Rangers ended the SWPL season with a 2-1 defeat away to Hamilton Academical. Clare Gemell gave Rangers the lead but two goals in the second half gave the home side the victory on the final day of the season.
The early stages of the match were tight with goal scoring opportunities being at a premium. Holly Napier came close with a volley from the edge of the box but her effort bobbled past the post. Joannae Paton made a run through on the Rangers’ goal but her shot was wide of the post and into the side netting.
It was left up to captain Gemmell to open the scoring. It was perhaps not the best free kick that Gemmell has ever hit, but it had enough dip and spin on it to deceives Elaine Fleming as the ball slipped through her hands, under her legs and into the goal.
Jordyn Elliott had a fairly quiet time in the Rangers’ goal during the first half. The closest the home side got to levelling the game was when ex-Ger Jordan McLintock rattled the bar with an effort from just outside the box.
Rangers came close to adding a second after a superb run from Lauren Davidson. The striker sped past the Hamilton defence and drove into the box before cutting the ball across the six yard line. Emma Lyons got a toe to it and nearly turned the ball into her own net, but a superb save from Fleming spared Lyons’ blushes and kept Rangers’ lead at one.
The Bluebelles started the second half strongly and came close on a number of cases to doubling their lead. Gemmell had a number of chances the best of which came when she headed a Davidson cross over bar. Napier came close from the edge of the box but Fleming got herself behind the powerful shot.
Despite Rangers dominating the second half Hamilton equalised through McLintock. Paton played a low cross across the six yard box and McLintock was there to slide in and put the ball past Elliott.
Rangers were still the team on top and went looking to regain the lead. An Amy Muir corner went through a slough of bodies and was heading goal wards before Fleming managed to block it with her legs. Davidson looked to have scored when she was picked out at the back post by a Hayley Sinclair cross. However, it was another stunning save from Fleming that kept the game level.
With the game running down, Rangers looked the most likely to sneak a winner but a mistake at the back allowed Hamilton in. A tap into a empty net on the 87th minute ensured that the host’s would walk away with the three points.
RANGERS: Elloitt, Clark, Donnelly, Coakley, Muir, Sinclair, O’Hara (Hay, 37), Gemmell, Napier, Robertson (Ross 80), Davidson.
Scorer: Gemmell, 20.
Report: David Marshall
Picture: Rangers FC