by Alan Campbell THE top four SWPL1 sides continued where they left off before the two-week international break, all winning their games comfortably.
Leaders Hibernian defeated newly-promoted Hamilton Accies 5-0 at Ainslie Park, maintaining their 100 per cent record, while defending champions Glasgow City won 3-0 at Aberdeen. Celtic and Stirling University, who had a rare opportunity to play at Parkhead, finished 2-1 to the home side and Spartans beat Rangers 3-1.
Hamilton’s defeat means they are now bottom on goal difference behind Rangers. Hibs were four up at half-time thanks to goals from Rachel Small, Abi Harrison, Lucy Graham and Amy Gallacher. Small later added a second.
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Scott Booth left American imports Savannah Jordan and Lauren Silver on the bench for Glasgow City’s game at Heathryfold Park. Jo Love and Hayley Lauder, who missed Scotland’s midweek match against Belgium, both started.
Leanne Ross, who played Leuven, opened the scoring with a free-kick three minutes from half-time. Noelle Murray made it two after the break following good build-up from Ross and Nicola Docherty. The third again followed a Ross assist, with Savannah McCarthy heading home her free-kick.
“The surface was really poor and it made it difficult for both sides, but I thought we played as well as we’ve done this season,” Booth said. “We had something like 21 attempts on goal. Leanne gives you quality. Her first goal from a free-kick was really well taken.”
Celtic found a way past Stirling seven minutes before the interval when Natalie Ross took advantage of an assist from Heather Richards. American central defender Jaclyn Poucel got the second, and her first for the club, in the second half. Michelle Russell scored late on for the visitors.
Spartans, in their match, took the lead after just two minutes through Colette Cavanagh. A second was added by Zoe Johnstone. Rangers got one back from an Amy Muir free-kick just after the half hour, but a second-half goal from Carla Boyce sealed victory.