A solitary strike was enough to see Spartans fall to their first SWPL defeat of the season at a blustery New Tinto Park against Rangers Ladies.
Whilst footballing events were unfolding dramatically elsewhere in Glasgow, Spartans were looking to continue their winning ways against a Rangers side keen to bounce back from their midweek defeat against city rivals Celtic.
The opening quarter of the match offered little of note, played out in the Govan wind tunnel with the salubrious backdrop of the M8 adding to the challenges of communication being passed around throughout the game.
Experienced official Morag Pirie was busy in the middle as both sides left nothing in the sheds in terms of commitment in challenges. The Ref was also at the centre of the action when Spartans were awarded a 35th minute penalty after handball in the Rangers box.
After the hullabulo that followed, Alana Marshall stepped up to take the spot kick however it was a fine save by Claire Johnstone that denied the visitors the chance to go in at the break ahead.
HT: Rangers 0-0 Spartans
Bobby Beveridge could count herself desperately unlucky not to have found herself an unlikely goal hero just eight minutes into the second half. The Spartans stalwart, currently in her eight season at Ainslie Park, rattled the crossbar with a thunderous strike from just inside the box.
Despite having the best of the chances, it was the visitors who found themselves a goal down – and a decisive one it was to turn out to be – in the 70th minute. Substitute Megan Foley was on hand following a penalty box ping-pong ding-dong to find the net to give Rangers the lead.
Spartans tried valiantly to salvage a point that no-one at New Tinto Park would have denied them. It looked as though Michelle Russell was on course to do that as the game entered injury time however the Referee’s Assistant adjudged the striker to be in an offside position from Katie Reilly’s defence splitting pass. A tough call on a day Lady Luck deserted Suzy Shepherd’s side.
FT: Rangers 1-0 Spartans