Celtic and Rangers both win but it is Glasgow City who take huge step towards 14th SWPL title

Glasgow City see off Hearts to go within four points of an astonishing 14th Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) title, while Celtic and Rangers both win to take battle for Europe into final week.

CUMBERNAULD, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 17: Glasgow City are on the verge of a 14th consecutive SWPL league title. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
CUMBERNAULD, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 17: Glasgow City are on the verge of a 14th consecutive SWPL league title. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Glasgow City saw off a stubborn Hearts to move within four points of their 14th consecutive SWPL title, winning 4-1 at the Falkirk Stadium.

Goals from Hayley Lauder (7), Janine Van Wyke (60), Niamh Farrelly (63) and Aoife Colvill (80) were enough to cancel out Marial Kaney’s (47) shock second half leveller to keep second placed Celtic three points adrift, with just two games left to play.

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Scott Booth made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Hibs at the weekend, bringing back captain Leanne Ross and Farrelly to his starting line up, while Hearts made only one change, bringing in Kaney for Holly Aitchison.

The reigning champions took a hold of the game immediately and were rewarded in the seventh minute when Julia Molin’s inch-perfect cross was placed home by the experienced Lauder to open the scoring.

Hearts had the post to thank on the quarter hour mark, as slick passing freed Ode Fulutudilu to shoot, but her effort bounced back off the inside of the post before being hacked clear. Charlotte Parker-Smith was forced into an outstanding save moments later, tipping over Jenna Clark’s goal-bound header.

Parker-Smith completed an outstanding first 45, when she came to the rescue again just before half time, palming away Fulutudilu’s effort at point blank range to keep her side in the game going into the break.

And the away side would shock the league leaders seconds after the restart, drawing level from close range after Kaney directed Paige McAllister’s header beyond Lee Alexander.

The goal injected confidence into Hearts, as the away side looked to take a shock lead. The league’s bottom side would be dealt a hammer blow on the hour mark though – literally – as Janine Van Wyk blasted home a stunning 30-yard left foot drive to reclaim the advantage for City.

Shortly afterwards, a dominant City ensured there would be no surprise comeback this time though. Another outstanding save from Parker-Smith looked to have spared her side, but Farrelly seized on the rebound to tap home from close range to score City’s third and put the result beyond doubt.

The result edges Glasgow City to within a whisker of a remarkable 14th league title despite coming into the campaign as slight underdogs, with many tipping a newly professional Old Firm to tip the balance.

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Celtic narrowly beat Hibs at Penicuik Park, with Lisa Robertson’s first half strike taking the title race into the final games of the campaign.

Meanwhile Rangers, who won 4-0 at Forfar Farmington, could still have a huge say in who takes home the trophy, despite being all but officially out of the SWPL title race. The Gers, who are still in a battle to qualify for the Champions League, could hand their rivals Celtic a huge boost by beating Glasgow City. Malky Thomson’s side face the champions on the final day of the season at The Rangers Training Centre.

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