Aberdeen manager Emma Hunter was delighted as her side got their SWFL North Division 1 campaign off to the perfect start with a 5-1 victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Aberdeen Sport Village.
Report: Mark Gordon / Image: Aberdeen FC
“It was really important that we got off to a winning start and Inverness were always going to be a tough team to beat. I thought the girls played really well in spells, we seen some of the work we’ve been doing in training, getting the ball into wide areas and using pace to get in behind. We’re absolutely chuffed, the girls are delighted and it’s a victory we really needed to get in the first game”.
The Dons started on the front foot with Natasha Bruce and Chloe Gover both firing shots over the bar in the opening few minutes of the game. It was Gover again who almost broke the deadlock after 10-minutes when she had a shot cleared off the Inverness goal-line.
The visitors settled into the game after a dominating opening period from the home side and Katie Cleland fired their first effort on goal into the side-netting after fifteen-minutes.
Gover had another shot saved by Sarah Murphy in the Inverness-goal before Caley striker Kayleigh Mackenzie’s powerful effort was saved by the feet of Dons goalie Anna Blanchard.
Aberdeen took the lead after 35-minutes when Bayley Hutchison was played in by Amy Phillips on the right-hand side of the Inverness penalty area. HUTCHISON took the ball in her side before firing a low shot across the goalkeeper to put her side in front at the break.
Half-Time: Aberdeen 1 Inverness CT 0
The Dons started the second half perfectly as they doubled their lead from a set-piece. A deflected Hutchison shot led to a corner just seconds in to the half. Dons captain Kelly FORREST me the resulting corner with a powerful header which found the net via the under-side of the crossbar.
Inverness refused to give up though and they came roaring back into the game with Mackenzie and then Natalie Bodiam producing a brilliant double save from Blanchard to preserve Aberdeen’s two-goal lead.
The visitors did pull a goal back a few minutes later when Hannah Gordon beat the Dons offside trap after 64-minutes and finished past Blanchard.
The loss of the goal seemed to bring the Dons to life and they restored their two-goal advantage on the 75-minute mark. Lauren Gordon played a neat through-ball to substitute Johan FRASER who kept her composure to make it three.
That third goal seemed to take the wind out of the Caley sails as the dons dominated the remainder of the match. Great play down the left by Loren Campbell saw her fire wide after a well worked one-two with Fraser as the home-side looked for a fourth.
They didn’t have long to wait as the fourth goal came on the 84th minute. Eilidh SHORE sent a long distance free-kick towards Forrest who was waiting at the back post but the ball evaded both Forrest and the keeper and nestled in the corner of the Inverness net.
Aberdeen rounded off a great day’s work in the 85th minute after being awarded a penalty. Chloe GOVER stepped up from the spot to fire a left foot shot low into the bottom right-hand corner and give the Dons a 5-1 win to start their season.
Full-Time: Aberdeen 5 Inverness CT 1