After some unfortunate recent losses Swifts entertained a rejuvinated Buchan and were looking to get back to winning ways. After a slight role reversal the Swifts found themselves under pressure from a determined Buchan but their more clinical finishing, including a debut goal from young Clark, saw them earn the three points.
The game opened with both teams cancelling eachother out in what was a stuffy midfield battle with both teams trying to establish control. Swifts edged ahead on 12mins when a Grossi long ball escaped the Buchan back line and McIntyre showed great composure to steady herself despite pressure and place home a neat finish.
Despite the goal Buchan came back strong and found themselves thwarted by the woodwork and some smart McIlravey saves. The first effort saw a great long range effort hit the post on the way past, the next saw the ball smack off the inside of the post and roll across the line and stay out, and then from a cut back a good first time shot hit the base of the post and away from danger.
Swifts were working hard but were not finding their usual rhythm and their only effort of note was a clever reverse strike from McGinley that the keeper saved well after adjusting her feet and getting across. The visitors were pushing to get back into the game but Cowie and Flynn-Scott were defending bravely.
HT Jeanfield Swifts Ladies 1 Buchan Ladies 0
The second half started in similar fashion to the first and it was Swifts who were looking more likely with a McIntyre cross taking out the keeper with a stretching McGinley just unable to convert. They then doubled their lead on the hour when Shaw was in an advanced position, fed McGinley’s clever movement with a perfect pass that saw the captain roll her defender and score across the keeper.
Swifts were now looking more comfortable and Irvine had been showing up well having been introduced into midfield.
However Buchan were not finished and came storming back.
A great delivery from a free kick deep and wide enticed a taker but McIlravey saved the effort. Then McIlravey had to be alert to tip over a good strike. Clever footwork from Steedman almost saw her through and then with 10mins to go Buchan scored a quick-fire double to turn the game on its head. The first was a quick turnover of possession and a great ball through for the striker who finished calmly. Then on 85mins a Flynn-Scott handball was punished and the penalty stroked home into the top corner.
Buchan were undertandably jubilant and sensed the chance of a dramatic comeback and winner. However to the Swifts credit they dug deep and on 87mins a Shaw through ball turned the Buchan defence. Young Clark sensed the opportunity, reacted quickly in drawing the keeper and side-footed the ball past the advancing keeper like a seasoned veteran. The reaction of her teammates in the celebration showed how well the 14-yr old had done and how impressed her teammates were!
More drama was to follow when on 90mins Tweedie collected a clearance fully 35 yards out and struck a glorious long range effort over the keeper to send the Swifts’ and players into jubilant celebrations. It was a fitting reward for the Tweedie who was later named sponsor’s player of the match.
In what was now becoming a chaotic end Buchan incredibly fought back and in the 5th minute of added time struck a great free-kick that left McIlravey helpless.
Seconds later the referee blew and put an end to the final home match of this first season at McDiarmid. Although not up to the usual quality this was a hugely entertaining match with some excellent goals and efforts from both teams and typified the entertainment that has been on show in Perth all season. Well done to both teams.
FT: Jeanfield Swifts Ladies 4 Buchan Ladies 3
Buchan will be very disappointed to lose a game they contributed so much to. On the other hand Swifts will be delighted not only with the points but in the way the team responded when faced with a great Buchan comeback. An exhausted McCrindle was ultimately pleased “I’m really pleased for the players. Today we showed a different side to us and one I’ve been asking from them. I think maybe a year ago we would have lost that match but the desire and mentality that they showed got us over the line and the victory was the players reward. We scored four really good goals and I was delighted with many of the individual performances. I have to give a mention to Hannah Clark. Her goal today was a brilliant finish.. composed and passed it into the net at a crucial time in the game. The reaction of the players when she scored was special also and shows the spirit and togetherness in the squad.
Reported by Steve Grossi
Picture: Jeanfield Swifts