Celtic produced a disappointing display in the first Glasgow derby of the season this week. In a game that the Hoops were expected to win, given the previous encounters and SWPL positions, it was Rangers who came out on top.
Celtic began the game well and had shots at goal from distance from both Montgomery and Howat which were saved well by the goalkeeper, and the Hoops continued to search for the opening goal from set-pieces, with Rafferty’s delivery from corners and free-kicks testing the Rangers defence.
However, it was Rangers who took the lead on the 29th minute when confusion in the Celtic defence allowed the home side to play the ball across goal for a tap-in from six yards out. The goal stunned the Hoops although Crilly had a chance to equalise after she was put through on the goalkeeper, only to see her shot saved.
Rangers were awarded a penalty after Whyte had been deemed to have handled the ball after a shot fired in from the edge of the box. The spot-kick was converted and then Rangers added a third goal just a few minutes later to give them a 3-0 half-time lead.
Celtic came out fighting in the second-half and with striker Ewens now on the field and a change in shape, they began to take control of the game, putting Rangers on the back foot through a series of early corners and free-kicks.
And they got their reward five minutes into the second-half when Kirsty Howat was put through on goal. The Rangers keeper saved the first attempt, but Howat made sure with her follow-up effort.
The Hoips were now controlling the game, and creating a number of chances, but they were unable to add to their goals tally and reduce the deficit through a combination of good saves from the Rangers keeper and the intervention of the woodwork.
And near the end of the game the home side added a fourth goal when a cross was deflected off Kerry Montgomery and into the net.
Disappointed at the derby defeat, Celtic will look to bounce back this weekend against East Fife in the SSE Scottish Cup second round before finishingthe first half of the league season with a huge game against Glasgow City.
CELTIC: Cunningham, Rafferty (Ross), Poucel (Ewens), Whyte, Dalgliesh, McFarlane, Montgomery, Richards, Crilly, Howat, Mulvey.
Subs: Gibson, Hodges, Fitzsimmons.
Report & Picture: Celtic FC