Jane Ross clinches historic Old Firm Derby triumph for Rangers Women as they maintain two-point lead at top of SWPL
Malky Thomson’s side remain two points clear of Glasgow City at the top of the table
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A sublime chipped finish from Jane Ross after just two minutes handed Rangers Women a historic first Old Firm Derby win over Celtic to maintain their lead at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
The Hoops had won all five previous meetings between the sides since the Light Blues decided to incorporate their women’s team into the club’s footballing department in July 2019.
Ross’ goal was worthy of winning any game as Malky Thomson’s side stretched their unbeaten start to the season at the Penny Cars Stadium.
The experienced striker latched on to Rachel McLauchlan’s pass and shrugged off the attention of two Hoops defenders before expertly lifting the ball over on-rushing goalkeeper Chloe Logan from outside the box.
In a lively contest, the Gers passed up several opportunities to extend their lead, with Logan producing several standout saves to keep the score line down to just one goal.
Zoe Ness forced the 25-year-old into a fingertip save before former Manchester United star Ross struck the crossbar after 22 minutes with another driven effort from the edge of the box.
Celtic’s best chance of the first half fell to Charlie Wellings who dragged a shot narrowly wide of the target in the 26th minute.
Rangers continued to press forward in search of a second goal, but Logan once again was on hand to keep her side in the contest, denying Lizzie Arnot’s goal-bound header after 68 minutes.
She then tipped Kirsten Reilly’s shot onto the woodwork and the Hoops almost rescued a share of the spoils in the closing stages but Clarissa Larisey’s effort was cleared off the line by defender Demi Vance.
Rangers remain two points clear of Glasgow City, who beat Hibernian 3-0, at the top of the table and goal scorer Ross was thrilled to seal a crucial triumph but felt they should have put the game to bed earlier.
Speaking on Rangers TV, she said: “It was a very pleasing performance and result for us, but we could have been a bit more clinical and had the game wrapped up earlier in the match.
“I think there is a lot of positives to take from the performance and we’re happy to come away with three points.
“This will give us some added confidence moving forward. We had a lot of good opportunities to finish the game off.
“Everyone played their part, even the players coming off the bench gave us more energy and helped the team greatly. The whole team performance was fantastic.
“The togetherness of the group is great. Obviously after losing in the cup last weekend, we wanted to prove a point that we weren’t happy with that performance and wanted to bounce back with a win.
“There’s still a long way to go in the league and we’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. It’s the old cliché of taking it one game at a time which is the best way to go about it.”
Meanwhile, Grant Scott ended his tenure as Glasgow City interim head coach on a winning note against former club Hibs as goals from Priscilla Chinchilla, Niamh Farrelly and substitute Lauren Davidson ensured they remain hot on the heels of Rangers.
Captain Hayley Lauder said: “The girls have got massive respect for Grant and we’re really greatful for having him over these months and keeping us going.
“He achieved a lot with Hibs over the years and when he came in, you could see his quality straight away.”
An emotional Scott added: “It’s been amazing. I can’t thank everyone involved with the club enough.
“First and foremost, the players have listened to me, they’ve bought into my ideas and taken it on board.
“The coaches I’ve worked with have been absolutely amazing, the support they’ve given me. We gelled quickly and just worked as a team.
“I’ve had the best time at the best club and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together.”