Rangers claimed all three points against Stirling University in a return to Benburb as the Light Blues look to end the first half of the season on a high.
Report: Maryanne Orr / Image: Rangers FC
A wonderful strike within minutes of kick off from Carla Boyce was cancelled out 10 minutes later by Stirling’s Naomi Welch. However, Rangers came out strong in the second half and a goal from substitute Chantelle Brown put Rangers back in front. With minutes to go in the match a quick fire Rangers double, courtesy of Jade Gallon and Shivohn Honeyman, ensured the three points went to Rangers.
Rangers attacked from the first whistle and threatened through Carla Boyce within the first minute, the striker’s shot wide of the target. But Boyce more than made up for the miss as she opened the scoring seconds later.
The ball was played over the top of the Stirling defence from Clare Gemmell and Boyce timed her run to perfection, latching onto the pass and looping it over Rebecca Sjogerud in the Stirling goal, giving Rangers the advantage.
The advantage didn’t last long however, as Stirling crept into the match and were able to find an equaliser. Gemma Mason made a strong run down the left wing and held the ball up well to cross into the box, Naomi Welch brought the ball down and turned with the ball, lobbing it over Jade Baillie in the Rangers goal.
Chances were hard to come by as the first half continues, Laura McCartney and Sarah Robertson the only Rangers players to test Sjogerud while Welch had another shot for Stirling, well held by Baillie.
Rangers made two changes at the break in search for a winner, Chantelle Brown replacing Sarah Robertson and Chloe Nicolson making her first team debut, replacing Jade Baillie in the Rangers goal.
Brown made an instant impact driving down the left wing and forcing a corner from Stirling. Brown continued to press Stirling creating two more chances early in the second half and with 20 minutes to play, it was Brown who put Rangers back in front.
Amy Muir broke down the left wing and laid the ball off to Boyce who was able to find Brown. Brown composed herself and curled the ball round Sjogerud.
Play continued to swing back and fourth as Stirling fought for a way back into the match and Rangers introduced two more players for their debuts as Shivohn Honeyman and RosieMcQuillan replaced Boyce and Muir.
Rosie McQuillan made herself known straight away dancing her way through the Stirling defence and unleashing a shot that Sjogerud was able to deal with. Then with only minutes left to play, Rangers found the back of the net again. Rosie McQuillan’s pace and inch perfect pass setting up Jade Gallon to fire home.
With the points all but secure, Rangers grabbed a fourth, this time Jade Gallon turning provider for Honeyman who had been on the pitch for only three minutes. Honeyman took her chance and expertly guided the ball past Sjogerud to make it Rangers 4-1 Stirling University
RANGERS: Baillie (Nicolson 45’), Dalgliesh, L. Gallon (Coakley 30’), Watson, Muir (Honeyman 86’), Gemmell, Napier, McCartney, Boyce (McQuillan 80’) Robertson (Brown 45’) J. Gallon
GOALS: Boyce 2’, Brown 71’, J. Gallon 87’, Honeyman89’
STIRLING UNIVERSITY: Sjogerud, Simpson, Murphy, Falconer, Connor, Coppel (Gray 80’), Kim, Fulton (Kerr 80’), Mason, Welch, Rule (Lyons 91’)
GOALS: Welch 13’