The women of steel’s positive return from the international break failed to materialise, as league leaders Rangers coasted to a commanding five-goal advantage at a rainswept K-Park on Sunday.
An early Libby Bance opener was soon strengthened with a quickfire Sarah Ewens double, as the visitors coasted to a comfortable three-goal cushion in the opening quarter of an hour.
Motherwell regrouped and started to find their rhythm in the game, limiting Rangers to few chances across the remainder of the first-half, with Rangers netting two late second-half goals to secure the three points in East Kilbride.
Head Coach, Paul Brownlie made four changes from the defeat to Partick Thistle prior to the International break, with Kaitlyn Canavan, Murron Cunningham and Sarah Gibb returning to the starting XI. Laura McCartney also secured a place in the midfield against her former side.
Rangers’ intense opening to the game forced the women of steel into trading possession deep into the own territory, and moments later, the visitors netted the opener. Mia McAulay’s driving run across the right flank allowed the winger to drill a low pass across the face of goal, with Chelsea Cornet’s initial effort denied by Emily Mutch, but Bance calmly followed up from two-yards out.
The league leaders doubled their advantage minutes later, with Lizzie Arnot deceptively escaping the high Motherwell backline, as Ewen’s prodded home the forward’s chipped through ball.
On the 15-minute mark, Rangers had three, as Ewen’s netted her second of the evening. The forward darted across the edge of the penalty area, latching onto Michelle Colson’s perfectly-weighted through ball and the experienced striker coolly dispatched a low strike off of the near post.
Despite a relentless opening period to the game, Motherwell started to find their rhythm and established a foothold in the game, but a decisive goal failed to materialise.
Despite numerous exceptional saves from Emily Mutch, the visitors netted two-late goals in the second half, with Jane Ross and Rio Hardy finding the target to extend their lead at the summit of the SWPL league table.
Motherwell will return to action next weekend, with the women of steel travelling to the City of Discovery to face Dundee United.