Goals galore in SWPL
Monday, 01 April 2013
The Scottish Women's Premier League went goal crazy at the weekend as the fixture card produced an amazing 32 goals across the six games.
There were convincing victories for Hamilton Academical, Hibernian, Glasgow City and Rangers whilst Celtic and Aberdeen also came out on top in their games.
The biggest winners on the day were Hamilton who beat Falkirk 7-0 at John Cumming Stadium.
Given the final score-line it’s hard to believe that it took until the half hour mark before the Accies made the breakthrough when Carolina Richardson netted.
That’s how it stood until the interval however after the break Hamilton turned up the pressure on the visitors and were clinical in their execution.
Helen Templeton doubled her side’s lead with a terrific long-range effort before a deflected Richardson shot found the net less than a minute later.
Cheryl McCulloch added a fourth before Toni Mason grabbed goal number five as the Bairns defence crumbled.
Mason scored to take her team’s tally up to six before McCulloch completed the scoring in the final moment and end Falkirk’s miserable afternoon.
"In the first half we weren't poor; we were what I would call competent without being fantastic. “ commented Hamilton gaffer Kevin Murphy.
“Falkirk didn't break us down that much inside the first half and in the second we were more positive, had more conviction, created more chances and scored.”
Rangers were also big winners with a five star display against league newcomers Buchan in Aberdeenshire.
Hayley Cunningham (2), Megan Foley, Natalie Ross and Rachel Halliday were all on target for the Gers in the rout.
Glasgow City returned to the top of the SWPL following a convincing 5-1 victory against last season's runners-up Forfar Farmington at Petershill Park.
The visitors handed new signing – goalkeeper, Ellie Welton – her debut just days after joining the Station Park club and she endured a torrid afternoon as the champions swept aside last term’s nearest rivals.
City started the match like a whirlwind and put the Forfar defence under a tremendous amount of pressure as Eilish McSorley’s header crashed back into play off the crossbar, Jo Love missed an open goal and Welton saved brilliantly from Suzanne Malone.
The opening goal surprising came against the run of play and for the visitors as Caroline Heron netted from close range.
The lead however lasted less than one minute as City quickly achieved parity thanks to a sensational finish from Malone and the City striker gave her team the lead with another clinical strike before half time.
Sue Lappin extended the champions lead on 61 minute with a well-placed header and three minutes later Lappin grabbed another.
City continued to push hard for a fifth goal which eventually arrived in the closing moments when Julie Melrose finished a cross from Nicky Doherty.
City Assistant Coach, Donald Jennow, said: “Once again we put ourselves in trouble by missing so many chances early in the game whilst Forfar had just one and took it.
“The reaction however was fantastic and in the second half we were excellent; we controlled the game, created lots of chances and most importantly didn’t give any away.”
We billed the Edinburgh derby between Hibernian and Spartans as a capital cracker in the making and that's exactly how it turned out as the Hibees put their city rivals to the sword.
Kirsty Smith opened the scoring for the girls in green with a 40-yard lob following a clearance from Spartans keeper Rachel Harrison.
Alana Marshall levelled for the Ainslie Park outfit against her former team, however Caroline Weir scored almost immediately from the restart to restore her side's advantage.
Susan Fairlie grabbed a hat-trick to take her season total to five, with just two games played, whilst in between those strikes, Lizzie Arnott netted after a Fairlie shot had struck the crossbar.
Hibs' new signing Katey Turner completed the scoring late on with her side's seventh of the afternoon after Harrison had denied Weir.
Hibs Manager Willie Kirk commented: "I'm delighted we put in such a terrific performance against one of our title rivals because it reinforces the belief that we are good enough to achieve success here.
"Even though we scored seven we also hit the woodwork three times, missed an open goal and the Spartans goalkeeper made a string of super saves."
Spartans Manager Debbi McCulloch put the result down to an off day for her team, saying: "We let ourselves down in the way we played as this wasn't our usual level of performance.
"It's difficult to know why we didn't perform and we will just have to put it down as a bad day at the office and learn from it."
After seeing their first two league fixtures postponed due to weather, Celtic finally got their campaign underway with a 3-0 victory against Hutchison Vale.
The match came close to being postponed however a last minute switch from Saughton to Lennoxtown saved the day.
The visitors defended well until Celtic finally broke their resolve early in the second half through Abi Harrison. Emma Brownlie doubled their lead when she scored following a corner kick before Scotland star Suzanne Grant netted a penalty to secure the points.
Despite the defeat Hutchie boss Ian McDonald was pleased with his side’s performance, saying: “We are obviously disappointed to get beat but that shows how far we have come that we are coming away from a game against one of the big clubs thinking we could’ve taken something from it.
“It was never going to be easy and we were forced to play counter-attacking football however the girls did very well and were a credit to themselves.”
Scottish football legend Julie Fleeting grabbed her first goal for new side Kilwinning on Sunday however she was powerless to prevent her side slipping to a narrow defeat against Aberdeen.
The SWPL newcomers fought hard but in the end the Dons emerged victorious thanks to efforts from Rebecca Dempster and Nikki Wright.
The weekend's results in full;
Celtic 3 Hutchison Vale 0
Hamilton Academical 7 Falkirk 0
Kilwinning SC 1 Aberdeen 2
Glasgow City 5 Forfar Farmington 1
Buchan 0 Rangers 5
Hibernian 7 Spartans 1