Harmony Row strike a second-half chord to lift cup
Cup final Match report
Harmony Row 3 Linlithgow Rose 2
Glasgow side Harmony Row lifted the SWFL Cup after three quick second half goals saw off a talented Linlithgow Rose side in a spirited contest between two community sides willing to attack in numbers.
There were chances at both ends within the first eight minutes, Linlithgow striker Lucy McEwan breaking free twice to see the whites of the keeper’s eyes, but both times failing to pull the trigger when it mattered. At the other end, a smart cut back from Harmony Row forward Claire Rae found Lindsay Fitzpatrtick at the edge of the box, but her shot went just wide of the far post. Then on 13 minutes Rae found herself one-one-one with the keeper but lobbed it mildly into Lauren Brown’s arms. She would show no such timidity on 19 minutes, but her blasted rocket would rattle the crossbar.
At the other end, Linlithgow’s forwards were showing some good movement and the chances came. Harmony Row keeper Ashleigh McQuade did well to deny Deborah Hendry with her feet, then another shot by Hendry a minute later stung her fingers from outside the box.
The game flowed from end to end without any clear-cut chances until on 39 minutes an unintentional high boot by Harmony Row defender Jane Murphy caught Hendry in the face, but she was able to carry on. The free kick was floated in and although there was plenty forward for Rose, they couldn’t connect to make it count.
At the other end, a clever lay off by Rae found Fitzpatrick on the left, who floated in a cross onto the foot of the onrushing Nicola Donnelly, but her shot just cleared the crossbar. The last kick of the first half would be a Linlithgow free kick from a handball decision blasted over, and the sides went in level at the break.
The second half began in frantic fashion with chances at both ends, but it would be Linlithgow Rose who opened the scoring in the 50th minute, McEwan rounding the keeper and selflessly laying it off to Hendry who made no mistake. Harmony Row’s response was instantaneous, and audacious lob from kick-off by Claire Rae chipping Lauren Brown and nestling in the net to send the Harmony fans wild.
Then less than four minutes later, a great first touch from Rae from a long ball gave her the opportunity to slip it past Brown to put the Glasgow side ahead. And it in less than ten minute they had added a third, Emma Paterson drilling it underneath Brown from the left.
With Harmony Row suddenly two goals up and full of confidence, Linlithgow brought on Katie Barrie to inject a bit of grit into the midfield, and the Rose kept tight to the Harmony players, giving them little room to be creative.
And on 77 minutes it paid off, Lucy McEwan finding space to receive a diagonal ball and beating two defenders to chip the keeper. Suddenly it was Linlithgow in the ascendency, with Cara McBain and Brooke Davidson linking well on the right and Barrie switching well with Kirsty Barnes on the left.
But thanks to determined midfield grit of their own, Harmony Row held on to take the silverware back to Glasgow.