League leaders Glasgow City avoided a potential slip up in their chase for their sixth consecutive title, coming back from behind to defeat Rangers 3-1 at Petershill.
Jen Callaghan gave the Gers a first half lead before Jo Love pulled City level in the opening two minutes of the second half. Further strikes by Lisa Evans and Emma Fernon gave City the win, but Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black admitted his team could not have had a poorer start.
He said, “That was the worst first half I have ever seen from a Glasgow City side, but credit to the team as they turned it around. I felt we had to cope with a number of things in today’s game, but we got the result we were after. We settled down in the second half and began to actually play and we got the benefits from that. I felt we showed great character today to get through a difficult game. Even when we lost Danica and went to ten players, I thought we stepped it up.”
The sending off of second half substitute Danica Dalziel with 2 minutes to go was certainly a contentious one as she was shown a straight red card for a tackle out wide, where she appeared to win the ball. However, the player deficit never affected City in the closing stages and if anything they went on to create even more chances and also scored their third of the match.
In a game not helped by the awful weather of torrential rain and gale force winds, Rangers started bright and used the weather to their full advantage with long clearances down field as the wind blew behind them in the first half. City had to look sharp to keep the score 0-0 when Nicky Docherty cleared a header off the line from a Rangers corner ten minutes after the start.
Lisa Evans and Jane Ross both created good chances in the opening period but either shot wide of goal or were faced by the impressive Khym Ramsay who was looking in great form in the Rangers nets as she not only kept the City strikers out, but was holding on to every effort despite the difficult conditions.
Rangers took the lead just after half an hour when a long ball down field found striker Jen Callaghan and she hit an audacious forty yard effort high over Lee Alexander who was off her line.
City replied almost immediately but Ramsay raced off her line to save at the feet of Emma Mitchell. Jane Ross was then hacked down from behind in the penalty box, but while everyone looked at the referee to point to the spot, he waved play on in what was to be not his first controversial decision in the game.
Lisa Evans hit the cross bar and had another effort saved by Ramsay as Rangers held on to their advantage at the interval.
Half time 1-0
City opened their account 2 minutes after the restart as Evans played in Jo Love who hit a low hard shot past Ramsay from the middle of the penalty area. The away side were now really starting to dominate proceedings and as chances came and went it seemed only time before they would take the lead. With 66 minutes played, City did eventually get their noses in front as Evans received the ball from Captain Rachel Corsie and drove to the edge of the box before firing high past Ramsay.
City had further chances through Mitchell and Evans but it was full back Emma Fernon who scored City’s third in added time as she curled a right foot shot into the top corner.
In a last minute flourish City could have left with a more comfortable win as a brilliant finger top save from Ramsay kept out a Leanne Crichton effort and an Eilish McSorley header skimmed the outside of the post from a Jane Ross cross.
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