Aberdeen Women’s 5-1 scoreline against Motherwell was fitting of the occasion, as the Dons extended their winning run to five games.
The Dons went behind within the first minute courtesy of a well worked corner from Motherwell, but first half goals from Chloe Gover and Loren Campbell put Emma Hunter and Gavin Beith’s side ahead at the break.
After Motherwell missed a penalty on the hour mark, Aberdeen went straight to the other end scoring their third through Francesca Ogilvie, before a Bayley Hutchison double confirmed the SWPL 1 win.
Dons co-boss Hunter said: “It couldn’t get any better. I was a bit concerned about the game because of the weather so we knew it would become a bit of a battle today.
“The first minute of the game we weren’t switched on and conceded early, and I think the old Aberdeen might have conceded two or three after that.
“But we spoke about it before the game that we know we can come back from that kind of position, so it was great that they dug in and showed their resilience to come out on top.
“We were disappointed to not go in with a better lead at half time, but I told them for the second half if you get a chance go out and drive at them and go take the keeper on.
“So to see them do that and get the goals in the second half, it was great.”
🔴 A big 3⃣ points for The Dons at the Balmoral Stadium. COYR!
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) February 27, 2022
The win sees the Dons move up to fifth in the SWPL 1 table, and is also their fifth consecutive win in all competitions and their third on the trot at Balmoral Stadium.
Hunter added: “This run is really important. It’s something me and Gavin know, and what all the coaches and players want to keep doing.
“We want to keep building the momentum, keep developing as a team.
“We want Aberdeen FC to support us and we know we have to earn that right as well.
“Coming into this league we wanted to challenge the top five which was maybe really ambitious, but we believed in the squad.
“So to actually be able to do it so early on back in SWPL 1 it’s magnificent and shows the quality that we’ve got at the club.”
Recovered from early setback
Motherwell took an early lead thanks to a move straight from the training ground with a corner played short to Gillian Inglis who was waiting just outside the box.
The ‘Well captain swung the ball deep into the area, where it found Lauren Cunningham at the back post who smashed it into the roof of the net.
Aberdeen looked good driving forward and reaped their reward as Leanne Crichton gave away a free kick after shoving Eilidh Shore in a dangerous area on the edge of the box.
Gover stepped up for the free kick and dispatched the dead ball over the wall and beyond Ciara Duff to pull the Dons level.
It was Aberdeen who looked more likely to pull in front and it could have been two as Hutchison played a perfectly weighted pass through to Ogilvie, but her shot was easily gathered by Duff.
However, the Dons would go into the second half in front as Campbell scored a superb goal to give her side the lead just before half time.
Campbell, hit the ball towards goal and whether it was intended as a cross or a shot, it soared as it cleared every player in the box and found its way into the net.
A goal scoring second half
Aberdeen came out of the gates with intent and controlled the ball from the start, with Hutchison almost getting on the scoresheet from long range, but Duff did well to make the save.
The game was becoming a scrappy affair and Carla Boyce was deemed to have been taken down in the Aberdeen box, with the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
The Dons were saved by the woodwork as ex-Scotland international Crichton’s penalty ricocheted off the post.
And minutes later Aberdeen doubled their advantage as Ogilvie was played through on goal by Shore and slotted a shot beyond Duff to make it 3-1.
It was four in the 68th minute as Hutchison, who scored her first SWPL 1 goal in the reverse fixture, got on the scoresheet.
The Dons striker showed her strength and got the better of Crichton before rounding Duff in the goal to pass the ball into an empty net.
Hutchison get her second of the day and Aberdeen’s fifth in the 72nd minute as Motherwell looked to have already accepted defeat at Balmoral Stadium.
SWF Championship North
It wasn’t to be for Inverness Caley Thistle at the third attempt as they fell to another 2-1 defeat to East Fife – the same scoreline as their other two fixtures this season.
Westdyke and Grampian had to share the spoils at Lawsondale, as the all Aberdeenshire tie ended 1-1.