this year, but one slip and its a goal.
“At half time we were positive and were happy with how we played. And then we came out in the second half and we were just really flat. That’s probably a little bit disappointing and I think that’s the first time I thin we were disappointing with a performance like that. I think that was the change, we basically just seemed to be very static and sit back and take it in the second half.”
Both Hinds and Black were unhappy with the level of refereeing in the game, Black said: “Every official goes out there to play the game the way they can, we were just getting a wee bit aggrieved over one or two things we felt he was missing. But I thought he had a really good second half.”
While Hinds, after the referee explained the decision to send off Condie, commented: “He did [explain the decision]and fair enough its one of these decisions, the only thing that I was questioning was his consistency.”
There was an added boost for City on top of securing three points with the timely return of club captain Rachel Corsie after a nine month lay-off through injury. Black added: “It’s a big boost to the club obviously, we got twenty minutes out of her plus injury time. Its a start on the road back for her and its great news for us as a club.”