Match Report by Chris Marshall.
Rangers booked their place in next month’s SWPL Cup semi-finals as they blew away Forfar Farmington at a gusty New Tinto Park.
After a closely fought encounter in the league just a couple of weeks ago, which the home side edged 2-1, there were hopes that this would be an equally tight contest with the added incentive of cup progression at stake.
It was Rangers who would come out quickest though and they would go on to dominate the play throughout the first half. Early efforts from Nicole Pullar and Amy Muir failed to trouble Fiona McNicoll in the Farmington goal but on the 17th minute the home sides pressure would pay off. After being played through, striker Pullar was brought down in the box with the goal beckoning. The decision to award a penalty was an easy one for referee Gary Hanvidge to make and experienced midfielder Clare Gemmell stepped up to stroke the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of McNicoll’s goal.
Rangers continued to press with two long-range efforts from Chantelle Brown as the visitors struggled to get any kind of foothold in the game and with two minutes to go before half time. the hosts doubled their lead. A corner into the box from the left caused panic in the Farmington area and from the resulting six-yard box scramble the ball fell to defender Hannah Coakley who passed the ball through the crowd and into the bottom of the net. Despite some occasionally scrappy moments from both sides it was a half time lead the hosts fully deserved.
Farmington manager Stevie Baxter would have wanted his side to come out quickly at the start of the second half but his plans were needing rethinking not long after the re-start as Rangers made it 3-0 through Pullar. An excellent ball from Carla Boyce played winger Brown into the area who’s well-placed cutback allowed the striker to calmly stroke the ball home and effectively end the contest with 48 minutes on the clock.
The wind, which had been blowing on and off throughout the game, grew in strength as the game headed towards its end with even the lowest of balls being blown back from whence it came. With clearing the ball becoming more difficult for the Rangers rearguard the Angus side were given a glimmer of hope as striker Danni McGinley pulled one back, volleying in from the edge of the box with twenty minutes to go.
This moment was, however, to prove fleeting and Rangers sealed their victory with a fourth on the 85th minute. Forfar keeper McNicoll was only able to parry substitute Hayley Sinclair’s shot back into the danger zone where striker Boyce was able to put the rebound in and finish the scoring at 4-1 to the Glasgow side.
Rangers were full value for their victory and could have had more if it wasn’t for Fiona McNicoll who made a number of saves throughout the game. For Forfar Farmington there will be disappointment their SWPL Cup campaign has ended in this manner and now focus will be renewed on league business as they travel to face bottom of the table Stirling University next time out.
Rangers defender and goalscorer, Hannah Coakley: “The main thing was to get through and I think the first half performance merited the victory. In the second half, the wind pinned us in a bit but I think we did enough to deserve it.”
On next week’s Old Firm: “It’s good to bounce back from last week (4-0 defeat to Hibs Ladies) and with the Old Firm next week you can’t beat it so we just need to make sure we are right up for it and take the game to them.”
Rangers Manager, Amy McDonald: “I thought we were fairly dominant throughout the full game and I was really pleased that the players came out in the second half and did what we asked them to do after going in two up. We wanted a reaction from last week and we got one.”
On next week’s Old Firm match: “It will be a really tight match next weekend and it’s good to have a bit of added spice with it being the Old Firm. We need to be organised and disciplined but Celtic will be thinking like that too.”
Forfar Farmington Manager, Stevie Baxter: “We’re really disappointed. We allowed Rangers to dominate every single aspect of the game today, we were not even second to the ball. It’s difficult because the girls are a good bunch and I wouldn’t swap them for anybody but we’re all disappointed and hurting today because we left here after the 2-1 defeat in the league thinking we deserved something but today that wasn’t the case.”
“The girls are good technical players but they didn’t show that today, the conditions were at times horrendous but that’s not an excuse and I’m sure we’ll start putting things right next week.”
Rangers: Ramsay, Dalgliesh, Coakley, L. Gallon, Muir, Gemmell, O’Hara, Napier, Brown, Pullar, Boyce. Subs: Baillie, Inglis, J. Gallon, Sinclair, Watson
Forfar Farmington: McNicoll, Cattanach, Paterson, Stewart, Smith, Bruce, Kilcoyne, Cowper, McGinley, McPherson, Brough. Subs: White, Noble, Weber, Doubel, Davidson, Robb.