Westdyke Ladies secured an important three points in SWF Championship North, with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Grampian Ladies at Banks o’ Dee’s Spain Park.
Westdyke took an early lead and went into half-time 3-1 up, but Grampian fought back to lead 4-3 after an improved second half performance.
It looked as if the home side had done enough to secure all three points, however a quick-fire double from Westdyke ten minutes from time ensured a 5-4 victory for the Westhill side.
Westdyke head coach Jonathan Watt believes the result is a testament to his side’s quality and resilience.
He said: “To go down 4-3, the girls showed incredible character to not give up and keep playing the way we know we can play.
“They got the ball down and created two really good goals at the end to get us the win. To come away with the three points is brilliant because it could have gone either way.
“The win keeps us within touching distance with the teams above us in the table, we’ve put ourselves in a good position to now try and push on up the league.”
A convincing first half for Westdyke
Westdyke took the lead early in the first half after Ciara Craig got the better of Grampian’s defence, beating both their left back and centre half as she drove towards the byline, before getting a shot away from a tight angle.
Mel Dalgarno did well in the Grampian net to make the initial save, but the rebound landed straight to Craig’s feet who slotted the ball into the net to give the Westhill side a deserved early lead.
It was two in as many minutes with Lyndsey Brown doing well to get on the end of a slack pass from the Grampian goalkeeper. The midfielder sprinted forward screaming for the ball, hitting it sweetly from 25-yards out to make it 2-0.
However, the home side replied almost immediately with Vikki Riddell finding herself in a decent position in the box with only the Westdyke goalkeeper to beat. It looked as if Riddell’s scuffed shot wasn’t powerful enough to beat keeper Ciara Mulligan, but it trickled into the net for 2-1.
Craig got her second of the day and Westdyke’s third five minutes before half-time, after using her pace to get on the end of a long ball sent from her own half. Much like the first goal, her first effort was well saved by Dalgarno but Craig’s persistence paid off as she did well to win the ball back before the Grampian defence could clear the threat, and she passed it into an empty net to make it 3-1.
Goals, goals, goals galore
Despite an improved second half performance, it was completely against the run of play that Grampian were able to reduce the deficit and make it 3-2. Rhianna Law tried her luck from just inside the 18-yard box with a toe-poked strike and her effort rolled into the bottom corner.
The game was not over as Grampian scored the equaliser with a fine effort from Riddell, leaving Westdyke with their heads in their hands after squandering what had looked like a fairly comfortable lead.
With the home side pushing for the winner, it was now Grampian’s game to win. Captain Kirsty McBain egged her side on by shouting ‘let’s get another one’, and that’s exactly what they did.
Law was in the right place at the right time to score her second of the day and to give Grampian the lead for the first time in the match, nudging the ball over the line after it had fumbled around the box from a corner.
Despite giving away a 3-1 lead, Westdyke never gave up and their hard work paid dividends with Craig and Julie Binnie scoring a quick-fire double in the final ten minutes to restore their lead and secure a vital three points in SWF Championship North.
Elsewhere in SWF
Elsewhere in Championship North, Buchan’s winning streak came to an end after losing 5-2 at home to Dryburgh Athletic.
Caley Thistle were also defeated at home, losing 2-1 to East Fife. The result will be a bitter disappointment for Karen Mason’s side as a win could have put them level on points in second place.
Aberdeen Women’s Anna Blanchard will have to wait another week to make her loanee debut for Montrose, with the league leaders fixture against Stonehaven called off at the last minute.