Rangers and Glasgow City extend lead on bad afternoon for Celtic, Hearts and Hibs as SWPL1 resumes after shutdown

Rangers and Glasgow City extended their lead at the top of the SBS SWPL1 table to five points on a bad afternoon for Celtic and the two Edinburgh clubs.

Glasgow City's Arna Sif Asgrimsdottir celebrates her goal to make it 2-0 during the SWPL match againt Celtic and Glasgow City at K-Park (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Glasgow City's Arna Sif Asgrimsdottir celebrates her goal to make it 2-0 during the SWPL match againt Celtic and Glasgow City at K-Park (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Rangers beat Hearts 6-0 while City ran out 3-0 winners against third place Celtic.

In the match of the day at the K-Park, Celtic gave league debuts to three of their new signings, while there were five in the City line-up. None of the eight are Scottish, and all had to wait for the long suspension of SWPL1 football to end before getting a chance to play.

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Windy conditions and the artificial surface at the exposed K-Park made ball control difficult, but after a bright start for Celtic the visitors took control and went ahead after 21 minutes.

Nicole Robertson took the ball to the byline before cutting back for Aoife Colvill to squeeze the ball past Celtic goalkeeper Chloe Logan.

The home side made a triple substitution on the hour, but City ensured the three points with goals in 70 and 74 minutes. Both were from Hayley Lauder set-pieces and converted by two of the new signings.

Icelander Arna Asgrimdottir powered a header home from a corner, followed by Irish cap Niamh Farrelly scoring from a free kick which Celtic failed to clear.

“We came here for the three points,” central defender Asgirmsdottir said after winning the player of the match award. “Getting a goal is a bonus because it's always fun to score, and a clean sheet is perfect.”

It took Rangers less than five minutes to take the lead against Hearts in the early kick off at Oriam. The first SWPL1 goal since December 13 was scored by Scotland midfielder Sam Kerr.

Kirsty Howat added a second seven minutes later and two penalties midway through the half, both converted by Lizzie Arnot, doubled the scoreline. It got worse for Hearts when Zoe Ness made it five after 32 minutes but there was no further scoring before the interval.

It looked ominous for the home side when Kerr got her second, and Rangers' sixth, after 52 minutes but Andy Kirk's side refused to collapse and there were no further goals.

“Rangers are on a totally different level to where we are at the moment,” Kirk admitted. “We didn't have a pre-season game.

“It was a tough day for us, but we can take a lot of positives from the way the girls dug in and tried to frustrate Rangers more in the second half.”

Any slim hopes Hibernian had of snatching one of the two available Champions League places ended when they were beaten 2-0 by Spartans at Ainslie Park. They had started the day nine points behind Rangers and City.

Kat Smart and Becky Galbraith both scored early in the second half and the result means it is Spartans, who went into the game behind Hibs on goal difference, who are now the main challengers to the top three.

Hibs were also overtaken by Forfar Farmington, who beat Motherwell 3-2 in a thriller at the Penny Cars Stadium. All five goals came in the second half and it meant a winning start for new head coach Kevin McGreskin.

The winners' goals came from Lisa Ryan, Cassie Cowper and Alana Bruce.

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