Women’s football: Spartans edge nine-goal thriller

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SPARTANS manager Debbi McCulloch praised her team’s character after they saw off Rangers in a nine-goal thriller in Govan.

The Ainslie Park girls trailed 2-0 early on and then, having raced into 4-2, had their own two-goal lead eroded before Carla Jackson snatched victory in the dying moments with a sensational 35-yard effort.

“The game was a great advert for the Scottish Women’s Premier League,” said McCulloch, “although our performance in the first 30 minutes can only be described as abnormal.

“The girls responded after that and at 4-2 we looked comfortable, but, credit to Rangers, they threw everything at us and got it back to 4-4.

“To come back from two goals down and then see a two-goal lead evaporate, it shows the strength of the girls’ character to push right to the end and get a result.

“It was important to get three points and close the gap on the teams above us. There are tough challenges ahead of us; a lot of people had written us off but this result sends out a good, positive message.”

Elsewhere, Gemma Mason, Brogan Anderson and Demi Falconer were all on target as Hearts Ladies defeated Inverness City 3-0 in the Highlands.

Jambos boss Grant Scott said: “It was a tricky fixture because Inverness didn’t pick up many points in the first half of the season and that makes them dangerous.

“Then you have to contend with the long bus journey and the worry that the players may be sluggish when the game start because of it.

“But, I felt we managed the game well, got a good result and ran out deserved winners in the end.

“There’s a bit of a gap opening up now in the bottom six and it was important that we extended it.”

Meanwhile, Hibs Ladies remain joint-top of the SWPL after goals from Lizzie Arnot and Abi Harrison gave the Easter Road side a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Broxburn’s Albyn Park.

Hibs manager Chris Roberts was pleased with his side’s performance, saying: “After the break it’s good to start back with a win and a clean sheet.

“We weren’t firing on all cylinders, but we still got the win so that is pleasing – the sign of a good team is to win when not playing at their best.”

In the weekend’s final league fixture, Hutchison Vale lost 2-1 at home to Forfar Farmington.