City hit Rangers for 7 to stay top of SWPL

Glasgow City remain at the top of the SWPL on goal difference after a thumping 7-0 win over Rangers at the Excelsior Stadium.

Clare Shine opened the floodgates after 28 minutes with a neat volleyed finish and immediately before half-time Jo Love fired home an unstoppable second.

City’s domination continued into the second period and Kerry Montgomery and Susan Fairlie both got their name on the scoresheet before Julie Fleeting bagged her first two goals for the club.  It was left to Leanne Ross to complete the rout from the penalty spot and cap a fine afternoon’s work.

City made a bright and encouraging start to the match. They played with energy and were constantly looking to move the ball quickly in an effort to stretch their predominantly defensive-minded rivals.

It took the home side just three minutes to register the first real attempt of the contest. A barnstorming run and intelligent cross from Erin Cuthbert found Montgomery in space but the midfielder was slightly off balance and she sent her shot wide.

Grant then had two efforts well saved by the Rangers goalkeeper as the incessant City pressure continued. Cuthbert was next to try her luck but her goalbound effort was blocked by a Rangers defender.

Despite City dominating territorially, a disciplined and well-organised Rangers team were proving to be a tough nut to crack. Shine almost grabbed the vital opener after 27 minutes as she capitalised on a short back-pass, but her attempt was well saved by Claire Johnstone.

Shine, who comes alive inside the penalty box, was not to be denied for long, though. Moments later the ball landed kindly at the feet of the Irish forward and she swivelled and sent a fine volley into the bottom corner to give her side the lead.

Rangers were struggling to cope with the constant pressure and were defending deeper and deeper as the opening period progressed. Shine nearly bagged her second after a smart through ball by Denise O’Sullivan, but her shot was well saved by an on-form Johnstone.

It appeared to be only a matter of time before City added to their advantage and they did so just before half-time. Love, with time and space at the edge of the box, unleashed a fearsome right-foot shot that grazed the crossbar on its way into the net.

City picked up where they left off at the start of the second period and soon grabbed a third goal. A low driven free-kick from Ross was missed by substitute Fairlie and Montgomery followed up to stroke the ball home.

Just before the hour mark City further increased their lead. Grant put Fairlie in on goal with a delightful flicked pass and the substitute dinked the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.

With the match over as a contest City rang the changes and fully utilised their bench. The legendary Julie Fleeting was introduced and she was soon involved in the goalscoring action. After good play from Grant, the former Arsenal star prodded the ball beyond the Rangers goalkeeper to make it five.

Fleeting was back amongst the goals seven minutes later with another neat finish from inside the box. City continued to look menacing every time they ventured forward and Ross slotted home goal number seven from the spot after Grant had been upended.

Grant almost added an eighth goal but was denied by the woodwork as the match finished without further incident.

Teams:

Glasgow City: Alexander (Cunningham 58), McMurchie (Jones 44), Love (Fleeting 58), O'Sullivan, Montgomery, Shine (Fairlie 46), Docherty, McCulloch, Ross, Grant, Cuthbert (Rafferty 58)

Subs Not Used: Whyte, Clelland

Rangers: Johnstone, Mullen, Sloey, Foley, Swanson, O'Neil (Robertson 70), Gemmell, Hughes, Sinclair, Watson, Turner

Subs Not Used: Howat, Halbert