Rangers Ladies 4-1 Aberdeen Ladies: 'Gers into Scottish Cup semi-final

Written by Andrew Southwick.

ANGIE Hind said it was more like the real Rangers after her side swept into the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

A Lisa Swanson double and goals by Natalie Ross and Amy Harrison secured a 4-1 win over Aberdeen at Petershill Park.

After a recent slump in form, Hind was delighted at how her side roared back against a Dons side that had defeated them two weeks ago.

She said: “We're absolutely delighted. To be fair we controlled the game, and I thought we created a lot of good, quality chances today, and we're delighted to take four of them.

“This is the first time in a while that we've created the number of chances that we did. We've huffed and puffed the last few games but today I thought we looked particularly dangerous.

“We've worked hard every week in training since we've had the slump. We changed the shape a wee bit today to give us more numbers in the box and I think that really helped.

“Having Lisa Swanson in there to be a big target for us proved to be the difference. She did great and we really wanted her presence in there, and the work rate was magnificent to get on the end of some things, and I'm glad she's got a couple of goals because she's worked tirelessly.”

Aberdeen were without Scotland international left-back Rachael Small who was cup tied after an earlier appearance in the competition for Forar Farmington.

An early home goal looked inevitable with Megan Foley and Megan Sneddon both squandering chances from inside the area before Ross eventually opened the scoring in the seventh minute, poking the ball beyond Lauren Sangster.

There was no let up in pressure as the hosts looked to capitalise on Aberdeen's early jitters. Foley found Sneddon in acres of space in the box but her shot barely troubled the goalkeeper.

They were nearly made to pay in the 14th minute for their lack of proficiency as Aberdeen created their first chance. A free-kick from the right was headed into the path of Rebecca Dempster who did well to turn and test the 'keeper with a volley.

Sneddon was continuing to be a nuisance, and came close to heading a second goal in 21 minutes; heading Hayley Cunningham's dangerous cross inches wide of the far post.

Rangers were still the better of the two sides as the game reached the half hour mark, and Kathyrn Hill was unlucky with a curling shot that creeped just wide.

It looked like it just wasn't going to be Sneddon's day. Once more she found herself free in the box, but this time Sangster did brilliantly to get her foot to the shot and deflect it away.

The Dons just couldn't get out of their half though and eventually Rangers got their second. A deep cross from the left evaded everyone except Swanson, who had time to take a touch before finishing past the goalkeeper.

Hind's side wanted this over by half-time, and when the bounce of the ball looped over the 'keeper into the net it looked like it was done and dusted as a contest, but the assistant referee's flag saved Sangster's blushes.

The visitors needed the next goal to stay in the tie, and Dempster was handed a great chance just before the break when Jill Paterson's clearance rattled off her, but she couldn't put enough power into her shot to seriously test Khym Ramsay.

Barely a minute into the second half though the Dons were right back in the game. Captain Susan Murray charged through an attempted clearance, the bounce of the ball fell kindly to her, and she cracked a high shot off the post and in.

The game needed a Dons goal and it set up an electric second half. Rangers were determined to restore their two goal advantage, and twice in a minute Sangster pulled off two great saves; palming Karen Penglase's shot wide then denying Hill from close range.

Aberdeen's back line remained the busier of the two, but the Light Blues were not opening them up as much as they had been in the first half. With the Dons knack of scoring late goals, the game remained on a knife edge.

It was a case of who could take the game by the scruff of the neck and win it, and Rangers all but booked their spot in the semi-finals in the 74th minute. Cunningham found herself free on the left but her shot span wildly to the left. However Rangers managed to keep it in, and as it was fired back into the danger area Swanson grabbed her second of the game and directed the ball into the net.

As Aberdeen's heads went down, the hosts went for the kill, and Amy Harrison made it four with a delightful chip.

Despite the goal deluge, Sneddon was still being denied her own moment of glory, flashing a long range effort just wide of the left hand post in the dying minutes. Then substitute Lesley Condie sent a dangerous ball into the middle that Ross got a foot to but it trundled just wide.

On another day Sneddon could have had a hat-trick, and Hind showed her some sympathy afterwards.

“She made some great runs from midfield”, said Hind. “That's Megan. We've been urging her all season to get forward, and I think she tried today, and Natalie [Ross] too who got a goal. I think both of them worked really hard today.”

Rangers: Ramsay, Penglase (Condie 85), Barr, Paterson (Riley 81), Hill, Foley, Sneddon, Swanson, Cunningham, Ross, Harrison (Hughes 81).

Aberdeen: Sangster, Fitzpatrick, Campbell, Glennie, Murray, Wright, Dempster, Grimshaw (Hermans 59), Anderson, Clews, Aitkenhead.
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