Rangers and Celtic fail to draw in box office numbers as bragging rights are shared

As adverts go, this one could have done with a little airbrushing.

Rangers' Victoria Esson saves a shot a goal during a Scottish Women's Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Broadwood Stadium.
Rangers' Victoria Esson saves a shot a goal during a Scottish Women's Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Broadwood Stadium.

The women’s game still has some way to go – this derby between Rangers and Celtic at Broadwood which brought out 3228 hardy souls was not quite the box-office numbers that were hoped for not even close to what Easter Road is expected to generate on Sunday afternoon. Nor was it quite in keeping with the optimism with which it was scheduled during the World Cup lay-off with the obvious intention of drawing out those keen to indulge in some parochial feuding.

The bragging rights for this one were shared with Rangers the more aggrieved of the teams. Truth was the most notable moments of quality came from each goalkeeper in a two fingers up to the traditional naysayers of the women’s game.

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Rangers stopper Victoria Esson prevented Celtic from a smash-and-grab in the 95th minute as she repelled Caitlin Hayes header with a quick low one-handed block to her left while her opposite number, Pamela Tajonar, was Celtic’s best player.

“I was getting ready to celebrate,” said Fran Alosno after the game. “I saw that the delivery was good and I knew that Caitlin was going to get on the end of it but it really was a top save to prevent her from scoring. At the end of the game the girls were satisfied with a point and how we played in the game but there is a feeling that we always want to win so when we do not do that then we always feel it is a chance missed.”

Rangers will feel they have cause to question that vantage point. The league champions whacked the crossbar when Tessel Middag blasted a free-kick off the woodwork while over the piece they had more of the ball, albeit that genuine chances were few and far between.

“It was a dominant performance again, but we’ve got to question ourselves in the final third. We’re creating chances and not taking them,” said Malky Thomson. “Everything from the back to the middle is great, you saw the dominance in the game, but if we’re going to be hyper-critical – which we need to be – then the fine detail is that we need to be scoring in that final third.”