Carly Girasoli 'moving up a level' as Rangers defender nets twice in win over Hibernian
Hibernian 0-3 Rangers: Malky Thomson hails young centre half as Rangers keep the pressure on Glasgow City at SWPL 1 summit.
Malky Thomson hailed young centre half Carly Girasoli as the 19-year-old scored twice to help Rangers come away with a 3-0 win to Hibernian at Penicuik Park.
Girasoli scored two first half headers and almost grabbed a hat-trick when she crashed a header off the bar.
Fellow defender Brianna Westrup also scored as Rangers remained in the hunt for the SWPL 1 title, with the Ibrox side four points off Glasgow City ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm derby with Celtic.
“It was a hard, hard game,” Thomson told Anyone’s Game. “The conditions weren’t conducive to how we want to play, it was very bumpy very bobby and it was on for them to set a trap for us in the middle of the park. So we had to adjust, but a great learning curve for the girls and three points to take down the road.
“Carly gives you what she gives you. She’s a typical old fashioned type centre half. She does her job, she wins her headers, wins her tackles, she’s slowly but surely getting better and her communication has went up a level as well.”
Hibernian’s defeat brought to an end a run of four games unbeaten, though they remain in fourth place with Spartans losing to Celtic at Lennoxtown.
And it was a night when Hibs boss Dean Gibson had much to be encouraged about despite the scoreline.
They fell behind to an early goal after some delightful combination play between Sam Kerr, Zoe Ness and Lizzie Arnot forced an early corner, from which Girasoli lost her marker to head in.
But after that, the hosts - temporarily deposed to Penicuik from their usual Ainslie Park home - gave as good as they got.
Eilidh Adams raced on to a through ball and almost got a break when Rangers goalkeeper Jenna Fife cannoned her clearance off her, but the ball wouldn’t land for her kindly enough to take advantage of the stranded shot stopper.
Colette Cavanagh went close for Hibs after a fine pass from Amy Gallacher and Kirsty Morrison also threatened from distance.
But then Rangers doubled their lead great work from Emma Brownlie and then again by Kirsty Arnott won Rangers a corner. Arnott crossed for Girasoli to outmuscle Leah Eddie to head home her second.
Girasoli was denied by the crossbar in the second half, and cruelly had to limp off with an injured hamstring before she could net a treble.
Chances were few and far between for Hibs which led to the impressive Cavanagh shooting on target from distance and again just over the bar from the edge of the Rangers box.
Cavanagh then fouled Sam Kerr and from the resulting free kick Rangers found their third. Brownlie’s shot off the wall fell to Kerr and she did excellently to find Westrup in the middle, who swept the ball home to ensure all three points were going back to Glasgow.
The game was interrupted slightly before the end when a mindless moron threw a flare from outside the ground. Thankfully no one was hurt and the game was completed.
Anyone’s Game player of the match
Carli Girasoli two goals and nearly a third. She played the ball well from the back and dealt with anything that came at her. Unfortunate to go off with a knock as you would not have bet against her bagging that third goal.
A special mention to Hibs Collette Cavanagh who despite being on the losing side was a constant threat to Rangers and popped up everywhere. A very exciting young player.