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Aberdeen Women co-boss Gavin Beith bemoans lacklustre performance after 3-2 defeat to Spartans in SWPL 1

Aberdeen Women's Francesca Ogilvie battles for the ball with Spartans Rosie McQuillan. Picture by Kenny Elrick.
Aberdeen Women's Francesca Ogilvie battles for the ball with Spartans Rosie McQuillan. Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Aberdeen co-boss Gavin Beith admitted “the quality wasn’t there” as his side squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at home against Spartans in SWPL 1.

Francesca Ogilvie scored in both halves to put the Dons 2-0 up, but Spartans scored three goals in 20 second-half minutes to make sure all three points went back to Edinburgh.

Beith believes that the final scoreline reflects Aberdeen’s performance, and admits they were nowhere near their best form and probably didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game.

He said: “In terms of performance, the quality wasn’t there. We’re way better than what we’ve actually shown today.

“I think the girls know that collectively we can do better.

“Once you put yourself in front and then in a position when you’re not performing well but looking to get something out the game, and then you don’t – it’s disappointing.”

AFC Women co-manager Gavin Beith

It’s not the first time the Dons have been defeated 3-2 at home this season. They also went down to the same score against Hearts in September after also squandering a 2-0 advantage.

Co-boss Beith insists that dropping points from winning positions is something Aberdeen need to cut out, but that must start with a change in mindset.

He said: “It’s about having that fight, the desire and making sure that we’re all working together as a group to get behind the ball and make it as difficult as we possibly can.

“It’s happened twice now which has cost us points, it’s not great, but it’s a learning curve.

“We’re still a relatively young group of players, but it’s something that we do need to try and address and work on going forward.”

Spartans complete the comeback

It was Spartans who had the best chances in the opening stages of the game, and the away side should have gone 1-0 up before five minutes were even on the clock, but Rosie McQuillan’s shot from distance hit the post.

McQuillan tried her luck again and so did Rebecca Galbraith, and both efforts did well to threaten Aaliyah-Jay Meach in goal on her home debut at Balmoral.

Having struggled to get the ball in Spartans box up to this point, on the half hour mark, Aberdeen midfielder Eva Thomson was shoved off the ball in the area and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Ogilvie stepped up for the spot kick, and despite Spartans keeper Rachel Harrison getting a hand to the ball, it crashed into the net to give the Dons a 1-0 lead.

Francesca Ogilvie’s penalty put Aberdeen in front against Spartans.

It was a livelier start to the second half  for Aberdeen than the first had been, and it didn’t take long for them to double their advantage.

Ogilvie got her brace in the 51st minute, as she chopped past the Spartans defence before unleashing a superb strike, which left the Spartans keeper watching as it soared beyond her.

Spartans pulled one back in the 62nd minute through Caley Gibb after some confusion amongst the Dons backline.

The ball was sent into play from a throw-in which Kelly Forrest cleared, but the captain made contact with a Spartans player who fell to ground.

It looked as if Aberdeen had assumed a foul had been given, however, play went on and the ball was squared into the box by second-half substitute Alana Marshall, leaving Gibb to slot it into the net from close range.

The game had only just restarted and Spartans got their equaliser as Galbraith met another dangerous ball sent into the area by Marshall, and her header floated into the top right corner.

Aberdeen would have settled for a point at 2-2 but things got even worse.

It was a hat-trick of assists for Marshall by the 77th minute, as she whipped another ball in from the left hand side, which was again met by the head of Galbraith, who got her second of the day and put her side 3-2 in front.

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