SWPL: Rangers beat Celtic for second time this season

Rangers' Hayley Sinclair and Celtic's Heather Richards battle for the ball
Rangers' Hayley Sinclair and Celtic's Heather Richards battle for the ball

Rangers consigned Celtic to a second Old Firm defeat of the season with a 2-1 win at New Tinto Park.

Lauren Davidson scored shortly after Celtic debutant Cheryl McCulloch''s own goal, with Ruesha Littlejohn's late strike not enough to salvage a draw.

It means Celtic fall two places to fifth in the Scottish Premier League, with Stirling University moving into third with a 3-1 win over Aberdeen.

Spartans were held at home to Hamilton Academical in a goalless draw.

For Rangers, the result is more evidence of the remarkable turnaround under head coach Amy McDonald, who took charge in May.

She had already masterminded a 4-1 win over Celtic in June and, with a Scottish Cup quarter-final to come, Rangers look in good shape for the second half of the season.

They hounded their Glasgow rivals for the first half an hour. Claire Adams forced goalkeeper Megan Cunningham to scramble back and tip her 25-yard shot over the bar.

And Davidson should have opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when she was slipped through one-on-one with Cunningham, but her attempt to pass the ball into the far corner was thwarted by the goalkeeper's leg.

It was Celtic, though, who finished the half stronger. Georgie Rafferty was not too far away with a thumping shot that skimmed the crossbar.

Natalie Ross fired straight at the goalkeeper before Sarah Ewens poked a free-kick off the post, with the rebound finding the net but the assistant's flag cutting short the celebrations.

Claire Adams of Rangers and Celtic's Ruesha Littlejohn
Ruesha Littlejohn (right) scored a late goal for Celtic

The second half was a replica of the first, with Rangers beginning on the front foot, but this time they broke the deadlock.

Former Hamilton and Glasgow City defender McCulloch was named in the Celtic starting line-up after signing for the club on Friday.

However, her debut was spoiled in the 52nd minute when she turned Hayley Sinclair's left-wing cross into her own net.

Six minutes later, it was 2-0 when Davidson got to a long diagonal ball and fired into the roof of the net.

Not much was going right for the visitors. Littlejohn rounded goalkeeper Jordyn Elliot but flicked the ball off the post.

Then Celtic had another goal chopped off when Heather Richards finished inside the near post but the assistant flagged for offside.

Ewens had a shot saved and Cara McBrearty headed over as the chances continued to come and that pressure finally paid off in time added on when Littlejohn smashed in a loose ball.

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