Rangers Ladies completed a triumphant second half comeback against Spartans to secure three points on Sunday after the Light Blues had fallen 2:0 behind at Ainslie Park.
Rangers had the first chance of the match with only a minute played, slack passing at the back from Spartans allowed Chantelle Brown to nick the ball and drive forward. She played the ball wide and it came to Holly Napier.
Napier found herself unmarked at the edge of the box but the midfielder’s first attempt wasn’t powerful enough to trouble the keeper.
Rangers couldn’t capitalize on the early pressure as Spartans were the ones to break the deadlock two minutes later.
The home side was able to break from Rangers’ chance and the ball wound up to Simone McMahon on the right wing. She cut inside and was able to curve the ball low into the bottom corner, taking the lead.
The Gers were dealt another blow when Claire Adams stayed down after a challenge and needed some treatment. The midfielder tried to continue but after five minutes she was replaced by new signing Brogan Hay.
The early goal spurred Rangers on but in testing condition, they were unable to find the back of the net. Spartans mounted on the pressure with a number of free kicks with one set piece smashing the crossbar, bouncing down and, luckily for Rangers, coming back away from goal.
In the second half, Rangers looked to regroup but an almost identical start to the first half saw Spartans take double their lead.
With only two minutes of the half played, Spartans’ Ronaigh Douglas looped the ball past Joanna Viollaz.
This time, Rangers’ efforts to get back into the game paid off and debutant Hay played a big part in getting the Light Blues back in the game.
Rachael O’Neill played a powerful low ball that sliced through the defense, allowing Hay to charge through on goal, the keeper came out to meet her and was forced to clear for a corner. From the set piece, Rangers scored their first of the afternoon to kick start their comeback.
The ball fell to Hay in the box and she drew the keeper to the front post, Hay curled the ball towards goal and it fell for Chelsie Watson who had bundles of space at the back post to tap home, ten minutes into the second half.
With the debut Hay was having, it seemed only fitting that she end up on the scoresheet and on 61 minutes, she got her goal.
Watson turned provider this time and fired a free kick into the box, it was cleared by Spartans but only as far at the edge of the box where Hay met it and picked out the bottom corner with her driven shot to tie the game.
The Rangers comeback was completed with 15 minutes left to play, Rangers had pushed Spartans up the field and captain Clare Gemmell was able to loop the ball in from the right wing and watch as it sailed passed two Spartans’ players on the goal line and into the net to give her team the lead for the first time.
Spartans pressed for an equaliser but the Rangers defense stayed strong and after five minutes of stoppage time, the referee blew the whistle to signal Rangers successful comeback.
Rangers look to continue their league form against Hamilton Academical at home after the international break on October 29th.
RANGERS: Viollaz, Muir, Watson, O’Neill, Ross (Rice 68′), Gemmell, Adams (Hay 28′), Napier, O’Hara, Brown (Coakley 82′), Davidson
Subs not used: Elliott, Sinclair
Goals: Watson 55′ Hay 61′ Gemmell 75′
Report Maryanne Orr
Picture: Rangers FC