Stirling University ladies football team recorded their first ever 3 points in the SWPL1 today after coming back from a goal down to beat Celtic FC Women 2-1.
Playing only their second home game of the season at the University of Stirling the team welcomed the league leaders, Celtic who arrived confident after a midweek win over their city rivals Rangers.
The match started at a frantic pace with both sides tackling hard and looking for an early breakthrough.
After 7 minutes a chance came for Nicole Pullar when a precise ball over the top saw the striker through on goal.
Taking the ball past the Celtic goalkeeper, Megan Cunningham, Pullar was pushed wide and couldn’t find the angle to slot the ball home.
The Celtic team were working the ball well amongst their team and had a couple of clear chances as they got in behind the home defence but their shots went wide. Celtic’s best chance of the half came on 28 minutes when Stirling’s goalkeeper, Chloe Logan, was forced to pull off a point blank save from a close range header.
The home side defended well and created a couple of chances on the break but at half-time there was not a break in the deadlock and the score line remained 0-0.
The second half started with Celtic having an early chance, Just 3 minutes into the re-start and a shot is floated just over the Logan goal, landing on the top of the net. Celtic’s GK, Cunningham, was in action next after she saved a shot from Rebecca Galbraith after a 1-2 down the wing with Lisa Sutherland.
For the next 10 minutes it was the home goalie, Logan, who was kept the busiest. Firstly she tipped a great strike over the crossbar before diving bravely at the feet of an oncoming player to smother the ball.
In the 72nd minute substitute Christie Kerr found herself in space just outside the Celtic box and curled a perfect left foot shot that looked to be sailing in, but Cunningham got her fingertips to the ball, pushing it onto the crossbar and away.
In the 80th minute it was Logan’s turn to turn on the goalkeeping style for Stirling as tipped a 20 yard screamer over the bar keeping the score line at 0-0. But Stirling were living dangerously as Celtic pushed for the winner with time running out.
Finally in the 84th minute the deadlock was broken after an unkind ricochet off defender Lauren Gallon saw the ball fall into the path of Suzanne Mulvey who took it into the box and hit a low ball across the diving Logan and into the net. 1-0 with only 6 minutes remaining.
Instead of letting their heads go down the Stirling players pushed on and right from the re-start drove into the opposition half. A ball was won on the right and driven down the wing.
Striker Nicole Pullar screamed for a cross and it landed inch perfect on her head at the back post and she slammed her header home on 89 minutes for 1-1!
Gallon let fly a stunning strike that looped over the head of the Celtic goalkeeper Cunningham and into the top corner and a 2-1 victory was sealed for Stirling University.
Head Coach Tommy Craig said “This was an absolutely brilliant performance from every player today.
To come back after losing a goal so late in the game shows just how far the team has come in such a short time.
Jade’s goal is surely goal of the season already! I must also praise once again the performance of Chloe Logan in goals as her saves kept us in the game in the second half. We now need to take this win and build from here”.
The team face Spartans away next Sunday 24th April.
Reported by Alison Mackie
Pictures: Stirling University