Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 5

Queen’s stood tall against the SWPL1 League leaders, Rangers yesterday at New Tinto Park. But a hat trick from Kirsty Howat and goals from Kirsty Maclean and Jodi McLeary meant it was the Ibrox side who progressed to the last eight of the Sky Sports Cup.

Coach Craig Joyce made four changes from the side that faced Montrose last Sunday. Nina Fitzsimmons, Gill Sloey, Lauren Chisholm and Leah Daly replaced by Alex Fraser, Lauren Ray, Yasmin Boyce and Jaya Gill, who was making her first start for the club. Hannah Fulton returned to the bench.

Rangers made five changes to the side from Wednesday evening’s UEFA Champions League match against Benfica as Jenna Fife, Colette Cavanagh, Maddie Nolf, Jodi McLeary and Kirsty Howat came into the starting line-up.

This game was always going to be a test for Queen’s. Up against a team that were top of SWPL1, had won all domestic games this season, scoring 39 goals and not conceding any, but a great test to measure our improvement under new coaching staff.

The pre-match light rain shower fizzled out and the game started in bright sunshine with a blustery wind blowing across the park.

Rangers started the game strongly, pushing Queen’s back with their fast pass and go movement. They were awarded an early free kick when Howat was pulled back just outside the box. Middag’s shot missed the target.

Rangers opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Kirsty Howat was first to react to a great block by Queen’s keeper Lauren Grant and headed into the empty net from six yards out.

Kirsty Howat heads Rangers into the lead

It was really one way traffic towards the Queen’s goal, which was to be expected. But the Queen’s defence looked solid and Lauren Grant, in goal for the Spiders, pulled off a series of great saves and blocks to prevent Rangers increasing their lead.

Lauren Grant in excellent form

Rangers doubled their lead in the 20th minute. Kayla McCoy ran onto a through ball from Kirsty Maclean and has a shot which Lauren Grant blocked. Jodi McLeary was first to react and slotted the ball home from just out the six yard box.

With Queen’s looking to go in at half time with a two goal deficit, Rangers added a third. Kirsty Howat ran onto a through ball from Colette Cavanagh and lifted the ball over an advancing Lauren Grant into the net.

Kirsty Howat adds a third just before half time

Half time: Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 3

Queen’s made a double substitution at half time replacing Fraser and Ray with Fitzsimmons and Fulton.

Rangers continued where they finished in the first half by dominating possession and probing the Queen’s defence for gaps. Queen’s had stood firm against this relentless attack in the first half and looked solid at the beginning of the second half.

Three minutes into the second half Rangers broke through with Jodi Mcleary lifting the ball over the bar from 18 yards out.

Rangers Jodi McLeary has a shot early in the second half

Queen’s continued to work hard and created a chance when Hannah Fulton played the ball through to Jaya Gill wide left. Jaya reached the byline and played an excellent ball into the Rangers defence but Jenna Fife, in goal for Rangers, cut the cross out before the Queen’s forwards could get to it.

Hannah Fulton in action

In the 58th minute Maddie Nolf got to the bye line and crossed the ball into the Queen’s six yard box for Kirsty Maclean to knock the ball home.

Kirsty Maclean makes the score 4-0 to Rangers
Rangers continued to press for more. Queen’s kept their shape and kept it tight denying Rangers many opportunities to increase their lead.
Superb block from Lauren Grant

Queen’s replaced Jaya Gill with Leah Daly in the 81st minute.

Two minutes from time Rangers added a fifth. Jodi Mcleary played a ball through to Kirsty Howat, who calmly slotted the ball low to Lauren Grant’s left to score her third goal of the day.

Full time: Queen’s Park 0 Rangers 5

Queen’s Park: Grant, Fraser (Fitzsimmons 45’), Kane, Smith, Davis, Ray (Fulton 45’), Boyce, Cairney, Tweedie, Gill (Daly 81’), Callaghan. Subs not used: Gibney, Sloey, MacLeod, Chisholm, Clark

Rangers: Fife, Cavanagh, Docherty (McLauchlan, 46’), Martinez, Nolf, Middag, Maclean (Cornet, 61’), McLeary, Hay (Kerr,  61’), Howat, McCoy (Mcauley, 46’). Sub not used: Esson.

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