Aberdeen Women co-manager Gavin Beith was delighted with three points, but not the performance, as his side beat Hamilton Accies 2-1 at Balmoral Stadium.
The Dons picked up a vital three points and moved back up to fifth, courtesy of second-half efforts from Bayley Hutchison – her 17th of the 21/22 campaign – and an injury time goal from Chloe Gover.
Accies halved the deficit through Megan Quigley immediately after Gover’s goal in injury time, but it proved to just be a consolation goal as Aberdeen claimed all three SWPL 1 points.
And while he described the performance as ‘slack’, co-boss Beith was delighted to get the three points.
He said: “The performance wasn’t the best, but the result is fantastic.
“The objective when you come into the game is to get three points and we did that.
“It was a pretty slack performance. We played in little fits and starts in the second half, but the first half was nowhere near good enough.
“But we managed to get over the line and that’s what counts.”
Nothing to split the two sides in the first half
The Dons had the first real chance of the game as an Eilidh Shore shot went wide, after Bailley Collins selflessly put the ball on a plate for the midfielder just outside the box.
Collins looked dangerous up the right wing, and squared the ball across the face of goal that would have found an Aberdeen player if Accies keeper Jeni Currie hadn’t used her feet to avert the danger.
Hamilton had a decent spell of position just before the half hour mark, which seen them unleash their first shot on target as Quigley released a decent effort that Shore cleared with her head.
A succession of Accies corners followed, with one of the set pieces whipped in by Kirstie McIntosh hitting straight off the woodwork much to the relief of Aberdeen.
Accies went close again as McIntosh whipped in a dangerous ball after Lauren Evans won a dubious free-kick deep in the Dons’ half, but it bounced just past AJ Meach’s far post.
A much needed second-half goal
Emma Hunter and Beith made one attacking change at half-time as Louise Brown, who scored in the win against Accies at Balmoral earlier this season, came on in place of Lauren Gordon.
The game needed a goal to liven it up, and Balmoral Stadium didn’t have to wait long for one in the second half as Hutchison netted her 11th SWPL 1 goal of the season in the 48th minute.
The striker got on the end of an Eva Thomson cross, and hooked it into the roof of the net from the near post to make it 1-0.
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) March 20, 2022
Accies weren’t subdued by the home side taking the lead and pushed for an equaliser, with Josephine Giard hitting the side-netting after getting a shot away in a crowded Reds box.
Both of Aberdeen’s forwards had chances to make it 2-0 as Hutchison initially tried her luck, before Brown got a shot away from the rebound that was spilled by Currie, but the Accies keeper pulled off another save.
It looked like the game would be ending 1-0, but after Brown did well to keep the ball in at the byline, it was sent into the box where Gover beat two Accies player to dispatch her shot beyond Currie in injury time.
Hamilton had the ball in the back of the net straight after the restart to make it 2-1, after a stramash in the box, however, the Dons held on for the remaining seconds to claim the win.
SWF Championship North
Caley Thistle became the first team to take points off Championship North league-leaders and favourites Montrose, as Karen Mason’s side came from behind to draw 1-1.
Westdyke moved up to sixth in the league with an impressive 10-1 win over Dundee City West at Lawsondale.