Women’s team put six past Saints…
Report: Andrew Scott and Picture: Motherwell FC
Motherwell produced an emphatic performance on Sunday to win 6-0 against St Johnstone.
The win was their second in a row and it sees the ‘Well retain top spot in the SWPL 2.
The sides were level in points going into the fixture but the ladies put the game to bed in the first half. A hat-trick from Suzanne Mulvey, a double from Hayley Cunningham as well as an own goal, sent the hosts to victory.
The deadlock was broken just after 20 minutes as Cunningham’s corner ended up in the back of the net. The Saints defence was unable to clear the cross as it snuck under the keeper and over the line.
The goal seemed to have revitalised the St Johnstone team as they began one of their better spells in the match. There was controversy as the Perth side’s appeal for a penalty was waved away by the referee, much to the despair of the players.
Motherwell added their second just minutes later, Suzanne Mulvey was brought down just outside the box and the Steelwomen were awarded another free kick after a handball by the wall.
Cunningham stepped up and hit a driven shot through the legs of the wall and into the bottom left hand corner. Not for the first time this season, she demonstrated her ability from a dead ball.
Cunningham’s second goal started Motherwell’s best spell of the match, as skipper Mulvey bagged a fine hat-trick in just over five minutes.
The first came from the corner where Cunningham originally put the ‘Well in front, this time she played an inviting cross straight to the head of Mulvey who fired it past Cameron in the Saints goal.
A matter of three minutes later, the striker added her second. Sloppy play at the back from St Johnstone and a slack backpass enabled her to nip in to intercept, dinking the ball over the onrushing keeper in the process.
Mulvey bagged her hat-trick two minutes later. Great link up play with Sammy Hare allowed Mulvey to break clear from her marker and fire her shot into the net. A superb five minutes from the ex-Scotland capped striker, who showed how deadly she could be to put Motherwell 5-0 up.
It would be the visitors who would come out the traps the better side as the second half got underway, a team that looked re-energised and with a point to prove following the first half performance.
Unlike the first, the second half was a more end-to-end encounter with Motherwell eventually getting a foothold in the game at around 50 minutes.
The Steelwomen showed their attacking prowess shortly after with substitute Reside proving to be a handful down the right flank.
There was another penalty shout with 65 minutes played, this time for Motherwell after Mulvey was brought down into the box, but the referee waved play on.
As the half progressed Sophie Gallagher entered the pitch and boosted the Motherwell attack.
With just over ten minutes to play, the sub helped put the ‘Well 6-0 up as she and Hare produced great link-up play to allow Hare to dribble to the byline and put a pass into the box. Her cross met the foot of a Saints defender, Rebecca Foote who put it into her own net.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Motherwell continued to push on to add more goals to their tally but the match would end 6-0, a clinical first half performance ensuring the three points would stay in Lanarkshire.
The victory for Motherwell sees them retain top spot in the SWPL 2. Next up for the ladies is Aberdeen at home on Sunday, 29 April.