Glasgow City defeat Rangers to start the season in winning style
Glasgow City started the defence of their title with three points following a 3-2 win over Rangers at Petershill, in a match supported by ng homes.
It was by no means a vintage City performance, but Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black was happy to get crucial points on the table against a strong Rangers side.
He said, “We didn’t play well today, but it is three points. If we take into consideration we have had 8 players away for 2 weeks on international duty and almost no time to prepare for this game, winning was the simple objective. Rangers will be one of our strongest challengers this season and I cannot complain when we get maximum points against a tough side.”
The first chance of the match fell to the hosts on five minutes as Leanne Ross played Jo Love in behind the Gers defence out wide in the penalty area. Love shot past the diving Khym Ramsay in Rangers goals, but agonisingly for City, just past the post
On 13 mins, a great run by Love saw the midfielder sprint from the half way line, outpacing Gers centre half Jill Paterson to race into the box and set up Suzanne Malone, but unfortunately for City the striker shot over the bar.
City were not to be denied and striker Sarah Crilly opened the scoring on 17 mins to get her first goal for the club as she brilliantly fired home a first time volley from an Eilish McSorley cross.
Five minutes later and City went 2-0 up courtesy of Jo Love. Strong play by Malone down the left saw the City striker beat Paterson in the box before passing to Crilly whose powerful shot was well saved by Ramsay, with Love slotting home the loose ball from 10 yards out.
Ramsay kept her side in the game moments later with an outstanding finger tip stop to deny Malone from opening her account for the new season. That save was to prove crucial as Hollie Thomson rose highest from a Rangers free kick to head in off the post on 30 minutes.
Suzanne Malone was to try her luck again but her shot from a City corner was cleared off the line by Michelle Barr. Rangers were next to attack and a curling shot by Kathryn Hill was saved by Lee Alexander in City nets.
A few minutes before the half time whistle, Ramsay saved well once more, this time holding a Malone header after she met a Crilly cross.
After the break, great build up from City ended with Leanne Ross crossing for striker Ruesha Littlejohn, but her left foot effort evaded Ramsay’s right hand post by millimetres. City were soon however to get a third as centre half Eilish McSorley rose highest to head into the back of the net following a City corner taken by Lisa Robertson.
City were denied what looked to be a clear penalty when Malone was brought down in the box, with referee Jennifer Carberry waving play on despite strong shouts from the City players and fans.
There was another controversial moment for Carberry soon after when on 66 minutes Megan Foley reduced the deficit as she raced through on goal to lob the ball over Alexander with strong claims from the City defence that the striker used her both hands to control the ball on route to goal.
In the last five minutes City were denied another penalty when Suzanne Lappin was shoved to the ground in the box, but no spot kick awarded. There will probably be few clearer spot kicks this season and the entire crowd were in amazement to see nothing given by Carberry and her assistants once more.
In the closing moments, Suzanne Malone was unlucky once more not to get on the score sheet when her header came back off the bar, with three minutes remaining. It was not to be the striker’s day in front of goal and the match finished 3-2 to City.
The ng homes player of the match award went to City and Scotland midfielder Jo Love.
Pictured: Top - Sarah Crllly celebrates her opening goal with Ruesha Littlejohn. Bottom - ng homes player of the match and City's second goal scorer Jo Love in action. Pics by Graeme Berry. A full picture report will follow on our facebook page - Glasgowcity.Fc