Buchan Ladies picked up their first win of the SWPL 2 season, as they used their attacking speed to good effect to punish Hutchison Vale. The game was in doubt, due to the Buchan team getting stuck in traffic around Dunfermline, causing kick-off to be delayed until 2:45 pm.
When the game began, Buchan survived Hutchie’s early pressure and they took the lead just after the half-hour mark when Louise Brown raced through the defence and scored with a composed finish. Just before half-time, Buchan won a penalty and Vanessa Silcocks converted to double the visitor’s advantage.
Hutchison Vale lost their goalkeeper Charlene Lessells when she received a nasty head knock, trying to clear a Buchan free-kick. This meant they had to play the rest of the game with an emergency keeper Lisa Macfarlane who normally plays outfield. The first thing she had to do was pick the ball out of the net as minutes later Lydia Johnstone made it 3-0. Hutchie had a chance to pull a goal back when they won a second-half penalty, but Beth Macleod saw her effort saved.
Hutchison Vale started the game strongly, creating a couple of early half-chances with Laura Dunn having her shot blocked and Elliss Jenkins’ effort hitting the side-netting.
They came close in the 14th minute when Dunn’s delightful free-kick picked out the unmarked Beth Macleod at the far post, but her header went just wide. The home side kept on coming, with both Macleod and Jenkins missing the target from great positions.
Buchan was finally starting to show a threat, with Zoe Smart and Lydia Johnstone shooting from distance and narrowly going wide.
Hutchie were beginning to get closer. Fiona Boslem’s superb play down the right-wing allowed her to whip a dangerous cross with Jenkins centimetres from getting her foot to the ball. And then Dunn’s corner hit Boslem, deflecting the ball goalwards and it had to be cleared off the line.
And then Buchan took the lead, countering from a Hutchison Vale corner. Determined play from Lydia Johnstone allowed to play Louise Brown through on goal and she used her pace to beat the Hutchie defenders and finished with full aplomb.
Buchan had a couple of long-distance free-kicks, with Leanne Reid’s first going over and her second forcing Hutchie’s keeper Charlene Lessells into a parried save.
And just before the half-time whistle, Buchan won a penalty when a long ball sent Johnstone into the box, and as she was running towards the corner flag, she was taken out by Lessells’ sliding tackle. The referee pointed to the spot and awarded the Hutchie keeper a yellow card. Vanessa Silcocks placed the ball on the spot, and her chipped finish left the keeper stationary and beaten.
Half-Time: Hutchison Vale 0-2 Buchan
Early on in the second half, Hutchie were threatening from set pieces and had a couple of handball appeals turned down, with the loudest coming when Judith Shepherd’s shot was blocked on the line.
Just before the half-hour mark, Hutchie were dealt a major blow. Buchan had a free-kick, just inside Hutchie’s half, and although Lessells punched clear Leanne Reid’s delivery, the Hutchie keeper received a nasty head knock. She required five minutes worth of treatment for what was suspected as a broken nose and was replaced by outfield player Lisa Macfarlane.
Macfarlane’s first job as the emergency keeper was to pick the ball out from the net as Reid’s cross picked out Lydia Johnston, and her shot trickled into the bottom left corner.
Hutchison Vale had a chance to pull a goal back as a miskick from Buchan’s Gemma Rae gifted possession to Courtney McAvoy who was immediately fouled by Rae. Beth Macleod took the penalty and placed it towards the left corner, but Buchan’s keeper Jodie Kennedy made a brilliant save.
The home side never gave up hope. Jenkins’ early cross was parried behind by Kennedy, preventing Boslem having an empty net. From that corner, McAvoy’s header was caught by the keeper.
Macleod’s perseverance down the left allowed her to beat her marker and picked out Boslem in the box, but she got her feet caught up, and had her shot saved from close range.
Deep into added time, Hutchie once again came close when Dunn’s corner found Anna Murray at the far post, but her header was cleared off the line.
Player of the Match
Beth Macleod – Hutchison Vale