Big win for Well in SWPL1
Report / Image: Motherwell FC
The women of steel secured their first away win of the season after a tremendous second half performance sealed victory over Stirling University at Ochilview on Sunday.
Sarah Crilly and Claire Adams both grabbed two goals as they put the ‘Well out of sight, before a late consolation for Stirling through Kristina Kim with five minutes to play.
Motherwell started off the game looking the more threatening side. Early chances from Chelsea McEachran and Katie Rice almost saw Donald Jennow’s side get in front.
With just over five minutes played, McEachran found space in the centre of the pitch just outside the box. She let fly from her right foot and the shot was inches away from finding the top right corner of the goal, leaving the keeper routed to the spot.
Rice hit the woodwork moments later which was the closest both sides came to breaking the deadlock. Sarah Crilly burst down the right wing to the byline, cutting inside she tried to find Lori Gardner in the box, the deflected clearance fell to Rice who hit the ball sweetly before it cannoned off the bar and eventually cleared.
Motherwell were nearly in again through Gardner, who beat the offside trap and was running in on goal to collect the through ball, but the keeper got there a fraction before her to clear the ball.
There were penalty shouts from the Stirling bench as they felt they should’ve had a penalty with 25 minutes played. Emma Lyons hit the ground from the long free kick, the ref however didn’t seem to agree.
The rest of the half was an end-to-end encounter with both sides looking to go into the break on top. However the defences remained stern and teams would go into the interval with nothing to separate them.
Motherwell replicated the high intensity start which they started the game with after the break, after a couple early half chances they would go on to score two goals in quick succession.
The deadlock was eventually broken with 51 minutes played through a Claire Adams free kick. The long-ranged cross was intended to find a claret and amber shirt in the box, but the defence failed to clear the incoming cross and the ball found the far side of the net.
Sarah Crilly made it 2-0 just four minutes later as she finished off a smart short corner routine. The winger danced past two defenders before finding the far-right corner with a curling shot to leave the keeper helpless.
Adams bagged another goal on 64 minutes straight from another set piece. This time a corner as the keeper failed to collect, the ball bounced into the net unchallenged to further extend the lead.
With the women of steel smelling blood, Beth McLeod came close to adding ‘Well’s fourth as she latched onto a through ball bounding down on the keeper, the Stirling keeper however got down well to make the save.
Crilly bagged another with 16 minutes remaining with a smart half volley finish. She collected Georgie Rafferty’s long ball into the box before bringing it down onto her right foot to strike back across goal and into the bottom left corner. A composed finish from the winger.
Stirling had one of their best chances of the match through Abby Callaghan shortly after, the striker collected the loose clearance and attempted to volley it into the net, she struck a nice connection with the ball but ultimately it floated harmlessly wide.
Shortly after Gemma Mason was superbly denied by Morgan Gunter in the ‘Well goal. Mason seemed to have struck a sweet connection with an ambitious strike and it looked to by heading into the top right corner, but Hunter was equally up to the task of saving the effort by tipping it out for a corner.
Stirling eventually got a goal back with five minutes to play through Kristina Kim, who rose above everyone from the corner to nod into the right-hand side of the net.
The women of steel were able to see out the remaining five minutes of play and secure an important victory to ensure that the three points would be heading back to Lanarkshire for the first time this season.
Next up Motherwell is Forfar Farmington at Ravenscraig on Sunday 5 May with a 2:30 pm kick off.
Motherwell: Hunter, Knox, Rolph, Rafferty, Crilly, Roberts, MacLeod, McEachran, Rice, Adams, Gardner.
Subs: Vincenti, K McManus, Hutchison, Trialist A, Trialist B.