AFC Women 2 Hearts Women 1
Aberdeen got their season off to the perfect start as goals from Lauren Gordon and Eilidh Shore gave them a 2-1 victory over Hearts in the SWPL Cup Group C match.
Report: Mark Gordon / Image: AFC Media
Emma Hunter gave competitive debuts to new signings Amy Strath and Zoe Johnstone whilst Eva Thomson started in midfield despite playing for Scotland under-17s yesterday. The visitors had new signing Lisa Swanson leading the line following her close season move from Kilmarnock.
The match got underway in horrendous conditions as both teams had to contend with dreadfully strong winds throughout the afternoon.
Hearts were the first to threaten in the game as Higgins and Dalgleish combined down the left, the latter’s cross into the box being cut out by a Kelly Forrest header after seven minutes. The Dons then fought through the wind as Lauren Gordon found Eva Thomson on the left. The Scotland youngster ran across the edge of the Hearts box before laying the ball back for Chloe Gover who saw her low shot go just wide.
Aberdeen took the lead in the 17th-minute as Gordon took advantage of a mistake in the visitor’s defence. Whyte’s ball across her own 18-yard box went straight to GORDON who controlled the mis-placed pass before placing a cool side-foot finish past Emily Mutch in the Hearts goal.
The visitors looked to respond straight away and Gail Gilmour in the Dons goal did well to deal with a McDaniel free-kick into the box, after Amy Strath had felled Lisa Swanson. The conditions seemed to be worsening as the half wore on with the home midfield of Natasha Bruce and Eilidh Shore doing a power of work to shut down the visitor’s attempted attacks.
There were precious few attempts at goal in the first period, owing more to the wind than any poor play. Aisha Maughan had a great attempt pushed round the post by Gilmour who again did
well to field the resulting corner. Despite the visitors having more of the ball, they were unable to equalise before the interval.
HT: ABERDEEN 1 HEARTS 0
Aberdeen started the second half on the front-foot as Loren Campbell linked up with Gordon to release Chloe Gover on the right. Gover’s cross was heading for Francesca Ogilvie at the back post but was intercepted before it got to her.
Ogilvie was at the heart of the action just minutes later as she got on the end of a through ball and looked to round goalkeeper Mutch just outside the penalty area. Mutch then brought down the Dons forward and was sent off by referee Graeme Jack leaving the visitors down to ten players with 40-minutes remaining.
Gover almost rubbed salt in the wounds for the Jambos as from the resulting free-kick she clipped the top of the cross bar with a curling left foot effort which had the keeper beaten.
The visitors showed their quality by staying in the game, despite being a player short. Smith and Maughan both had efforts on goals as they went in search of an equaliser that did arrive in the
Maughan had been a thorn in the Aberdeen defence all game and always looked most likely to create something for the visitors and so it proved in the 70th minute. Jenny Smith played the ball in to MAUGHAN who took a touch before firing a shot high beyond Gilmour to make it 1-1.
The equaliser seemed to spur the home side on and they were back in front after 75-minutes.
Dalgleish picked up a booking for a foul on Dons substitute Johan Fraser wide on the right-hand side. Campbell’s dangerous free-kick into the penalty area was met by the head of SHORE who gave the keeper no chance from the centre of goal.
The visitors battled away to get back into the game but the reds were able to see out the remainder of the game without too many problems to pick up their first win of the season.
FT: ABERDEEN 2 HEARTS 1
22 Gail GILMOUR, 2 Loren CAMPBELL, 21 Zoe JOHNSTONE, 19 Amy STRATH, 14 Kelly FORREST(c), 6 Natasha BRUCE, 7 Eilidh SHORE, 13 Francesca OGILIVIE, 8 Chloe GOVER (Johan FRASER 68mins), 18 Eva THOMSON, 9 Lauren GORDON (Sophie JAMIESON 84mins)
SUBS: Carrie DOIG, Jenna PENMAN, Jessica BROADRICK, Anna BLANCHARD.
MUTCH, WHYTE, CUNNINGHAM, HUNTER, SMITH, SWANSON, MCDANIEL, WILLIAMSON, DALGLEISH, HIGGINS, MAUGHAN
SUBS: PARKER-SMITH, DELWORTH, HAMILL, KANEY.