The Swifts welcomed Queens Park to the McDiarmid Park Astro and although the visitors had experienced SWPL football previously this was the Swifts first ever game at this level.
The game was also the first competitive fixture at the Swifts new home following their partnership with St Johnstone. This historic day for the club was to end in delight as they secured the 3 points with what was ultimately a comprehensive victory.
The early exchanges were nervous with the Swifts having most of the ball with Flynn-Scott and Todd strong down the left, but not testing the visitors. It was however Queens who took the lead somewhat against the run of play when a long ball evaded the home defence and the striker coolly lobbed the advancing McIlravey-Davidson.
The Swifts however came storming back with Todd heading a Grossi cross wide then firing a shot just over. McGinley also went close as did Scobbie with a long range effort.
The equaliser arrived after 25mins with the ball dropping McGinley in the box and the striker composed herself before firing home.
Grossi then fired just over after a great ball from Maclean and was then foiled by a great last gasp block after being set up by McGinley, then Thatcher and McDonald both saw headers go close from Nicholson crosses.
It seemed only a matter of time before the Swifts took the lead but Queens earned a penalty just after the half-hour mark when Flynn-Scott upended the striker. The penalty however bashed off the post and was cleared by McDonald.
Stirred into action the Swifts took the lead with a quick break from a Queens corner. Nicholson then Grossi won challenges and set Todd off and she found McGinley just over half-way.
She showed great strength in driving past three defenders and then rounding the keeper before slotting home.
HT Swifts 2 Queens Park 1
Head Coach McCrindle was pleased with his team’s first half and looked for them to continue their good work but was expecting a bit more conviction in their final ball.
The second half started in a scrappy manner but Swifts increased their lead on 63mins when a McIlravey-Davidson drop kick was flicked on by Grossi to McGinley who eluded the defence and stabbed past the on-rushing keeper for her hat-trick.
Swifts then introduced Fox, Weir and McIntyre for Scobbie, Grossi and Maclean as they pushed for more goals. The changes kept the intensity up with Weir keeping the ball moving, Fox a danger on the right and McIntyre bringing teammates into the game. Leiper then hit the post and a Thatcher snapshot was well held.
Fleming was then introduced to make her competitive debut at 14 and immediately got on the ball and joined the attacks, and was followed by 15 yr-old Cowie who slotted in comfortably at centre back. But it was McGinley who was proving too hot to handle for Queens as she fired in a fourth goal on 80mins. It was left to McDonald to score the fifth and final goal when she rose to a McGinley corner to send a bullet header home.
FT Swifts 5 – Queens Park 1
Swifts will be delighted with this win. After a nervous start they settled, played some good football and saw excellent contributions from the full squad. An all round excellent performance and signs of a strong unity being developed.
Head Coach McCrindle was understandably delighted “Today was a long time coming. It’s been a big build up and Queens came to spoil it for us.
Once we went ahead we started to relax and do the things we are good at, we moved the ball better and with a bit more purpose. Today was a real team effort from everybody on and off the park. I’m really happy for the players, they have been great to work with since I took over and today’s performance is what they are capable of.”
Reported by Steve Grossi
Picture: Jeanfield Swifts FC