Captain’s Hat Trick Heroics See Accies Through To next Round
Accies WFC 3-1 Rangers WFC
Report & Image: Hamilton Academical WFC
A gruelling cup tie sprang to life late on as Accies made it through to the SWF Cup third round in extra time. Rangers thought a late goal had sunk home hopes but Gill Inglis’s last gasp leveller forced an extra half hour. The wind was in Accies’ sails as the Accies captain then went on to seal her hat trick and a memorable victory.
Accies now prepare to dig deep again on Wednesday night as they host champions Glasgow City in the league. Considering injuries and absentees in recent weeks coach Gary Doctor says yesterday’s win is all the more impressive.
“Since Forfar a few weeks ago we’ve had concussions, injuries and people on holiday. It’s not been ideal preparation. It’s an amazing result considering all the problems we’ve had. Every single player today was excellent.”
“We’ve played better football this season, but the personnel changes led to a different style and it’s paid off. We had to defend for spells and they had a lot of possession. It was important that we defended crosses and shots around the box, and I can’t fault anyone. Jade Lindsay probably played injured for 120 minutes.”
“Gill will catch the eye with her three goals. I’ve talked to her about her attacking qualities and she showed what she can do when we changed our shape.”
Doctor made four changes from his side a fortnight ago, as Hay, Gardner, Anderson and Bulloch missing from the team who lost at Forfar Farmington. Quinn, Shearer, Fitzimmons and Lyle returned to bolster an injury hit Accies side, but one which boasts a good recent record against the Glasgow side.
Amy MacDonald likewise made four changes form last time out. Rae, Eddie, Robertson and Swanson started in place of Baillie, Coakley, Boyce and Jade Gallon, as Rangers sought to build on their recent win over city rivals Celtic.
And the visitors began the brighter, with just about had the better of the opening 45. Lauren Grant was the busier keeper, dealing with crosses and long range shots as Accies sought to play on the counter.
And it was from a quick break that Accies almost caught Rangers napping on 19 minutes, as Megan Quigley got the edge of the box after a driving run. But, having done the hard work, she pulled her effort just wide of Rae’s right hand post.
Rice followed up with a fine take down and shot from the edge of the box, just over on 27 minutes, but the visitors looked to be asserting control for the remainder of the first 45.
Grant remained busy, making amends on 36 minutes to hold onto a Napier shot from close range, having spilled a Muir cross. Robertson forced another good stop on 41 minutes as Rangers continued to press, and Accies sought to dig in until the break.
The pattern continued early into the second half, with Gemmell and Napier having efforts from distance. But Rangers started to look a frustrated side as Accies hung in and defended resolutely.
Thoughts were already turning to extra time but Rangers thought they had that vital breakthrough on 84 minutes. Sub Chantelle Brown laid a high ball off for Sinclair on the edge of the box to beat Grant with a low drive into the corner.
Accies might have been tired and deflated in response but going behind had exactly the opposite effect. Doctor threw caution to the wind and levelled two minutes from time. With numbers in the Rangers box Megan Quinn launched a cross into the danger zone and Inglis found herself in space to rattle past Rae for a dramatic extra time.
The Accies captain had a spring in her step now, and her determination got Accies in front 12 minutes into the additional period. Inglis chased down an Amy Anderson through ball to the Rangers bye line to squeeze a cross in to Katey Rice. The ex Rangers player’s shot struck a defender’s arm and Accies had their first spot kick since 2016.
Inglis stepped up to fire the hosts in front, before adding the third in style with 5 minutes to play. It was another fine instinctive finish as she took a high ball down inside the box to fire high past Rae.
A hard fought win for Accies, but it may take its toll on the starting line up for Wednesday, with two big league comes to come in four days.
“This week just got harder,”, the Accies coach says. “We play Rangers again in the league next week, and they’ll certainly be motivated after today. Playing the extra half hour makes it tough going against for Wednesday. City are as tough as they come after playing 120 minutes.”
“There will be changes, with different availability issues we have. We have no choice to rotate the squad. We’ve just got to take the confidence, the belief and togetherness shown today and stick it together for these two huge games coming up.”
Accies: Grant, Fraser, Quinn, Connolly, Lindsay, Shearer (Anderson, 85), Fitzimmons, Inglis, Lyons (Ross, 85), Rice, Lyle (Gardner, 68)
Subs Unused: Hay, Hopkins, McCormick, Rennie
Rangers: Rae, Muir, Gallon, Eddie, Clark, Gemmell, Napier, O’Hara, Sinclair, Robertson (Brown, 71), Swanson (Boyce, 58)
Subs Unused: Boyce, Coakley, Brown, Davidson, Donnelly, Watson