Match Report by Campbell Finlayson. Photo by Lorraine Hill.
Motherwell stunned SWPL 1 side Spartans at Forthbank to book their place in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup final.
Goals from Megan Burns, Kerry Montgomery and Caitlin Russell helped the Women of Steel to a 3-1 win and a showpiece clash with Hibs at Firhill next month.
Spartans began the brighter of the two sides and went close to taking the lead twice in the opening ten minutes.
Their first chance came after just three minutes when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Elena Santoyo-Brown let fly but her shot went just over the bar. Tegan Reynolds had another chance soon after but her glancing header flashed wide of the right hand post.
Despite their dominance, it was Motherwell who would take the lead. Samantha Hare’s shot deflected just past the post but from the resulting corner, Megan Burns’ header found the corner of the net via a deflection off Spartans defender Dion McMahon.
Midway through the half came a flurry of goalmouth action at both ends, Spartans going close when Rachel Walkingshaw headed over from close range.
Within a minute though they would equalise, Walkingshaw got in behind on the right before squaring to Reynolds who poked the ball into the net.
Motherwell almost came up with an instant reply though when Hayley Cunningham’s effort from distance clipped the crossbar.
There was an injury scare for Spartans soon after as Ronaigh Douglas landed awkwardly on the pitch side gravel after evading a challenge but thankfully she was ok to continue.
The last action of the half saw a coming together between Kaela McDonald-Nguah and Motherwell’s Kerry Montgomery with the Well player appearing to aim a kick at her opponent while on the ground, but she escaped any punishment.
Motherwell retook the lead eleven minutes into the second half when Kirsty McLaughlin’s corner found Montgomery whose original header was saved but she was able to force the rebound over the line.
The second half was far quieter than the first with a wayward Suzanne Mulvey effort the only other real action besides the goals. On 73 minutes though, Spartans did go close to levelling things again but McDonald-Nguah’s header hit the top of the crossbar.
The Lanarkshire side would secure their place in the final against Hibs when substitutes Caitlin Russell and Katey Turner combined with the former heading into the corner.
Having already been crowned champions of SWPL 2, Motherwell will be hoping to spring a surprise against their top flight opponents to complete a dream league and cup double.
The final will take place at Partick Thistle’s Firhill Stadium on Sunday 4th November with a 4:10pm kick-off.
Spartans: Harrison; Mawson, McMahon, Briggs, Marshall; Douglas, Reynolds (McAlonie, 62), McDonald-Nguah (Reilly, 81); Santoyo-Brown, Walkingshaw (Russell, 74), Mason (Frew, 69)
Motherwell: K.Welsh; Black, Condie, Welsh, Nicholson; McLaughlin, Mulvey, Burns, Montogmery (Russell, 70); Hare (Turner, 74) Cunningham (Reside, 90)