Marie Terese McGuinness (4), Lori Gardner (17), Gillian Inglis (51, 59), Mhairi Lyle (86)
Natalie Bodiam (11, 51, 90)
There was no shortage of goals or drama for Hamilton Accies in the highland capital, as they finally began life in the new Scottish Women’s Premier League 2 with a 5-3 win over Inverness City.
Manager Gary Doctor watched on as goals from Marie Terese McGuinness, Lori Gardner, Gillian Inglis and Mhairi Lyle sealed the win for Hamilton despite a Natalie Bodiam hat-trick, but he admitted there are still things to be worked on.
“It’s been a big build up to it, and also very tricky, just happy to come up and get the win, that’s the most important thing.
“I think we’re disappointed in the level of performance because I think we’ve set higher standards this year, we’re expecting more from ourselves and the girls so it was a surprise that we didn’t play as well as we would like, but we scored five and could have probably scored twice as many so for as much as we’re disappointed there was still that level of performance.
“This league will be difficult for us, every game is going to be tight.
“I think we should have won that game by a clearer margin, no doubt about it, but we gave away some fairly sloppy goals and we didn’t punish them as much as we should have so the margin of victory should’ve been a lot wider, but I suppose we’re still at the beginning of a journey for the whole season, integrating a lot of new players, and finding out a lot about ourselves and each other.”
It only took four minutes for Accies to open their SWPL2 account, as McGuinness slotted in from close range to give the visitors a dream start, but the hosts pulled it back to even terms only seven later, as Bodium looped her effort into the top near corner on the end of a long free-kick into the box from the halfway line.
Gardner restored Accies’ lead with ease as McGuinness turned provider, nodding in the tight cross from right in front of goal on the 17th.
Hamilton thought they had stretched their lead further as Megan Quinn held her run to set up Gardner, but celebrations were short lived as the assistant flagged for offside.
The visitors took the 2-1 lead into the second period, but the first of the half again came early, with Inverness drawing it back again with Bodiam knocking in following build up through the middle.
But less than a minute later the referee’s assistant shouted for an Accies penalty as City looked to have handled in the box, seeing Inglis score from the spot on the 51st. Inglis finished her brace just before the hour mark as she fought off pressure in the box to bundle the ball over the line despite being brought down and tangled in between the two centre halves on the goal line.
New signings continued to make their mark as Katie Jaycock was fed in down the right, before cutting it back for Mhairi Lyle to find Hamilton’s fifth.
And on the stroke of full-time, Inverness had the last word with Bodiam completing her hat-trick with a high strike crossing Murren Stevenson and finding the net, but the points were headed back down to Hamilton as the new SWPL2 finally got underway ahead of Accies hosting Jeanfield Swifts at New Douglas Park next Sunday.
HAMILTON ACCIES XI: Murren Stevenson, Amie McGill, Amy Allan, Amy Lindsay, Megan Quinn (Amy McCafferty), Laura Gallen, Amy Anderson (Hannah O’Keane), Deborah McLeod, Lori Gardner (Katie Jaycock), Marie Terese McGuinness Samantha MacPherson), Gillian Inglis (Mhairi Lyle)
Unused subs: Lauren Kerr, Susie Smith
Reported by Hamilton Academical WFC
Picture: Ian Steele Photography