Rangers Women 5-0 Spartans - Match Report

By Courtney Mack
 April 12, 2021

Rangers marked their return to Auchenhowie with a 5-0 win over Spartans. In the sun of Milngavie, Malky Thomson’s side put on a display of dominance. 

After a respectful minute’s silence to commemorate HRH Prince Phillip, kick-off got underway. The home side went hunting for the opening goal from the first whistle. Forward play from Sam Kerr and Rachel McLauchlan put Rangers in dangerous positions throughout. When playing from the back, debutant Chantelle Swaby was confident pacing into the midfield. On multiple occasions, she would find Nicola Docherty down the left flank in space. 

Repetitive charging at their opponent’s defence found Rangers on the receiving end of multiple corners within the first 20 minutes of play. Emma Brownlie whipped in ball after ball – frequently finding a teammate. Skipper Brianna Westrup met a corner with pace, but Spartans did well to clear it off the line. Just two minutes later, Brownlie helped a Docherty cross onto the head of Kirsty Howat, who made no mistake and made it 1-0. The Gers were now in control.

Pushing for a second, Rangers continued to keep up the pace of the game. Superb link-up play from Arnot and Howat often caught out the Spartan defence, Docherty and Kerr sometimes joining in. With this came more threat at goal, and more corners to take. Brownlie placed a pinpoint corner into the box, this time finding Arnot. She got it on target, but it was cleared off the line once again. Patient play was paying off, but they were just missing the clinical finish. 

The end of the second half crept in – the tempo remaining high. Four minutes from the whistle, Zoe Ness doubled her side’s lead in the game. It’s no surprise that the quality of Brownlie’s corner finally resulted in a goal. A great header from a great corner. 2-0 was the score-line after the first 45. 

The relentless attitude implemented at Rangers was ramped up into the second half. Within five minutes of the restart, Arnot and Howat had the chance to rattle the net. To keep the pressure alive, speedster Brogan Hay and playmaker Sonia O’Neill were subbed on and it wasn’t long before they got their share of the chances. 

Just past the hour mark, Arnot’s consistent work was rewarded with a goal. Substitute Hay controlled a pass with her chest before placing it at the feet of the Scottish international. A cool, calm and collected finish made it 3-0. The push for more didn’t end there.

Despite there not being much to do, McLauchlan and Docherty were fantastic at shutting down any attempts down the wings. No nonsense defending from all four at the back. They all played their part in going forward too, Swaby especially.

Sam Kerr’s work rate didn’t drop for the full 90 minutes. Balls over the top from the defence were often chased by the youngster at full pace – Spartans unable to match. Luckily for the away side, the score wasn’t affected, as nobody could get into the box to meet her crosses in. Arnot just falling short by a yard or two.

Chasing a fourth, Daina Bourma and Clare Gemmell were introduced to the match. Carly Girasoli made way for Swaby shortly afterwards. 

Involved in another positive piece of play, Kerr played a smart 1-2 with McLauchlan to help her into the danger area. A smash at goal from the right-back came off the post – just inches from the side netting. Although it was late into the game there was no stopping them.

The fourth finally came for Rangers through Clare Gemmell just three minutes from the 90. Her experience shone through her technique to bend her left-footed shot round the defence and into Spartan’s goal. Finesse was in abundance for the 34-year-old. Bourma with the assist.

In the final minute of play, Brogan Hay’s cross was slotted home by Howat to grab her second of the day. Five goals and three points at home for the Light Blues as they charge towards the hope of an SWPL title.

BBC Alba Player of The Match: Kirsty Howat

This is Ibrox Player of The Match: Chantelle Swaby

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