Clint Lancaster was left enraged by Aberdeen Women’s 3-1 defeat to Partick Thistle, describing his side’s display at Cormack Park as “nowhere near good enough”.
Bayley Hutchison gave the Dons a 1-0 lead with her 12th goal of the season in the 15th minute, but three second-half goals from Rosie Slater, Linzi Taylor and Rosie McQuillan secured all three SWPL points for the visitors.
It was a night which left Reds boss Lancaster incensed at full-time.
The defeat leaves the Dons seventh in the SWPL table with 15 points ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Spartans at Balmoral Stadium.
Aberdeen manager Lancaster said: “It was nowhere near good enough. We were really poor today and the complete opposite from Motherwell (5-2 win).
“We got the 1-0 lead, but just didn’t do anything from that. We didn’t test their goalkeeper at all in the second half. We did nothing.
“We weren’t aggressive enough in our challenges. We were being pushed off the ball.
“It was just nowhere near good enough.
“We’re at home. We’re at our training ground and need to be turning up and putting in a much better performance than that.”
Lancaster thinks Aberdeen were hindered by a lack of squad depth compared to their opponents -but felt this did not excuse the poor performance.
He said: “We were up against a team with players missing, but they are still able to bring multiple players off the bench and that strengthens them. I can’t do that. I don’t have the bodies to make the changes I’d like to make.
“On the whole, it was very frustrating and very disappointing.”
Lancaster – who is desperate to make signings in January – added: “We played some good football at the start of the first half, but we needed to defend better.
“I felt we weren’t getting tight enough and weren’t brave enough.
“The goal we scored was good and came from some nice play.
“I encourage us to play out from the back and we’re good enough to do that. They very rarely nicked the ball us from that high up the pitch. We played out brilliantly – but gave the ball away too cheaply in midfield.
“But I am strapped for options. I’ve got players playing out of position because I do not have the bodies. We are so light.
“The squad needs help, so January cannot come soon enough.”
The action from Aberdeen Women v Partick Thistle at Cormack Park
The visitors had the first opening of the evening when Dons skipper Hannah Stewart lost possession, gifting Lucy Sinclair the chance to strike from distance, but the effort was well blocked by Chloe Gover.
Aberdeen playing out from the back was inviting pressure from Thistle and they went close when Gover lost the ball after a pass from her goalkeeper, but Imogen Longcake’s shot was wide of the post.
The Dons took the lead on 15 minutes against the run of play after some brilliant passing between the forward players.
The ball found its way to Hannah Stewart, who played a smart pass to find Hutchison, before the striker fired beyond Thistle goalkeeper Megan Cunningham.
Hutchison looked to grab a second soon after, but her free-kick from 30 yards was straight at Cunningham.
Darcie Miller registered an effort for Aberdeen after she was laid off by Hutchison, but it ran well wide of the post.
In the dying minutes of the first half, Sinclair wrapped her foot round a powerful strike from 25 yards out which was well collected by Dons goalkeeper Annalisa McCann.
After the interval, Thistle hit the first shot as Taylor unleashed an effort from the edge of the box which was blocked by Eilidh Shore.
The visitors had another opportunity – this time from a corner won by Kodi Hay – but the set-piece was well defended by Aberdeen and cleared.
The Dons were then forced into a change just before the hour mark as Hutchison, who seemed to pick up a knock, was replaced by Murray.
Aberdeen should have been 2-0 up, but Eva Thomson’s effort was parried away by Cunningham, before Ogilvie hit the bar from the rebound.
It was 1-1 only moments later when Slater unleashed a rocket of a strike from 35 yards out which beat McCann, whose vision may have been impaired by the thick fog at Cormack Park.
A last-ditch block from Shore then denied Thistle the lead as she slid across the pitch to divert Taylor’s effort.
But the away side got themselves in front from the resulting corner – Taylor heading home inside the busy box.
It was so close to 3-1 soon after, but Hays’ curling effort dropped just wide of McCann’s post.
Thistle did finish the game with a two-goal advantage, though, as McQuillan was gifted an opportunity from close-range after the Dons switched off defensively – and took it.