Rangers succumbed to three goals in each half as they fell to a heavy 6-0 defeat to Hibernian.
Report / Image: Chris McMillian
In their last match before the summer break and the Women’s World Cup the Gers failed to capitalise on their recent good form. Amy McDonald set her side up with a 4-5-1 formation, packing the midfield behind Carla Boyce, making one change from the midweek win over Forfar, with Ellis Dalgliesh coming in for Laura McCartney at the back.
It was the Edinburgh side who made the better start in Govan as they tested the Rangers defence within the opening two minutes. After some neat interplay on the right, the ball was laid off for Cailin Michie, who smashed her shot off the bar in the first real chance of the game.
The quick start from Hibs continued, as just two minutes later, they took the lead when a ball from Joelle Murray bounced around the home penalty box and broke kindly for Kirsty Morrison, who dinked the ball neatly over Chloe Nicolson in the Rangers goal to give the cup winners an early lead.
Hibs continued to attack in numbers until the Light Blues first chance of the game came after 10 minutes. Captain Clare Gemmell picked out Carla Boyce with a lovely clipped pass down the left, but Boyce did not get hold of her shot and fired straight at Jenna Fife in the away goal.
Sarah Robertson was then forced off due to injury, being replaced by Laura McCartney, who moved into a more advanced role on the right side of midfield. Rangers continued to look dangerous when they attacked down the left, and that continued to be the case with Amy Muir the outlet, pulling the ball back for Chantelle Brown who dragged her shot wide of Fife’s far post.
Rangers continued to look for the equaliser and Muir had the next chance for the home side to find it. After good closing down Chantelle Brown forced a poor clearance from Hibs defender Murray which landed at the feet of Muir and she lashed her shot goalward, only to see it saved by Fife.
Hibs were then awarded a penalty and the chance to extend their lead, after Jamie-Lee Napier was released down the Hibs right and cut the ball back for the shot, which was well saved by Nicolson. However Gers didn’t clear their lines and a resulting shot was adjudged to have been blocked by the arm of Jade Gallon and referee Ian Hart pointed to the spot. Siobhan Hunter stepped up and confidently powered the ball low to Nicolson’s right to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Hibs, sitting second in the SWPL1, made it three minutes later, after a cross from the left found Napier, who got ahead of her marker and volleyed against the Rangers post, but the rebounding ball fell kindly for Michie, who bundled the ball over the line into the back of the net to increase the cup winners lead.
Rangers had a chance to reduce the deficit before half time as a McCartney cross was just too high for Holly Napier, as the ball floated over her head and the empty net, as Rangers trailed going into the break.
The home side started the second half with more attacking intent however it was Hibs who had the first opportunity of the second half, as Napier was played through over the top, Nicolson came to meet her but Napier touched the ball around the Gers goalkeeper, but could not get her shot on target, although Chelsie Watson looked to have the empty net covered.
Head Coach McDonald made another change just before the hour, replacing Dalgliesh with Gillian Inglis at right back, in an attempt to counter some of the attacking prowess of the visitors down the flanks. Despite that prowess, it was Rangers who produced the next chance of the game, as Boyce took a speculative long-range shot, but a deflection from Hunter threatened to send the ball past Fife, however the Hibs goalkeeper managed to change direction and keep Rangers at bay.
Jade Gallon then had the ball in the net after she was played in over the top by Napier and smashed home, however she was adjudged to offside by the linesman.
The visitors should have increased their lead as Napier again found herself one-on-one with Nicolson, rounding the Rangers goalkeeper, only to be denied by a fantastic goal-saving tackle by McCartney, keeping the score-line at 3-0.
Boyce then made way for Rosie McQuillan with just over 10 minutes to go, and she nearly made an instant impact, after getting free on the left and crossing for Napier, who had time to steady herself and get the shot away, but it was comfortably saved by Fife.
Hibs made it four with 10 minutes remaining as substitute Gibb cut the ball back for fellow replacement Leishman, whose shot was saved brilliantly by Nicolson at point blank range, but the rebound fell directly at the feet of the Hibs forward, who calmly sent the ball back into the opposite corner of the goal to extend their lead.
Another Hibs substitute and ex-Rangers player Lauren Davidson then had a hand in Hibs fifth goal, crossing the ball from the right for Amy Gallagher, who floated her header over Nicolson into the Rangers net.
In the second minute of injury time, Davidson again was the provider, as a wayward crossfield shot fell into the path of the striker, and she whipped the ball into the box for Napier to smash home into the roof of the net with the last kick of the game to make it six different goal scorers for Hibs and round off a comprehensive victory in Glasgow.
RANGERS: Nicolson, Dalgliesh, Coakley, Watson, Muir, Gemmell, Jade Gallon, Robertson, Brown, Napier, Boyce.
SUBS: Honeyman, Inglis, McQuillan, Donnelly, McCartney, Hay, Ramsay.
HIBERNIAN: Fife, Napier, Hunter, Michie, McGregor, Cavanagh, Notley, Murray, Cornet, Morrison, Reilly.
SUBS: Tweedie, Davidson, Currie, Leishman, Gallacher, Gibb.