Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

A round-up from the Scottish Women’s Premier League as Rangers beat Celtic and Hibernian and Hearts sealed big wins…

Celtic 1-2 Rangers

Rangers lifted themselves to the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League with a 2-1 win over Celtic.

With the sides just two points apart in the SWPL before the game and meeting for the first time this season, it was expected to be a close affair. The first half was entertaining and tense with very few clear-cut chances.

It was the next 45 minutes where the game came to life, helped by an early goal. Caitlin Hayes, scoring her fourth goal against Rangers in as many league games, gave Celtic the lead to the delight of the home support. It was a typical Hayes goal, winning the corner well to head home from Shen Mengyu’s delivery.

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Rangers level things up in the Glasgow women’s derby through a Kirsty Maclean strike

The lead did not last long though as Rangers were level with under an hour played. Rachel McLauchlan’s drive forward helped create space as she passed to Kirsty Howat. The forward was composed inside the box as she cut the ball back for the advancing Kirsty MacLean who took one touch before finishing. It was her third league goal of the season and what a vital one it was.

From that moment on, Rangers were in the ascendancy. With 10 minutes left to play, it eventually paid off as Lizzie Arnot weighted in a delightful cross for Rio Hardy to head home, the English striker moving on to 14 goals in the SWPL and top of the goalscorers’ chart.

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Rio Hardy puts Rangers ahead late on with a neat header past Celtic’s goalkeeper Kelsey Daugherty

Rangers head coach Jo Potter told RangersTV: “I think we were fully-deserved winners in the end, creating a few opportunities second half and I think we took the game to them.”

Rangers move one point ahead of Celtic in the league after 11 games and are the only unbeaten side. Celtic travel to Dundee United on Sunday November 5, while Rangers host Spartans.

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Hardy now has 14 goals for the season

Hibernian 8-1 Hamilton Academical

Hibernian put their own thumping defeat away to Rangers last Sunday behind them by inflicting the same goal difference at home to Hamilton Academical.

The Hibees were ahead after 13 minutes through Eilidh Adams and added two further goals before the whistle through Adams and Rosie Livingston.

The away side gave themselves a glimmer of hope early in the second half as Abbi McDonald scored her first Accies goal to reduce the deficit. However, 12 minutes later and the three-goal advantage was restored as Adams completed her hat-trick.

From 68 minutes things went from bad to worse for Accies as Hibs added four goals within 14 minutes through Shannon McGregor, Lia Tweedie and a Jorian Baucom double.

Hamilton Accies remain bottom of the table, while Hibernian jump up to fifth, though Partick Thistle now have a game in hand. Hibs travel away to Montrose, while Accies host the Jags after the international break.

Heart of Midlothian 4-1 Motherwell

Hearts extended their unbeaten run to four games with a strong victory over Motherwell. The away side were seen by many as a team to watch this season as competitors for the top six, but the Jambos made light work of the Women of Steel.

With 10 minutes played, Katie Lockwood opened the scoring as she ran onto the ball over the top before flicking past Emily Mutch. Lockwood would then turn provider just minutes later as her corner was not cleared, and Carly Girasoli headed home.

Motherwell reduced the deficit shortly after as Amy Anderson volleyed home her first of the season, but Hearts restored their two-goal advantage with half an hour played as Jenna Penman fired home from the right.

The Jambos would put the game out of sight with two goals in 10 minutes in the second half as Lockwood got her double before Eilidh Davies scored the final goal with 79 minutes played.

Both sides remain in the same position in the table with Hearts hosting Glasgow City and Motherwell at home to Aberdeen after the international break.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen vs Partick, Glasgow City vs Montrose and Spartans vs Dundee United were postponed due to adverse weather.

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