Hearts Women suffered their first defeat of the season on Wednesday night as they were defeated 2-1 by Rangers at Oriam.
Eva Olid made four changes from the side that defeated Dundee United at the weekend. Charlotte Parker-Smith replaced Lisa Rodgers in goal, Carly Girasoli replaced the injured Lizzie Waldie in defence whereas Cailin Michie and Addie Handley replaced Danni Findlay and Erin Rennie in midfield.
In truth, it was a first half of few clearcut chances. After a bright start from Hearts, the visitors began to take control and dominate possession, however the majority of their efforts came from distance and failed to seriously test Parker-Smith.
Hearts thought they had taken the lead after 14 minutes when Ciara Grant’s free kick from the left went all the way in at the back post, however Emma Brownlie was adjudged to have been in an offside position and in the eye-line of Rangers goalkeeper Jenna Fife.
The closest chance for the visitors fell the way of striker Kirsty Howat, who tried her luck from a tight angle, however Parker-Smith was alert at her near post to tip her strike over the crossbar.
Hearts almost took the lead, five minutes into the second half when Ciara Grant won possession high up the pitch and tried her luck from the edge of the box, but her effort was well-held by Jenna Fife.
The visitors went ahead 12 minutes into the second half. A smart run in behind from Chelsea Cornet saw her sent through on goal by Rio Hardy and she finished past Parker-Smith to open the scoring.
Five minutes later, Rangers were two ahead. A short pass back allowed Rangers a two-on-one break, Howat middled for Hardy to slot home and double the visitors lead.
Understandably, Hearts were a bit spooked by this, but they got back in the game 20 minutes from time. Kathleen McGovern came so close just seconds earlier when she headed off the post from a Grant free kick, but there was no stopping the Hearts striker this time.
Katie Lockwood pinched the ball on the edge of the Gers box and laid the ball off to McGovern who lashed the ball home to breathe new life into Hearts.
The visitors were hanging on as the game entered the closing stages and Hearts really should’ve equalised in stoppage time.
Firstly, Danni Findlay’s effort came back off the post before Fife produced a magnificent save to deny a header in which Emma Brownlie and Georgia Timms both appeared to make contact with.
It wasn’t to be for Hearts however, as Girasoli headed wide from the resulting corner and that was the last act as the whistle sounded seconds later with the visitors holding on for a 2-1 victory.
Hearts: Parker-Smith, Morgan (Findlay, 80), Brownlie, Hunter ©, Grant, Timms, Lockwood, Handley (Adamolekun, 46), Girasoli, McGovern, Michie (Rennie, 46)
Subs: Rodgers, Penman, Rennie, Anderson, Greenwood, Sade, Davies, Findlay, Cowan
Rangers: Fife, Docherty ©, McLauchlan, Colson, Hill, McAulay, Cornet, McLeary, Maclean, Howat, Hardy
Subs: Esson, Inman, Middag, Austin, Jardine, Ewens, Berry, Rowe