Aberdeen Women manager Clint Lancaster says his side will stick with his playing out from the back philosophy after a “frustrating” 2-0 defeat to Partick Thistle in the SWPL.
Partick Thistle took the lead at Petershill Park through Linzi Taylor after only eight minutes, before Rosie Slater netted their second five minutes before half-time.
It was a game that highlighted the risks when playing out from the back, but Lancaster is adamant his side will stick by that approach and continue to develop it game by game.
Following the defeat in Glasgow, the Dons boss said: “Partick Thistle deserved to win the game, probably, because they created more chances than us.
“We played well in our build. We don’t refuse to do that. We kept playing out and looked to try find different ways through, but it’s the final pass that lets us down.
“It’s a frustrating one, but we have to try turn that build out from the back to the midfield third, to the final third and that final piece needs to be much better than it was today.
“We won’t go long against teams that are very successful with set-pieces, that are well organised and tend to win a lot of first balls.
“It is not beneficial for us to go direct against a team like Partick Thistle, but what we did need to do better was absolutely get the ball in the middle and look to play in the wide areas. We didn’t do that well enough.”
Lancaster added: “I have got a young group and it’s not beneficial for us to play direct and lump the ball down the middle.
“What I say to them is there are times we can do that, but we look to play. I’ve got a really good young group and they are constantly improving technically and they’re growing in confidence.
“When I took the group on, there is no way they would have been able to do some of the things they are doing now with regards to their build.
“We’ve lost games but it’s not because we’re losing or giving the ball away deep in our third – we’re conceding goals from set-pieces and haven’t been tight enough in defence.
“We’re not giving the ball away cheaply and move it well, so we won’t go away from that, but we do have to be better defensively.”
The defeat leaves Aberdeen sitting seventh in the table, three points clear of Motherwell in eighth, ahead of a return to action against SWPL leaders Rangers on January 28.
Partick Thistle’s first-half goals secure SWPL win against Dons
Aberdeen had the first chance as Bayley Hutchison was slotted through by Hannah Stewart, before seeing her shot inside the box saved by Thistle goalkeeper Megan Cunningham.
Goalkeeper Jeni Currie, who was making her SWPL debut for the Dons, denied what looked like was an almost certain opener for the home side, as she palmed away a headed from only a yard or so out.
But it didn’t take long for Thistle to net the opener as Taylor received the ball from the right flank after a nice move and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
The hosts looked to double their advantage after some more nice play, with Kodie Hay the creator again, but Rachel Donaldson’s effort soared over the bar.
It had been a first half of few chances but with five minutes remaining, Slater netted the home side’s second.
Goalkeeper Currie had done well to punch clear the danger, originally from a corner, but couldn’t stop the rebound as Slater unleashed a powerful drive from just outside the box.
After the interval, the Dons had only their second meaningful attempt of the game when Eilidh Shore headed over from a corner.
The home side had chances through Cara Henderson and Amy Bulloch, with both hitting efforts wide of the target.
Aberdeen skipper Stewart tried her luck from distance with a strike which soared well over the bar before, at the other end, Henderson had another go, but this time her shot was well held by Currie.
The Dons debutant made another fine save to deny a close-range effort from Carla Boyce, who was making her Thistle debut after moving from fellow SWPL club Motherwell.
Despite being 2-0 down, Currie continued to impress as she made an outstretched diving save to push Taylor’s shot away from danger and got down to smother substitute Imogen Longcake’s curling strike.
Lancaster praised his new goalkeeper, as he said: “Jeni was brilliant today. She was put under more pressure than I would’ve liked – we need to be better defensively.
“She did really well, but that’s her job.
“We needed her experience. She reads the game well, recognises when we play short – which we obviously do quite a lot – and manages the difficult moments well. She did well.”