Still smarting from their last game v Hamilton, Swifts were determined to show their improvement. Ultimately they would do this but costly errors would hand the game to Hamilton and leave Swifts devastated.
Swifts showed their determination from the off but while working hard without the ball were not looking after it when on the ball. After giving the ball away a few times early on they would be punished after 4 minutes. A Flynn-Scott pass back saw Cochran in space and with time but her clearance went straight to the Gallen who managed to elude the challenges of Flynn Scott and Martin to round Cochran and score.
Swifts continued to press the ball well and were working hard. Hamilton were well organised though and dealing with Swifts forward threat. Swifts were passing and moving well but being denied any clear chances. McIntyre unleashed a vicious shot that was just off target as the hard work looked to be starting to form cracks in the Hamilton defence. Swifts would be undone again a minute later however as Flynn-Scott under pressure from McGuiness fluffed a clearance sending the ball high in the air towards her own goal.
Cochran came out to try to claim it but the ball seemed to take forever to come down and as she and the McGuiness challenged for the ball, neither read it properly and Cochran missed the flight of it and sent McGuiness flying backwards to concede a penalty. Inglis gave Cochran no chance with the resulting kick.
Swifts did not deserve to be two down but it seemed the same errors that had cost them in the first game v Hamilton were going to undo them again this time. The girls though were more fired up by this and they set about their task with desire and menace. Good passing and composed play was being undone by good marking by Hamilton’s back line but slowly Swifts were opening Hamilton up.
On 18 minutes swifts got their reward when two corners in quick succession saw a melee in the box with the ball bundled into the net by Martin.
3 minutes later Swifts were level when Flynn Scott played a great ball into the feet of McGinley who turned and found a ½ yard of space before unleashing a rocket of a shot which found the keepers top right corner.
Swifts were good for being back on terms and were showing the greater threat now. Hamilton stood firm though and when they broke forward Swifts were quick to ensure they snuffed out any attacks. The last 5 minutes of the half were all Swifts with Martin twice nearly putting swifts ahead with a header off the crossbar from a McGinley long throw and one over the top after a Scobbie corner.
After a positive half time chat Swifts came out determined to add to their tally and take the points.
Hamilton are not at the top of the league by chance though and showed why they are hard to beat by good organisation and moving the ball forward quickly when in possession. Chances fell to McIntyre and McDonald but were well saved. A vicious comer from McGinley eluded everyone when it should’ve been easier to score. Chances going a begging Swifts were gutted when Cochran failed to reach a ball through before Hamilton’s Gardner had again fouled her when she was going away from the goal. Cochran saw yellow and Inglis knocked the penalty home.
Their tails up, Hamilton would then go on to play a calm controlled 2nd half frustrating Swifts time and again. McGinley, McIntyre, Thatcher and Todd all threatened but couldn’t fine the clinical finish the teams play deserved. McIntyre broke through on 83 minutes but just failed to connect properly under Hamilton pressure. The half ended with Swifts reduced to 10 due to a late injury to Flynn Scott and with all subs on Swifts had to see out the remaining minutes.
Despite the individual errors, this was a greatly improved performance by Jeanfield from their last Hamilton game and showed the quality of the team and that the hard work is paying off if not getting the girls results at times.
Manager McCrindle was disappointed but positive in his after match message ‘Hamilton beat us 4 – 0 earlier in the season so we have to be pleased with the progress we’ve made in a short space of time.
We matched the league leaders for 90 minutes today and they have real quality in their team.
After losing two goals in the first 15 minutes we did great to get it back to 2-2 then hit the bar just before the half which could have sent us in 3-2 up which we would have deserved.
To lose it how we did is very disappointing especially as we have lost 2 of our last 3 games 3-2 by conceding penalties. We reacted well after our last defeat v Hamilton though so I am now looking forward to our Scottish Cup Tie at home to Ross County.’
Reported by Andy McLeish
Jeanfield Swifts FC