Motherwell were made to pay for an off-colour performance as they slumped to a 4-3 defeat against Rangers on Wednesday night in SWPL1.
Looking to bounce back from defeat in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup semi-final to Hibernian at the weekend, the women of steel headed to the Rangers Training Centre knowing a win would keep up the pressure on the side they’re chasing in fourth spot.
The opening spell of the game saw the hosts have all the ball. The first effort from Motherwell came from captain Georgie Rafferty, as her free-kick was held by Nicolson in goals.
Inevitably, Rangers broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. Napier tapped in at the back post after she found herself free in the box.
Motherwell were camped in their own half, with Morgan Hunter making two fine diving saves to keep the ball out of the net.
Just before the break, Rangers’ lead was doubled when Boyce blasted the ball into the net, Hunter’s previous block only pushing the ball into the path of the on-rushing forward.
The second half saw Brown sent off for the hosts after an altercation with Lauren Doran-Barr on the hour mark, and it gave the visitors a way back into the game. Rachel Connor scored on her debut just after, as she raced through on goal to place the ball into the far corner.
But Gregory Vignal’s side managed to extend their lead further on 67 minutes. Bourma put the home side back in the driving seat, working her way through the defence and finishing well in to the far corner to put Rangers 3-1 up.
In a match filled with defensive errors, Abby Callaghan found herself one-on-one with Nicolson and she calmly finished with 15 minutes to go to give the women of a steel a chance of taking a point.
But, in the 82nd minute, Brownlie floated in an excellent cross on the counter-attack that was headed home by Gemmell to make it 4-2 and seal the points.
Callaghan was sent through on goal in the last few seconds, slotting home to make it 4-3 as she scored her third in a week, but it was too little, too late for Motherwell.
Head coach Donald Jennow admitted his side’s display wasn’t what he had come to expect.
“To be honest, it just wasn’t good enough,” he said. “For everyone involved, it wasn’t anywhere near the standards we set as a group.
“We didn’t work as hard as them, we sat far too deep. Ultimately, we didn’t do ourselves justice today.”
The ‘Well boss however did take positives from a debut goal from Rachel Connor and a brace for Abby Callaghan.
“It was good for both on a personal level, it is good to have you forward scoring and Abby is doing that at the moment,” he added.
“We now need to focus on Sunday and the trip to face Celtic, who have been tough opponents this season.”
Motherwell: Hunter, Roberts, Rafferty, Rolph, Doran-Barr, Connor, Adams, Cairney, McEachran, Gardner, Callaghan.
Subs: Vincenti, Otto, Munro, Montgomery, Inglis, Fyfe.