Rangers win inaugural City of Glasgow Women’s Cup after beating Old Firm rivals Celtic

The historic launch match took place the Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium on Sunday, with both sides’ still in the midst of pre-season.

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Rangers lifted the inaugural City of Glasgow Women’s Cup after beating Old Firm rivals Celtic 2-1 at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

Malky Thomson’s side, who were knocked out of the League Cup and Scottish Cup by the Hoops last term, kicked off the 2022/23 season with further silverware after clinching a historic first SWPL 1 title last season.

The Light Blues dominated the early proceedings in North Lanarkshire, with Lizzie Arnot, Kayla McCoy and summer signing Dina Orschmann all coming close to breaking the deadlock.

The Gers did open the scoring on the half hour mark through Sam Kerr. The Scotland midfielder’s powerful strike flew past Rachael Johnstone into the net from just inside the box.

Celtic had rarely posed much of an attacking threat but they unexpectedly haued themselves back on level terms shortly before half-time when Amy Gallacher set up Clarissa Larisey at the near post to divert the ball beyond New Zealand goalkeeper Victoria Esson.

With both teams still in pre-season mode, the introduction of numerous substitutions in the second half led to a rather disjointed contest.

However, Rangers regained the lead with what proved to be the match winner after 55 minutes. McCoy’s inswinging corner from the right was deflected into her own net by Hoops captain Kelly Clark.

Both sides were missing several key players, including current national team top scorer Jane Ross, who watched on from the sidelines on crutches. It was later confirmed the experienced Gers striker had suffered an ACL rupture and will require surgery, which is a massive blow to the regining domestic champions ahead of launching their title defence.

Celtic top scorer Charlie Wellings also missed out, but Rangers captain Nicola Docherty got their hands on the trophy, despite the competition not being fully rolled out until next summer as the Glasgow FA take their first venture into women’s football.

Rangers boss Malky Thomson said: “It was a great exercise for us, another step closer to the start of the season. We managed to achieve our objectives in terms of getting minutes into players and to continue our winning form.

“When you’re at Rangers, the competitive edge is always there, even in training. The girls have really bought into what is takes to be a professionall player and you’ve got to be on it at all times.

“There were lots of positives. We’ll recover properly now and look forward to our next pre-season game against Charlton on Wednesday.”

Rangers: Esson, Docherty, Hill (Watson; 76), Middag, McLauchlan (Austin; 65), Kerr (Cavanagh; 76), Maclean, Cornet, Arnot, Orschmann (Hay; 46), McCoy (McLeary; 65)

Unused: Fife (GK), Jardine

Celtic: Johnstone, Robertson, Ross (Trialist; 61), Craig, Gallacher (McAneny; 72), Mengyu, Larisey (Goldie; 84), Clark, Hayes, Ashworth-Clifford (Ferguson; 72), Bowie (Burchill; 72)

Unused: Marwaha (GK), Cusack

Referee: N/A

GlasgowWorld Player of the Match: Kirsty Maclean (Rangers)