Welcome to our fortnightly article Scots Abroad – a feature on the trials and tribulations of Scottish players playing their football outside of Scotland.
Well the last couple of weeks have all been about Champions League.
Could two English teams get to the semi-finals? First up were Chelsea who travelled to France to play Montpellier. An outstanding defensive performance and two away goals, one scored by Scot Erin Cuthbert, saw Chelsea take a firm grip on the tie. Meanwhile Manchester City were also taking a 2-0 lead into their second leg with another Scot, Jane Ross, grabbing one of the all-important goals.
It was also FA Cup weekend in England after the snow postponed the previous weeks fixtures. Chelsea were awaiting the winners of Sunderland and Manchester City but this was not the easy fixture for City that many predicted.
Indeed it was Jane Ross who popped up with a dramatic last minute equaliser to send the game into extra time and she got on the score sheet again to secure a 4-2 victory for the Blues. No such drama in the other games were Arsenal’s Scottish contingent of Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell were all involved in the comfortable 5-0 victory over Charlton. Indeed Kim Little scored in another game which brings her closer to full fitness. In the final game Everton comfortably beat Durham 6-1 so the Wembley dream for Scots Kathy Hill and Zoe Ness is over despite taking their club to the quarter finals.
Meanwhile in the league Reading travelled to Chelsea and held the leaders to a 2-2 draw severely denting the Londoners title hopes and giving the advantage to Manchester City.
Attention then turned back to the UWCL second legs and a record crowd of over 3500 watched Chelsea ease into the semi finals with a 3-0 home win over Montpellier. Meanwhile in Sweden Man City were involved in a goal fest winning on the night 5-3 with two Scots Jane Ross and Jenny Beattie both on the score sheet. So the semi final line-up will see Man City take on Lyon while Chelsea will play Wolfsburg with the first legs played on Sunday 22nd April and the return games played on Sunday 29th April. What chances of an all English final? Best of luck to both teams and it would be great to see potentially 4 of our “Scots Abroad” compete in the final.
Meanwhile it was back to league business for all the WSL teams. Chelsea travelled to play their London derby with Arsenal with all three Scots starting for Arsenal. The game finished 1-1 as Chelsea dropped 2 more points in their bid to win the league. However Reading pulled off a shock victory at Manchester City meaning the league will probably go to the last game of the season with both protagonists locked on similar points.
Elsewhere in the league Liverpool continue their up and down season losing 4-0 to Birmingham before winning by a similar score against Yeovil with Caroline Weir featuring in both games. Chloe Arthur also featured for Bristol City, in their only game during this period, which resulted in a disappointing 2-0 loss to Birmingham.
In WSL2 Doncaster Belles continue to set the pace at the top recording a 3-0 victory over Tottenham, where Kirsty Hanson got on the score sheet, and followed this up with a comfortable 3-1 win over Watford who had young Scot Fran Kitching in goals. Chasing Doncaster at the top are Leigh Nicholl’s Millwall Lionesses who recorded a 4-2 victory over Oxford. Despite being deducted three points at the beginning of the season Millwall still harbour aspirations of grabbing the title with the two still to play each other. This is another league where nothing is likely to be decided until the last game of the season.
The league has not yet started in Sweden where Fiona Brown, Shannon Lynn and Ife Dieke all play their football. However Fiona Brown’s Rosengard will play in the Cup Final against Linkoping in mid May. In Italy there has been no action for the injured Lana Clelland but she is now back running and will hopefully feature soon for her team Tavagnacco.
Finally good luck to both the U19’s playing their elite round games in Edinburgh this week and to the SWNT in their two world cup qualifiers against Switzerland and Poland. This gives me a well deserved break from scouring the world for news. The next Scots Abroad feature will be in 3 weeks time.