Aberdeen FC Women manager Emma Hunter was delighted to see her players celebrate their SWPL 2 title win by cruising to an 8-1 victory over Glasgow Women on Thursday night.
The Dons sealed the championship by beating Dundee United on Sunday – and they continued their good form with a comprehensive win against Craig Joyce’s Glasgow at Cormack Park.
An Eilidh Shore hat-trick and two goals each from Bayley Hutchison and Bailley Collins as well as a strike from captain Kelly Forrest sealed the win for the champions in dominant fashion.
Hunter, whose side received a guard of honour on to the pitch, said afterwards: “It was a really good performance. We played some nice football, that happens when you take a bit of pressure off players.
“They’re able to relax and enjoy it. It was free-flowing, especially in the first half, and it was good to see lots of people getting minutes on the park too.”
The Reds boss made three alterations to the team which started against United, with captain Kelly Forrest, Carrie Doig and Johan Fraser in for Jenna Penman, Amy Strath and Chloe Gover.
Like against United, Aberdeen came flying out the traps and went ahead in the opening seconds when Jo Fraser crossed for Collins to tap home from six yards.
Hutchison then notched her 19th and 20th league goals of the campaign with a four-minute double, both of which were laid on by Francesca Ogilvie.
Shore powered home a header to put the Dons 4-0 up inside 17 minutes after good work down the right from Loren Campbell and Fraser.
Despite being outmatched for much of the half, Glasgow pulled one back just before the 30-minute mark through Rosie McQuillan.
Aberdeen almost replied immediately when Shore latched on to a ball over the top but her powerful drive cracked off the post.
The woodwork then stopped Hutchison from bagging her third after the Dons number 10 had shown great footwork to round Glasgow keeper Chloe Gibney a minute before the break.
Hunter rang the changes at half-time. Goalkeeper Kirsten Pratt came on for her debut in place of Gail Gilmour while Lauren Gordon and Nadia Sopel replaced Hutchison and Fraser respectively.
The post yet again denied a Don shorty after the restart, this time Eva Thomson was the frustrated party after being played in by Gordon.
It was 5-1 in the 55th minute when Forrest turned home after Gibney flapped at an Ogilvie corner from the right.
Ogilvie noticed another assist nine minutes later when she teed up Shore for her second and it was a magnificent seven shortly after when Collins turned in after persistent work down the right from Gordon.
Deja vu struck Glasgow in the 70th minute as Ogilvie delivered a fifth assist of the night with a corner onto the head of Shore, who grabbed her hat-trick with aplomb.
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With little to worry about defensively thereafter, the Reds saw out the game in comfort to finish their first match as champions victorious.
Hunter said: “It was a really unselfish display today. There’s been a lot of talk about Francesca and Bayley battling for the top spot for scoring but you could just see it was such a team effort tonight.
“I think we always talk about the forward players but we’ve also got the best record defensively as well and so much credit has to go to our backline for keeping the clean sheets they do a lot of the time, not conceding a lot of goals.”
State of play
Next up for Aberdeen is trophy day against Boroughmuir Thistle at home on Sunday (4pm).
The Dons go into the match with a 10-point lead over Hamilton Accies at the summit of SWPL 2, with the second promotion spot still up for grabs between Accies, Partick Thistle and Dundee United.