Match report by Chris Marshall and photo courtesy of Rangers WFC.
Rangers claimed their first win in this season’s SWPL Cup with a 3-0 victory over city rivals Queen’s Park but a combination of poor finishing and a dogged defensive display from the visitors ensured that the hosts were made to work hard for the points.
The sides had experienced contrasting weekend fortunes with Rangers currently sitting top of SWPL 1 after a 3-0 victory over Hearts whilst the visitors went down 4-2 at home to St. Johnstone on their SWPL 2 bow.
The Spiders fell behind with just 90 seconds on the clock when Brogan Hay was fouled inside the visitor’s area. Recent Northern Ireland call up Megan Bell was left to pick up from where she left off on Sunday tucking the ball past Annika Meuskens to make it three goals in two games for the Light Blues.
Rangers would continue to dominate possession though and it would be Bala Devi who would have the next opportunity after being put clear by Sonia O’Neill but the Indian’s effort was well smothered by the Queen’s stopper. The blue waves continued but Devi and then O’Neill would both miss from close range as the home side struggled to break down the visitors.
The second half started by following a similar pattern with Rangers holding the majority of possession but it wasn’t until the closing half hour that the sustained pressure manifest itself into chances.
The home side nearly doubled their lead on the hour mark when Bell capitalised on defensive confusion however her touch wobbled just by the post before captain Claire Gemmell would put wide from close range following an Emma Brownlie cross. Bell was seemingly on the end of the best of the Gers chances although she was unable to add to her tally with Meuskens a constant foe.
On the 83rd minute the second eventually arrived as a ball over the top from Daina Bourma released Nicola Docherty down the Gers left with the full back’s cross eventually falling to the feet of Hay who stepped inside before firing past Meuskens.
Rangers continued to be profligate in front of goal however capped off a comfortable victory when substitute Bourma volleyed in spectacularly from the penalty spot.
On another night Malky Thomson and Gregory Vignal’s side would have scored more but now travel to face SWPL2 table toppers Hamilton Academical on Sunday knowing victory can put them in control of the group with a game left to play. For the Spiders another tough assignment awaits as they head to Tayside to face Dundee United.
Rangers: Cunningham, Brownlie, Martinez, Vance, Gemmell, O’Neill, Reilly, Docherty, Hay, Bell, Devi. Subs: Fife, Macdonald, McQuillan, Bourma, Cornet.
Queen’s Park: Meuskens, Davies, Mullen, Ray, Coleman, Fulton, McLeod, Coleman, McKeown, Fern, MacKinnon. Subs: Hopgood, Crooks, Anderson, McElheney, Fyfe.
Post-match interviews with Rangers Head Coach, Malky Thomson, and Rangers Defender, Nic Docherty