Rangers started 2022 and the pursuit of a double in fine fashion with a demolition of Championship side Stenhousemuir at Ochilview Park. It was a result and scoreline that was a surprise to no one but an impressive showing by Rangers all the same.
It was a fast start for Rangers with two goals coming in the first four minutes. The opener came directly from a corner in the second minute. Emma Watson swung the ball towards the near post, Jane Ross got her head to it but the ball had already crossed the line and the goal was awarded to Watson.
The second goal came two minutes later when Chelsea Cornett was fouled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Lizzie Arnott took the resulting penalty and made no mistake to put Rangers two up.
The front two linked up superbly for the third. Kayla McCoy drove to the edge of the six-yard box before putting the ball across the goal to give Ross a tap in.
Ross thought she had a second when she tapped in a Jodie McLeary cross but the assistant’s flag came to Stenny’s rescue on this occasion. However, the reprieve was only brief as McCoy got her second from a Watson cross for 4-0.
Watson was the provider again as the two Rangers youngsters linked up for the fifth. Lovely bit of play by Watson as she hit the byline and sent a power cross into the box that McLeary got on the end of to supply the finish.
It was then veteran Demi Vance’s turn to show the kids how to do it. Vance skipped past her marker as she strode powerfully down the wing before driving into the box. She found Ross in plenty of space in front of goal who made no mistake to make it 6-0 Rangers.
There were two further goals to come before the end of the half. McCoy would get her second of the game for number seven. Ross would then complete her hattrick after linking up with McLeary again to round off the score at the break at 8-0.
It took Rangers only five minutes into the second to resume the scoring. A McCoy miss kick ended up with a Stenhousemuir defender taking the ball into her own net for 9-0. The tenth goal came four minutes later and Watson got yet another assist this time teeing up Tessel Middag to direct the ball home.
Stenhousemuir got a consolation goal on the hour mark as a Jenna Fife mistake allowed Eva Ralston to score into an empty net. A poor goal to lose.
It was another one of Rangers’ impressive youngsters who got the next goal. Substitute Kayla Jardine took the ball past the onrushing Stenny ‘keeper and after taking a second to compose herself, fired the ball into the back of the net for Rangers 11th! A goal in her competitive debut. And the young ‘Gers weren’t finished yet as Hannah Jordan made it 12-1 with a fine finish from just inside the box after running on to a through ball.
The mix of youth and experience in the squad was further highlighted as Ross got her fourth of the game to make it 13-1.
Hannah Robinson added to the list of players scoring their first competitive goals in their debut with what was possibly the goal of the game. A curling effort from 25 yards out beating the goalkeeper all ends up and finding the far corner of the net for Rangers 14th and final goal of the game.
This was never a game where we were going to learn anything new about this Rangers team. But goals and a heavy defeat were expected and it was delivered. Into the hat for the next round and back to league business next week.