SWPL: Spartans extend unbeaten run against Rangers

Spartans continued their undefeated start to the SWPL campaign with a 3-1 victory over Rangers at Ainslie Park.


Goals from Colette Cavanagh, Zoe Johnstone and Carla Boyce made it seven points out of a possible nine at the beginning of the season.


There was a return between the sticks for Rachel Harrison in a largely unchanged side that defeated Aberdeen 4-1 last time out.


Spartans got off to the perfect start after just two minutes. Colette Cavanagh collected the ball inside the Rangers half before looking up to spot Jordyn Elliot off her life. A long range lob set the keeper back-tracking but she could do little to prevent the shot nestling in the back of the net.


Rangers rallied to find an equaliser. A timely intervention by Dion McMahon on the edge of her own penalty box kept the visitors at bay. Muted appeals for a spot kick were then waved aside by Referee Pirrie, more in hope than expectation from the Glaswegian dug out.


With a quarter of an hour played, Spartans doubled their lead. Tenacious play by Ronaigh Douglas saw the youngster go on a dynamic run to make space in order to feed a cross to the back post that was met with a thumping drive into the net by Zoe Johnstone.


Just after the half hour mark, Rangers halved the deficit. Confusion reigned within the home quarters as a free-kick was awarded 25 yards out. Up stepped Amy Muir who unleashed an effort that evaded Harrison and head home.


Bobbie Beveridge was close with a header at the far end as Spartans looked to regain their two goal advantage, whilst Harrison bounced back showing great composure to deny Hannah Robertson in an one-on-one inside the box.


HT: Spartans 2-1 Rangers


The second half failed to live up to its energetic opener with the bulk of play being consolidation in a war of attrition between two sides cancelling each other out in the middle of the park.


Louise Mason entered the fray shortly after the break, replacing Dion McMahon whilst Kaela McDonald and Colette Cavanagh trading places on the bench on the hour.


Spartans secured their three points with a third in the 78th minute. A corner whipped in to the six yard box caused confusion inside the Rangers defence with O’Neill and keeper Elliot colliding. Adams valiantly attempted to prevent the ball from crossing the line however for any avoidance of doubt of the outcome, Carla Boyce was on hand to poke home from a yard.


Kaela McDonald showed good strength to drive towards the Rangers red zone as the game entered its final stages, with her final effort unlucky not to trouble the scoreboard.


Then, with Referee Pirrie looking at her watch, Harrison showed a powerful arm to pull off a fine one-handed save to push an Adams effort over the bar.


FT: Spartans 3-1 Rangers