Rangers storm to top with a stunning 12-goal triumph
After the conclusion of the exhilarating 8th round in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, it’s time to revisit all of the action from this weekend.
Celtic continue 100% start
Celtic continued their unbelievable start to the season with a 4-0 victory at Balmoral Stadium. Celtic dominated the game early, but they found themselves against a home team that proved difficult to break down; with attempts from Caitlin Hayes, Natalie Ross, Nourimane Addi and Kit Loferski failing to get the Ghirls a goal, it looked as if Aberdeen were going to keep the score level at half-time. But – just four minutes before the whistle – Chloe Craig headed into an empty net to get the first goal of the game.
Celtic continued to put pressure on Aberdeen as the second half began, and it paid off when Shen Menglu found space in the box to put the ball past the keeper at her near-post.
They weren’t done there, as Jenny Smith was determined to get her name on the scoresheet. Smith picked up the ball and decided to try her luck from 35 yards from goal; with power and accuracy, she struck the ball into the top-right corner.
The final goal of the game again came from Smith; receiving the ball on the edge of the area, she blasted the ball past the Aberdeen shot-stopper and into the top corner of the net with her left foot.
Celtic manager Fran Alonso said: “We knew it could be a very tough game. We changed tactically in the second half and were way more aggressive, and we got our reward.” You can watch the full post-match interview here. Celtic continue their 100% start to the season as they return to Glasgow with all three points.
Second half strike pushes Hibernian to victory
After Hibernian’s 5-0 victory against Aberdeen, it was no surprise that their line-up was unchanged. Motherwell made one change from their defeat against Rangers.
In the opening minutes of the game, Hibernian came out swinging as they seemed determined to get a positive result at K-Park. Their first chance came in the fourth minute when Tegan Bowie had an attempt from range; it didn’t trouble the Motherwell shot-stopper as she saved the strike comfortably.
Although Hibs continued to dominate the game in the first half, that changed as the second-half began. Hibs struggled to control the game but the fans had something to scream for when Abbie Ferguson was brought down in the Motherwell box. No penalty was awarded for the challenge, and both teams continued to search for the breakthrough.
It would come in the 63rd minute, when Baucom would receive the ball with her back to goal. With some beautiful skill to pull away from her markers, she blasted the shot into the back of the net.
Despite a final push from the home side in the dying minutes, the Hibees managed to hold on and end Motherwell’s unbeaten home run.
Speaking about the game, Hibernian manager Grant Scott said: “I think we’ve rode our luck in a couple of moments. Motherwell had a couple of chances, but equally, I felt we did create a few opportunities that we’ve not executed well enough.” You can watch the full post-match interview here.
Hearts return to winning ways
After three losses in a row, Hearts looked to get back on track at their home ground.
It didn’t take long for them to get their first. In the third minute, the ball was swung into the box from a corner; although no-one could get on it, the ball eventually fell to Carly Girasoli who put it away with power.
The game calmed down for the 15 minutes that followed, until Georgia Timms caught out a Partick Thistle defender that was too slow on the ball. She stole it and put herself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper where she made no mistake in slotting it past Cunningham to make it 2-0.
Sade Adamolekun received a through ball on the left in the 29th minute, but she still had three defenders to beat. She cut past the first as she entered the Thistle box, and the second couldn’t keep up with her as she moved deeper. She took the shot and with a slight deflection off of the final defender, it found its way into the back of the net.
It would only take a few more minutes for Hearts to find their fourth, as a corner was able to be redirected into the net by Kathleen McGovern’s head.
It was a miserable first half for Thistle but they managed to get a consolation goal late into the second half, as Donaldson shot from the edge of the area to beat the Hearts goalkeeper.
It would just get worse for Thistle though as Timms would score her second of the game in the 84th minute with a header that hit the post and fell in.
Finally, as the game hit the 90th minute mark, Timms hit it low from a difficult angle to secure her hat-trick.
It was an afternoon to forget for this promising Thistle team, but hopefully they will come back stronger after the international break.
Hamilton Secure First Point of the Season
Spartans took on Hamilton at Ainslie Park as they looked to make it three wins in three games.
It looked to be a good day for Spartans as they opened the scoring with just 45 seconds on the clock. Simone McMahon fired from the edge of the box and the ball flew into the top corner.
They would get a second goal early into the game as well, when a corner delivery picked out Dion McMahon in the box, who put the ball in the back of the net with a header. With the second goal, the game would go quiet for the rest of the first-half with neither team creating many chances.
Things would change in the second half though, as Hamilton came out prepared for battle. Hamilton’s Giard received a long ball to her feet and slotted the ball past Yates to give her team a lifeline. With only 15 minutes to play, Giard would find herself in a one-on-one situation yet again and would score a goal to equalise.
Spartans and Hamilton went head-to-head for the final minutes but neither team could find the winning goal.
Rangers Rattle Montrose
Montrose managed to hold off the Gers for 28 minutes before the visitors finally got into the game. Bell, on her first league start of the season, scored the first goal for Rangers with an accurate shot into the top corner.
The next goal came shortly after, when the ball was played from the Rangers half all the way to the feet of Mia McAulay, who took her chance and slid the ball past Perry.
Rangers took control of the game as a close range Hardy shot took a deflection into the back of the net.
Libby Bance made her Rangers debut, being brought on at half-time, and she would be the fourth name on the scoresheet as she reacted quickly to convert a rebound.
Hardy made it five with 59 minutes on the clock, as she was on hand to strike the ball from the edge of the area.
With no sign of stopping, Howat took the ball round Perry and put it in the back of an empty net without breaking a sweat.
Hardy secured her hat-trick a few minutes later with a powerful downwards header that bounced past the keeper. She now has two hat-tricks in three games!
McAulay, scorer of the second Rangers goal, would find herself in a fantastic position. In a race with the Montrose keeper for a cleared ball, she managed to knock it past her and struck it into the empty net.
Maclean would secure a hat-trick of assists when her cross would find Middag, who powerfully shot from the edge of the area to make it nine.
Bance continued her dream debut as a low pass was played to her through the Montrose defence. She struck it across goal and found the back of the net.
Howat would also get her second of the day when the ball fell to her in-front of an empty Montrose net. She made no mistake in slotting it home.
Hardy finished off the day with a fourth when she struck from close range to round off the scoring.
There is no doubt that Montrose let out a sigh of relief when the final whistle went to put them out of their misery. Despite this heavy loss, they are still above Hamilton in the table but remain in 11th place.
On the other side of things, this result has Rangers leading for another week, and the Gers will be over the moon with their performance.
Glasgow City Dominate Dundee
City would get a few chances early on but their first real attempts would come shortly after the half hour mark when a shot from Motlhalo would hit the post and a header from Lovera would rattle the bar. This gave them the push they needed to break the deadlock though. Lovera’s header would fall to Moore, who struck it home. They would get their second goal of the afternoon seconds later as Lovera and Moore would combine again.
A free kick from range would be blocked by the Dundee United wall, but Motlhalo would drive the ball into the net to add City’s third.
City made a triple substitution, and on her return from an ACL injury, Aoife Colvill scored with her first touch!
The final two goals of the game would come from headers, as Sophia Martin and Colvill scored City’s fifth and sixth respectively.
The City fans that braved the rain at Petershill Park were rewarded with a brilliant performance from their team, and the win keeps them in the title race with Celtic and Rangers.
An exciting game week in the SWPL draws to a close as we enter the international break. Many players from the SWPL will be representing their country, so there will be no shortage of entertainment despite the break from league action.
Rangers lead going into the break, but Glasgow City and Celtic follow close behind, both teams having a game in hand.