A frustrating day for Rangers at Petershill as the team had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Glasgow City in a game where Malky Thomson’s team dominated for large spells.
Chantelle Swaby gave Rangers a deserved lead early in the second half but her opening goal was quickly cancelled out by a Niamh Farrelly equaliser. Ultimately, it was a lack of composure in front of goal and precession of shots hit straight at City ‘keeper Lee Alexander that meant Rangers had to settle for a point.
In a first half that was bereft of clear-cut chances, Chelsea Cornet should have had Rangers ahead inside five minutes. Kirsten Reilly put in a tremendous ball, low and hard across the box and it looked like it was set up on a plate for Cornett to open the scoring. Her finish lacked the necessary composure as it was hit straight at Alexander who bailed out her team.
What followed from there was a scrappy first half that was optimised by Joe Love injuring herself after a poor challenge on Reilly. The City midfielder had to be replaced and picked up a booking as she left the pitch.
Jane Ross had the only other real chance of the half as she rolled her defender on the edge of the box to create the chance for herself. She would have been disappointed with her effort on goal as she hit a tame shot into the arms of Alexander.
The hosts started the second half lively and had a couple of half chances through Lauren Davidson and Hayley Lauder, neither of which was able to produce a shot that worried Jenna Fife.
Rangers got control of the game again and Swaby put Rangers deservedly in front on the 62nd minute of the game. Lizzie Arnot’s corner hit well to the back post and Swaby got to the ball first to head home. Alexander would be somewhat disappointed that she wasn’t able to make the save but Rangers looked good value for the lead.
However, the lead would last only six minutes. Rangers failed to close down Megan Foley who was given time and space to put a good cross into the box from the right, Farrelly rose between two Rangers defenders to head the ball past Fife and level the game. A disappointing goal to lose from a Rangers point of view. Defensively, it was made all too easy for City.
Rangers looked as if they were back in front momentarily. A superb ball across the box by Rachel McLauchlan was turned home by Arnot at the back post. The assistant’s flag came to City’s rescue and it looked like it was probably the right decision, Arnot had strayed just too far.
Then became even more scrappy as both teams looked to find the winner. It was a real low point of Rangers performance as they failed to look after the ball properly and were too often slack in possession or the pass. This really hindered the team from getting into their grove and producing the fast, dynamic play we have seen so far this season.
It was, however, a fine pass by Cornet to find Ross on the edge of the box in a great position. Ross’ touch let her down however and it allowed Julia Molin to produce a fantastic last ditch tackle to end the chance.
City almost nicked it in the 89th minute as substitute Mairead Fulton had a shot from 20 yards out whistle just past the post. Fife was beaten all ends up and it was a certain goal if on target.
Rangers looked the most likely to get the deciding goal in injury time. The ball broke to Ross who had time and space to pick her spot but she smashed the ball straight at Alexander and a point would have to do.
Not the worst result by any means and it of course keeps Rangers top of the league. However, it will be a source of frustration for the team that they weren’t able to get this one over the line. City barely threatened in an attacking sense and with more composure in front of goal this could have been a comfortable result.
It feels as if this team still needs that big victory to show they are the real deal. They don’t have to wait long for that chance with the double header against Celtic up next.