My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
With another weekend of exciting Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) action, I look at the six matches.
Aberdeen returned to winning ways, after last weekend’s narrow defeat to Glasgow City where they were slightly unlucky not to take a point. The chase for third place was being led by these two teams, with Aberdeen starting in 4th place, just one point behind the visitors Celtic. Both sides knew that a win would all but guarantee they would finish at least 4th – due to 5th placed Rangers and 6th placed Spartans taking on the top two Glasgow City and Hibernian.
But it would be Aberdeen who would take all three points at Heathryfold Park. Stewart took the lead in the 15th minute, but it would take until the 60th minute for them to get their second goal through Loren Campbell’s volley. Their final goal came in the 74th minute when Rebecca Dempster scored from close range.
Glasgow City went into the tie knowing the need to keep their winning ways. Going into the match, they led Hibernian only with a superior goal difference, but with the title race going down to the wire – every game is vital. Rangers went into the match on poor form, not winning any of their four games in the post-split.
And Glasgow City showed the form of champions by winning 7-0. Clare Shine opened the scoring in the 28th minute before Jo Love scored a wonder goal just before half time. Kerry Montgomery scored their third goal, coming from Leanne Ross’ free-kick. Then Susan Fairlie chipped the ball over the Rangers keeper Johnstone before Julie Fleeting scored a brace – her first goals for City. City’s final goal came from the spot after Abbi Grant had been fouled which Ross successfully converted.
With the SWPL league title going down to the wire, Hibernian knew they had to keep up the pressure on Glasgow City with a win over Spartans. Apart from the opening game after the split where Spartans had beaten Rangers 5-4, the home side’s form had been poor, losing the last three games. Hibernian, on the other hand, had only dropped points all season in their two matches against Glasgow City – which both ended in 3-3 draws
And the game went with form as the title contenders picked up another three points, and it was Lizzie Arnot who was the hat-trick hero. Her first goal came in the 37th minute when she was brought down by Spartans’ keeper Cumings, and she converted the resulting penalty. On the hour mark, it was this time Abi Harrison who was brought down in the box – but once again, Arnot was the player who converted the penalty. Her hat-trick was completed in the 79th minute, but this time Arnot’s goal came from open play.
With the upcoming league reconstruction for the 2016 season, it will be the bottom four sides that are relegated. This tie brought together the only two sides sitting in the safe places. Stirling University, who went into the match five points clear of the hosts, had shown perfect form since the split – winning all their games, including thrashing Hearts 7-1. Forfar Farmington had also shown perfect post-split form, with their impressive victory coming against Inverness City who they beat 7-0.
It was the home side who took all three points, and it took just 108 seconds for the only goal which was scored by Amy Gallacher.
Hamilton went into the match, knowing they had to win. Sitting in 11th, nine points from safety with five games remaining, failing to pick up three points would all but condemn them to relegation. They had only won one of their post-split games but knew they had beaten Inverness City before the split. Inverness’ form has been terrible, only picking up two points during the whole season. And those two points had come in the opening two fixtures.
And Inverness’ woe continued. Laura Gallen opened the scoring from long range in the 35th minute, before she got her second in the early stages of the second half. Soon after Gillian Inglis made it 3-0 before Lori Gardner completed the scoring.
This Edinburgh derby was a must-win match for both teams. Hearts, sitting in 9th, went into the match five points away from safety with Hutchinson Vale two points behind them. Hearts’ form, who could have reached the top-six before the split, had been poor – losing their last three games. Hutchinson Vale was the form team, winning their past two matches.
Hearts took the lead on the brink of half-time and then doubled the lead in the 57th minute with a tap-in. With nine minutes to go, Hutchinson Vale pulled a goal back through Hayley Cunningham, but they could not find an equaliser.