Match Report: Ness Goal Secures Three Points Against Hibs

A ZOE NESS strike was the difference as Rangers picked up three points in the SWPL with a 1-0 victory away to Hibernian.

Ness’ second-half goal sealed the victory to make it four wins from four to start the league campaign.

Malky Thomson named one change to his side from Wednesday night’s victory over Spartans as captain Brianna Westrup came into the starting line-up with Chantelle Swaby on the bench.

The hosts were first to threaten in the opening minutes of the game as Alexa Coyle picked out Colette Cavanagh in the box, she took a touch and got a shot away but it was wide of Jenna Fife’s goal.

The Light Blues were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position shortly after as they looked to get the breakthrough at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Lizzie Arnot whipped a good delivery into the box which Tessel Middag glanced towards goal but was unable to keep the effort on target as it drifted wide.

Rangers were finding their feet in the game as Rachel McLauchlan picked out the run of Lizzie Arnot with a lovely diagonal ball to send the Scotland international through on goal.

Arnot drove towards the box but the hosts were quick to react as a number of Hibs defenders flooded the area and managed to block the effort.

Colette Cavanagh had a low shot held by Jenna Fife, before Rachel McLauchlan saw an effort go over the bar at the other end as both teams searched for a breakthrough.

In the final minutes of the first-half, Gers were pushing for that opening goal. Nicola Docherty swung a ball into the box from the left which met Zoe Ness but she couldn’t get a strong enough connection on the ball as it bounced just wide of the post, with the game remaining goalless at the break.

Malky Thomson’s side almost got off to the perfect start in the second-half as Jane Ross picked the ball up in the box and got a powerful shot away at goal but it was blocked by the feet of Hibs goalkeeper Gabriella English.

The early pressure paid off as Gers got the breakthrough in the 51st minute. A free-kick was swung into the box by Lizzie Arnot and fell for Zoe Ness on the edge of the box and she drilled the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the season in the SWPL.

The hosts almost responded instantly but Colette Cavanagh’s curling effort was just inches wide of the Rangers goal.

In the 67th minute, Ross was again denied by goalkeeper Gabriella English as she was again alert to block a good effort from the Gers striker from close range.

Jane Ross was again involved in the action as she saw a shot deflected wide as Malky Thomson’s side pushed for that all-important second goal.

The second goal didn’t come for Rangers this afternoon but they were able to comfortably see out the remainder of the game to secure the points in Livingston.

RANGERS: Fife, Docherty, Vance, Westrup, McLauchlan, Middag, Arnot, Cornet, Hay (Brownlie, 89) Ross, Ness (Reilly, 68).

Subs not used: Cunningham, McCoy, Swaby, McLeary, Watson.

HIBERNIAN: English, Boyle, Murray (Rice, 87), Hunter, Muir, Malone (Morrison, 71), Notely, Eddie, Cavanagh (Boyce, 87), Adams (Gallacher, 71), Coyle.

Subs not used: Mutch, Leishman, Rennie.

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